General Fiction posted January 12, 2018

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Overdoing the love

At One With Nature

by doggymad

One of the happiest memories I have is spending time on my uncle's farm every summer. He had cows and calves, hens, pigs and a horse. I had total freedom and so had the animals. Dogs, especially sheepdogs were used to herd the animals and, cats were there to take care of the mouse problem.

When the dogs were not needed for work, they lolled about the garden doing as little as possible. There was no such thing as taking them for a walk on a leash or teaching them to sit and give the paw on command. They ate whatever was available; usually leftover food from the family dinner. Potato skins and a sliver of meat was typical fare for these dogs.

In those days, dogs and cats were not allowed inside the house. This does not mean that they were ill treated. They were free to sleep in a warm shed full of hay or indeed to snuggle up beside a new born calf or lamb. From my own personal experience, I know that a shed full of hay is one of the warmest places you could find to bed down for a night. I spent many relaxing hours snuggled down in them.

Vaccinations and vets were a rarity for cat and dogs and still they survived. I will not deny that the methods for euthanizing them were pretty brutal when the need arose, but children were not informed about them. Quite simply the dog left home or went to another family, or so the story went.

It is interesting to note that as people began to 'breed' dogs for specific purposes, their health and life span has altered dramatically. We now have pets that require specific foods to maintain their health. They have developed conditions that necessitate frequent veterinary intervention and constant monitoring. In effect they have become a financial burden for many owners.

In these changing times, you are deemed to be cruel if your dog is not sleeping in the house. He/she is expected to be vaccinated annually and also receive treatment for fleas and worms every few months. Their diet has to be controlled and their anal glands have to be evacuated on occasion. Most of them will be subjected to regular visits to the groomer and will have their nails clipped into the bargain.

I am the proud owner of two very precious dogs, namely Podge and Rodge. I had them vaccinated once, at six weeks old. Any grooming that they need is seen to at home. A regular walk on a hard surface takes care of the pedicure and they seem to thrive on a diet of human and canine food. In the ten years that I have had them they have seen the vet about ten times.

I do not presume to judge people who make the decision to vaccinate, worm and groom their pets. I am merely making the observation that there was a time when dogs (and) cats were happy and healthy with less human intervention.


Just an observation on how dogs and cats lived forty years ago and how we treat them now.

No criticism intended
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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