How This Website Came About
In short, this site was created because my dog Jasmin is no ordinary Jack Russell Terrier. She’s what I call an Extra-Strength Jack Russell. And with that title comes double the normal exercise needs of the average energetic dog.
She’s a wonderfully crazy dog who should have a hurricane named after her (bless her little paw pads!). But since I couldn’t organise that, I thought I’d make this website instead to help dogs like her.
Having said that, this website is not just for very high-energy dogs; it's for all dogs who live in an urban environment.
All dogs (and all species of animals, in fact) require space and freedom. Yet, living in city and suburbs settings, dogs spend most of their time in the concrete boxes we call our homes. And while we can come and go as we please, they can't. Our dogs are essentially prisoners in our homes. Like little babies, dogs rely on us for their every need, including to be taken out. And the dogs who never get taken out end up stir crazy from the confinement and boredom of being locked in a concrete box.
Now you might wonder why I have dogs in my home if I view of their living situation like that. The answer is simple: while I think a domestic dog's life is far from ideal, there are homeless dogs sitting on death row who need rescuing. I therefore rescued some of those individuals in need.
Remember, all homeless animals are homeless through no fault of their own. They're in the mess they're in because of us, so it's our duty to save as many as we can. That's why I live with rescued dogs, and why I always encourage others to adopt homeless animals.
What I Hope This Website Can Do
If not adequately exercised, dogs will develop behavioural problems.
And despite the fact that they have acquired these behavioural issues through no fault of their own, such dogs are often heartlessly discarded at the pound. The lucky ones get adopted, but tens of thousands here in Australia (and millions all around the world), live their final days behind bars. The last face they see is the one of the person giving them a lethal injection.
The very thought of that horrifies me, and I want this website to help curb this terrible pattern. I hope that this site gets more people exercising with their dogs, and consequently curtails the number of falsely labelled 'problem dogs' getting dumped at the pound.
The theme of this website is that a tired dog is a happy dog. Of course it's not quite as simple as that: dogs also have to be taught what type of behaviour is acceptable and what is not. That teaching is separate to giving them physical exercise, but a well-exercised dog will be more amenable to learning because he or she is not crazed with pent-up energy.
My hope is that my website will add to the number of happy dogs, and subtract from the number of dogs dumped at the pound.
Why This Website Can Help You And Your Dog
You might wonder why it’s even necessary to have a website about being your dog’s personal trainer. I mean, as far as exercise goes, doesn’t a simple walk do the trick?
Well, that depends on the dog. For certain dogs a walk will suffice, but not so for most. The reality is that, for a great many city and suburban dogs, an old-fashioned daily walk isn’t nearly enough.
The result? A dog full of pent-up energy. Such a dog will dig holes in your backyard, bark non-stop, and chew up half the items in your house. All natural behaviours for a frustrated dog, yet undesirable to you.
But, some good news: this unwanted, frustration-induced behaviour can be vastly improved, better managed, and - in some cases - totally eliminated by stepping up your dog’s exercise regime in the ways I outline in this website. And that’s why a little dog in a big city needs a personal trainer, and why you need to become one for your dog.
You’ll also quickly discover that the perfect personal trainer is furry and has four legs, and that getting your dog into shape and out of trouble will be your ticket to a slimmer and svelter you.
In other words, by becoming your dog’s personal trainer, your dog reciprocates by becoming yours (and free of charge, I might add), motivating you to get out there and exercise. Your dog is better behaved, and you melt away unwanted kilos. Really, you couldn’t ask for a better side effect!
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.