Dog News

Germ-a-phobes Need Not Apply

by Nancy Freedman-Smith

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There is nothing more adorable than puppies. Watching  new pups in my Puppy Kindergarten Class, with their doting families in tow is as good as it gets.  Emerged in cuteness overload, predictably and without fail, someone will turn to me and say, “you have a great job!” Yes I do have a great job. Any job where you can get paid to pursue your passion is a great job. But aside from the obvious chance of getting seriously injured on the job, working with animals has many challenges and it is  not all cute and cuddle overload all the time.  Dog Training, or just about any field that is involves animals and their various bodily functions, is a labor of love. It would have to be. Read on for some germs in real life stories that have happened to me. Variations of the scenarios below often repeat on an endless loop, much more often that we trainers speak about.

“Your dog needs more exercise, does he have any dog friends to play with?” I ask as I hand back the leash to the new owners of a young rowdy rescue lab mix during a group training class.

“He LOVES other dogs! We will take him back to the dog park just as soon as his conjunctivitis clears up.”

I smile a frozen smile, give a short lecture, and then excuse myself to the bathroom for soap, and a warm wet paper towel to wash my eyes.

“Your dog has very bad breathe does he drink out of the toilet?” I ask of a new client .

“No we always leave the lid down because I am afraid he will drink bleach,” she told me.

heather with emmas pup

“You may want to discuss this odor with his vet and have his teeth checked, there is quite a bit of tarter in there.”

I was really quite alarmed at the dog’s dragon breath, but I didn’t want to freak out my new client at the beginning of her first private session, and I planned to bring it up again before our time was up.

The large black dog jumps up and kisses me square on the mouth while I am in the middle of a sentence.

Owner exclaims, “Oh wow, he really likes you!”

I then reiterate that this dog’s mouth smells foul, and again voice my concern, and I am told in a matter of fact way;

“Really? Oh, well he does eat his and any poop he can find.”

Frozen smile.

All I had.

Then I excuse my self and run to the bathroom again.