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How to Create Your Own Monster


"You've created your own monster, you know", my mother said ominously. My Rex cat, Houdini, had just burrowed his way inside my sweater for the third time that morning, letting out a squeal of indignation when I tried to resist.

Houdini has separation anxiety. But in his tiny little mind, separation means I've been out of his site for at least two minutes. Or I've closed the bathroom door and left him on the other side. Or he hasn't had his ears scratched or his belly rubbed in eons (about ten minutes.) Houdini follows me everywhere, like the most faithful of hounds, and craves my undivided attention almost as much as his next meal.

If all of this seems annoying, it's not nearly as bad as when the little fellow plunks himself down in front of me and literally tears chunks of his own hair out because I'm not paying attention to him. With Houdini, it's always been easier just to give in.

My husband takes all of this in stride. My mother, who (fortunately for Houdini) only visits now and then, thinks it's the height of absurdity.

Growing up under Mom's roof, I learned that dogs and children should obey, and cats just mind their own business. I adopted my mother's dog training philosophies successfully. Cleo (a fine-looking mastiff and our now-famous website mascot), is a perfect lady. She's a wonderful dog with the gift of self composure and not one to question authority. Cleo would never stoop to the kind of antics that are Houdini's specialty. Besides, she's too big to crawl inside my sweater.

So why does this particular pet behave like a spoiled child? Why do I give in to him? Is it because I forgot to have children? Mom swears that those little squealing sounds he makes don't come from a cat. "He's manipulating you", she tells me. "He's learned how to sound like a baby".

Maybe I've got what I like to call "lap dog syndrome". I'm referring how we treat smaller pets who are easily cuddled and coddled, are highly portable, and who look adorable wearing funny little outfits. Some might call it "empty nest syndrome".

Consider my Grandmother Rosie and her Toy Poodle, Cocoa.

Cocoa arrived long after Rosie's children had grown up and left home. Rosie knitted lots of little sweaters and hats for Cocoa to keep him warm and stylish. She kept a mixture of Coke Syrup and Pepto Bismol on hand to settle Cocoa's nervous stomach. And dog food could never pass his lips, so Grandma cooked fresh chicken for Cocoa every night before sitting down to her own dinner.

We had to spell out "c-o-o-k-i-e" and "P-e-p-t-o B-i-s-m-o-l" around the dog so he wouldn't get over-excited. And Grandpa Henry was obsessed with keeping Cocoa clean. This was one poodle who never had tear stains under his eyes, and whose little "tushy" was spotless.

Bear in mind that we're talking about the late 60's, when treating pets like children wasn't really "mainstream".

Today, it's commonplace. The pet industry is huge, and much of it caters to our desire to spoil our "children". So these days it's easier than ever to create your own monster. Besides bending to your dog's every whim, you can shower her with gourmet treats, dress her to the nines, and offer her a standard of living well above what many of the world's humans aspire to.

Today, Grandma wouldn't have to knit any sweaters herself, and there would be plenty of remedies made expressly for Cocoa's nervous tummy. Grandma wouldn't board her baby when traveling. Instead, she'd hire a professional pet sitter, or take Cocoa with her to a pet friendly hotel. The hotel might even have a dog gift shop, with lots of squeaky toys and delicious "c-o-o-k-i-e-s". And Cocoa would go everywhere with Grandma in his own little dog-sized carrying case, probably made from fine imported leather or snakeskin.

I wonder how many owners of large breeds behave this way? Are there other syndromes out there, like "macho dog syndrome" (a guy thing, no doubt)?

The truth is, all pets start out small and cuddly. No one is completely safe from creating their own monster, large or small. So thank goodness there are enough great resources available for anyone to become a virtual dog training expert. (Or cat, or parrot, or horse...)

I've learned my lesson with Houdini: It's much easier to teach your pet the rules from the start. Puppy training is easier than dog training. And un-creating a monster is a heck of a lot tougher than creating one!

But I'm weak. For now, it's easier just to give in. And besides, it time to rub Houdini's belly...

© 2005, Carolyn Schweitzer. Lifelong dog-lover, power-shopper, and former family dentist Carolyn Schweitzer is owner and editor of http://www.great-dog-gift.com View the html version of this article (with cute photos) at http://www.great-dog-gift.com/dog_training_1.html The site offers a wide range of choices for dog gift shoppers, plus shopping and gift-giving tips. She's always looking for new dog gift ideas and dog stories to share with her readers in her free monthly e-zine, "Cold Noses News". You can reach her by email at netbrainer@verizon.net


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. August / 09 / 2020

Why the French are 'European champions' at abandoning pets - BBC News
Why the French are 'European champions' at abandoning pets  BBC News

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of August 9, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of August 9, 2020  Summit Daily News

Commentary: The science behind pets sunning and sleeping - Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Commentary: The science behind pets sunning and sleeping  Moscow-Pullman Daily News

How to Help Your Pet With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety - The New York Times
How to Help Your Pet With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety  The New York Times

Want to keep spoiling your pets during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s the latest in 'pet tech' - USA TODAY
Want to keep spoiling your pets during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s the latest in 'pet tech'  USA TODAY

In the aftermath of a disaster, one group looks out for Beirut's lost and hurt pets - CNN
In the aftermath of a disaster, one group looks out for Beirut's lost and hurt pets  CNN

Rabid bat found in Frisco; city recommends vaccinating pets - The Dallas Morning News
Rabid bat found in Frisco; city recommends vaccinating pets  The Dallas Morning News

Robotic pets used to remedy loneliness in nursing homes across Alabama - WIAT - CBS42.com
Robotic pets used to remedy loneliness in nursing homes across Alabama  WIAT - CBS42.com

Pet Vet: Urinary Issues in Pets - WNDU
Pet Vet: Urinary Issues in Pets  WNDU

Photos: 'Yappy Hour Yoga' combines pets with fitness - STLtoday.com
Photos: 'Yappy Hour Yoga' combines pets with fitness  STLtoday.com

Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County - The Register-Guard
Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County  The Register-Guard

Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Inky - nwitimes.com
Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Inky  nwitimes.com

Long-Term Signal Says PETS Could Run Higher - Forbes
Long-Term Signal Says PETS Could Run Higher  Forbes

Erie Humane Society hosts Bark Brunch to raise funds for shelter pets - YourErie
Erie Humane Society hosts Bark Brunch to raise funds for shelter pets  YourErie

How to deal with separation anxiety in pets as pandemic restrictions ease - WTVD-TV
How to deal with separation anxiety in pets as pandemic restrictions ease  WTVD-TV

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Experts: Leaving family pets behind after quarantine may cause separation anxiety - KFDA
Experts: Leaving family pets behind after quarantine may cause separation anxiety  KFDA

PHOTOS: NewsChannel 8 viewers have some adorable pets - KTUL
PHOTOS: NewsChannel 8 viewers have some adorable pets  KTUL

Protecting Pets From Raccoons - NBC New York
Protecting Pets From Raccoons  NBC New York

These adoptable pets will warm your heart: Aug. 8-9 - SILive.com
These adoptable pets will warm your heart: Aug. 8-9  SILive.com

Pet-friendly design tips - Morgan County Herald
Pet-friendly design tips  Morgan County Herald

ISO Pets: Midnight, Momma and Spartacus need homes - The Morning Call
ISO Pets: Midnight, Momma and Spartacus need homes  The Morning Call

Galveston Island Humane Society's pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society's pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Pets of the Week: Remi & Kaiya - County 17
Pets of the Week: Remi & Kaiya  County 17

A safe place for grieving lost pets - WLUC
A safe place for grieving lost pets  WLUC

Tips offered for traveling with a pet | Community | times-news.com - Cumberland Times-News
Tips offered for traveling with a pet | Community | times-news.com  Cumberland Times-News

FL Firefighters Rescue Two People, Pets from Apartment Blaze - Firehouse.com
FL Firefighters Rescue Two People, Pets from Apartment Blaze  Firehouse.com

Points for Pets: Chronic ear problems in dogs usually rooted in allergy or hypersensitivity - WV News
Points for Pets: Chronic ear problems in dogs usually rooted in allergy or hypersensitivity  WV News

Plugging the hole in owner's heart after the loss of a beloved pet can be hard - The Tribune - Ironton Tribune
Plugging the hole in owner's heart after the loss of a beloved pet can be hard - The Tribune  Ironton Tribune

Pandemic got you down? Here are some funny pet pics - Chron.com
Pandemic got you down? Here are some funny pet pics  Chron.com

Donation ensures Florence County firefighters equipped to save pets - SCNow
Donation ensures Florence County firefighters equipped to save pets  SCNow

Pets of the week: One cat for a barn, one cat for a lap - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the week: One cat for a barn, one cat for a lap  Duluth News Tribune

Pets of the Week: Sophie, Hanselina, Cloud and Olivia are ready for adoption - Long Beach Press Telegram
Pets of the Week: Sophie, Hanselina, Cloud and Olivia are ready for adoption  Long Beach Press Telegram

PHOTOS: Three Mile Bay church holds animal blessing ceremony - NNY360
PHOTOS: Three Mile Bay church holds animal blessing ceremony  NNY360

VIVA Pet of the Week: Molly - Lompoc Record
VIVA Pet of the Week: Molly  Lompoc Record

Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August - KTRK-TV
Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August  KTRK-TV

Coronavirus in pets, French research strategy and a duplication detector - Nature.com
Coronavirus in pets, French research strategy and a duplication detector  Nature.com

Pets with Potential: Abby - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Abby  WCAX

Pet advocate indicted for felony animal abuse, theft - Massillon Independent
Pet advocate indicted for felony animal abuse, theft  Massillon Independent

Friendswood Animal Control pets of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News - Galveston County Daily News
Friendswood Animal Control pets of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News  Galveston County Daily News

Pet Tales: Land donated to end flood threat at Orphans of the Storm shelter - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet Tales: Land donated to end flood threat at Orphans of the Storm shelter  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Meet our pets of the week: Two dogs and a horse - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: Two dogs and a horse  STLtoday.com

AI-Powered Smart Cameras Help You Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship …With Your Pet - Synced
AI-Powered Smart Cameras Help You Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship …With Your Pet  Synced

How dogs and cats can ease the loneliness and stress of the pandemic - LA Daily News
How dogs and cats can ease the loneliness and stress of the pandemic  LA Daily News

Florida ranks fourth for pet shelter deaths, but local facilities are more successful at keeping animals alive - yoursun.com
Florida ranks fourth for pet shelter deaths, but local facilities are more successful at keeping animals alive  yoursun.com

Cleveland APL pets of the weekend: Senor Bob, Six Horse and Cleo - News 5 Cleveland
Cleveland APL pets of the weekend: Senor Bob, Six Horse and Cleo  News 5 Cleveland

Two Ocala residents and four family pets rescued from apartment fire - Ocala News
Two Ocala residents and four family pets rescued from apartment fire  Ocala News

Adopt-a-pets: Aug. 9 | News | carolinacoastonline.com - Carolinacoastonline
Adopt-a-pets: Aug. 9 | News | carolinacoastonline.com  Carolinacoastonline

Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.' - National Geographic
Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.'  National Geographic

PETS OF THE WEEK - Urbana Daily Citizen
PETS OF THE WEEK  Urbana Daily Citizen

This Clever Seat Belt Keeps Your Pets Safe in the Car - autoevolution
This Clever Seat Belt Keeps Your Pets Safe in the Car  autoevolution

Pets and playthings … | Other Opinions - Aitkin Independent Age
Pets and playthings … | Other Opinions  Aitkin Independent Age

COLD NOSES: Adoptable Pets of the Week - The Florida Times-Union
COLD NOSES: Adoptable Pets of the Week  The Florida Times-Union

Tampa named most pet-friendly city in WalletHub survey - Frederick News Post
Tampa named most pet-friendly city in WalletHub survey  Frederick News Post

Philadelphia Ranked Among Top 50 Most Pet-Friendly Cities In United States - CBS Philly
Philadelphia Ranked Among Top 50 Most Pet-Friendly Cities In United States  CBS Philly

Summertime safety for your pet - MSUToday
Summertime safety for your pet  MSUToday

‘Raise a Pint for Pets’ to help raise money for local animal shelters - fox2now.com
‘Raise a Pint for Pets’ to help raise money for local animal shelters  fox2now.com

Workshop offers chance to make mini needle felted sculptures of pets - The Robesonian
Workshop offers chance to make mini needle felted sculptures of pets  The Robesonian

Craven-Pamlico pets of the week - New Bern Sun Journal
Craven-Pamlico pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal

Volusia County to offer free pet food, microchipping - WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando
Volusia County to offer free pet food, microchipping  WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando

San Antonio Pets Alive! places two dogs up for adoption after owner dies of COVID-19 complications - KSAT San Antonio
San Antonio Pets Alive! places two dogs up for adoption after owner dies of COVID-19 complications  KSAT San Antonio

Pets can get nails trimmed, microchips at FurEver Home drive-thru event - Fremont Tribune
Pets can get nails trimmed, microchips at FurEver Home drive-thru event  Fremont Tribune

Army vet finds peace fostering pets, finding them homes - ArmyTimes.com
Army vet finds peace fostering pets, finding them homes  ArmyTimes.com

Pets of the week: Swiss and Bean are the missing ingredients in your life - Bucks County Courier Times
Pets of the week: Swiss and Bean are the missing ingredients in your life  Bucks County Courier Times

Young-Williams Pet of the Week: Huckleberry - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Pet of the Week: Huckleberry  WATE 6 On Your Side

App Uses Pet Selfies to ID Shelter Pets - Bay News 9
App Uses Pet Selfies to ID Shelter Pets  Bay News 9

Carson City Humane Society's Pets of the Week: Sir Newton, Lord Leonard, and Lord Rock of Rochester - Carson Now
Carson City Humane Society's Pets of the Week: Sir Newton, Lord Leonard, and Lord Rock of Rochester  Carson Now

Pets of the week: Chance, Smudge ready for a summer staycation in their new homes - Burlington County Times
Pets of the week: Chance, Smudge ready for a summer staycation in their new homes  Burlington County Times

How to help pets dealing with anxiety - WWLP.com
How to help pets dealing with anxiety  WWLP.com

Arnold Schwarzenegger describes quarantine life with pet donkey and mini horse - FOX 11 Los Angeles
Arnold Schwarzenegger describes quarantine life with pet donkey and mini horse  FOX 11 Los Angeles

Pet parade held at Evansville assisted living facility - Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW)
Pet parade held at Evansville assisted living facility  Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW)

Lufkin police remind parents not to leave children, pets inside hot vehicles - CBS19.tv KYTX
Lufkin police remind parents not to leave children, pets inside hot vehicles  CBS19.tv KYTX

Clear the Shelters: Senior pets make wonderful companions - KTVZ
Clear the Shelters: Senior pets make wonderful companions  KTVZ

CELEBRATE COMMUNITY: Okaloosa artist paints shelter pets, offers artwork to new owner - The Northwest Florida Daily News
CELEBRATE COMMUNITY: Okaloosa artist paints shelter pets, offers artwork to new owner  The Northwest Florida Daily News

Pasco to end retail pet store sales of dogs and cats - Tampa Bay Times
Pasco to end retail pet store sales of dogs and cats  Tampa Bay Times

BARK IN THE PARK: Stakeholders gather to push forward project for pets - Tahlequah Daily Press
BARK IN THE PARK: Stakeholders gather to push forward project for pets  Tahlequah Daily Press

The Midland Humane Coalition’s pets of the week: Skulls & Pineapple - KMID - Local 2 News
The Midland Humane Coalition’s pets of the week: Skulls & Pineapple  KMID - Local 2 News

Clear The Shelters: Keeping Your Pets Out of Hot Cars - NBC 6 South Florida
Clear The Shelters: Keeping Your Pets Out of Hot Cars  NBC 6 South Florida

Colonial Capital pets of the week - New Bern Sun Journal
Colonial Capital pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal

From Our Readers: Cats of Napa County 2020 | Pets - Napa Valley Register
From Our Readers: Cats of Napa County 2020 | Pets  Napa Valley Register

COVID-19 can affect pets; cases confirmed | AgriLife Today - AgriLife Today
COVID-19 can affect pets; cases confirmed | AgriLife Today  AgriLife Today

A Paws for Pets : The trouble with Charley - York News-Times
A Paws for Pets : The trouble with Charley  York News-Times

Pet stores in Kitsap can no longer sell animals from large-scale commercial breeders - Kitsap Sun
Pet stores in Kitsap can no longer sell animals from large-scale commercial breeders  Kitsap Sun

Nominate Your Pet For Clark-Garwoods Pet Of The Week - Clark, NJ Patch
Nominate Your Pet For Clark-Garwoods Pet Of The Week  Clark, NJ Patch

Majority of Pet Owners Give Their Pets Some Homemade Food - The Bark
Majority of Pet Owners Give Their Pets Some Homemade Food  The Bark

Pets of the week: A couple of cute kittens are looking for homes - MLive.com
Pets of the week: A couple of cute kittens are looking for homes  MLive.com

Homeward Bound: Pets' Incredible COVID-19 Journeys To Reunite With Owners - NPR
Homeward Bound: Pets' Incredible COVID-19 Journeys To Reunite With Owners  NPR

Toxic algae growing in Rock Creek Regional Park harmful to humans and pets - WJLA
Toxic algae growing in Rock Creek Regional Park harmful to humans and pets  WJLA

Meet the Tazewell County couple fighting to change city rules banning their pet pig - Bloomington Pantagraph
Meet the Tazewell County couple fighting to change city rules banning their pet pig  Bloomington Pantagraph

Pets - Anti Aging News
Pets  Anti Aging News

Clear the Shelters 2020: How you can help pets find their forever home - WKYC.com
Clear the Shelters 2020: How you can help pets find their forever home  WKYC.com

3 Hot Pet Stocks to Buy in August - Motley Fool
3 Hot Pet Stocks to Buy in August  Motley Fool

Demand for cheetahs as pets is leading to their extinction - NBC News
Demand for cheetahs as pets is leading to their extinction  NBC News

Adopt a Pet: Boo - Ellwood City Ledger
Adopt a Pet: Boo  Ellwood City Ledger

Pet Owners Are Sharing Photos of Their Dogs Doing Homework - My Modern Met
Pet Owners Are Sharing Photos of Their Dogs Doing Homework  My Modern Met

Pet Pals TV: Cats Haven - WISHTV.com
Pet Pals TV: Cats Haven  WISHTV.com

Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Mr. Meowgi - KBTX
Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Mr. Meowgi  KBTX

The pandemic's unlikely pet: Chickens - CNN
The pandemic's unlikely pet: Chickens  CNN

Owners warned stop kissing pets as U.K. latest to sound the alert over cat infected with coronavirus - MarketWatch
Owners warned stop kissing pets as U.K. latest to sound the alert over cat infected with coronavirus  MarketWatch

New Houston pet adoption event helps you find a furry friend for free - CultureMap Houston
New Houston pet adoption event helps you find a furry friend for free  CultureMap Houston

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