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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 Wed. June / 03 / 2020

Leading CBD Brand PremiumJane Announces Launch of Jane's Pets; Releases New Line of CBD Oil for Pets - PRNewswire
Leading CBD Brand PremiumJane Announces Launch of Jane's Pets; Releases New Line of CBD Oil for Pets  PRNewswire

Pets of the week - Chicago Tribune
Pets of the week  Chicago Tribune

Adoptable pets of the week at Animal Harbor in June 4, 2020, edition - Winchester Herald Chronicle
Adoptable pets of the week at Animal Harbor in June 4, 2020, edition  Winchester Herald Chronicle

Dollars and Pets: Importance of brushing your dog - The Mercury News
Dollars and Pets: Importance of brushing your dog  The Mercury News

Pet Dog, Cat Test Positive for Coronavirus in Separate States - PEOPLE
Pet Dog, Cat Test Positive for Coronavirus in Separate States  PEOPLE

Pets of the week, June 3 | Gallery | hickoryrecord.com - Hickory Daily Record
Pets of the week, June 3 | Gallery | hickoryrecord.com  Hickory Daily Record

Adopted Pets and Their Parents Gifted Charlotte's Web Free Pet Adoption Kits During Covid 19 - PRNewswire
Adopted Pets and Their Parents Gifted Charlotte's Web Free Pet Adoption Kits During Covid 19  PRNewswire

Carver County pet cat tests positive for coronavirus - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Carver County pet cat tests positive for coronavirus  Minneapolis Star Tribune

Pets of the Week: June 3, 2020 | Pikes Peak Courier | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
Pets of the Week: June 3, 2020 | Pikes Peak Courier | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

Are you pet-prepared for New Orleans hurricane season? Read this list to help you get organized - NOLA.com
Are you pet-prepared for New Orleans hurricane season? Read this list to help you get organized  NOLA.com

Sticky weather worries for your pets | Opinion | fergusfallsjournal.com - Fergus Falls Daily Journal
Sticky weather worries for your pets | Opinion | fergusfallsjournal.com  Fergus Falls Daily Journal

Heat warning: Protect pets--and strays - KGUN
Heat warning: Protect pets--and strays  KGUN

Pandemic Pets - East Bay Express
Pandemic Pets  East Bay Express

PACC: Keeping pets cool and safe during excessive heat - KVOA Tucson News
PACC: Keeping pets cool and safe during excessive heat  KVOA Tucson News

How to Deal with Pet Allergies (and Keep Your Pet) - WRCB-TV
How to Deal with Pet Allergies (and Keep Your Pet)  WRCB-TV

Marion County Pets: Alton, Toby, and Trudi - WCJB
Marion County Pets: Alton, Toby, and Trudi  WCJB

What to pack for pets in your hurricane supply kit - WJXT News4JAX
What to pack for pets in your hurricane supply kit  WJXT News4JAX

Pet Network in Incline adjusts operations to save more pets - Tahoe Daily Tribune
Pet Network in Incline adjusts operations to save more pets  Tahoe Daily Tribune

Pets of the Week: The "Nature Litter" - WITN
Pets of the Week: The "Nature Litter"  WITN

Pigs make great pets but do your research - The Virginian-Pilot - Virginian-Pilot
Pigs make great pets but do your research - The Virginian-Pilot  Virginian-Pilot

Pet dog tests positive for virus causing COVID-19 - Successful Farming
Pet dog tests positive for virus causing COVID-19  Successful Farming

Pets of the Week at Pasadena Humane Society – Pasadena Weekendr - Pasadena Now
Pets of the Week at Pasadena Humane Society – Pasadena Weekendr  Pasadena Now

Racist comments by Waco pet store employee on social media spark protests - KCENTV.com
Racist comments by Waco pet store employee on social media spark protests  KCENTV.com

Adjustment Period Is Likely For Pets As Owners Head Back To Work From Coronavirus Quarantine - CBS Pittsburgh
Adjustment Period Is Likely For Pets As Owners Head Back To Work From Coronavirus Quarantine  CBS Pittsburgh

Humane Societies urging pet owners to prepare for emergencies as hurricane season begins - KHON2
Humane Societies urging pet owners to prepare for emergencies as hurricane season begins  KHON2

'They were sick or dying’: Waterford Lakes pet store under scrutiny for years now facing state action - WFTV Orlando
'They were sick or dying’: Waterford Lakes pet store under scrutiny for years now facing state action  WFTV Orlando

Some people can’t afford to keep their pets during pandemic - WDVM 25
Some people can’t afford to keep their pets during pandemic  WDVM 25

Dakin Humane Society: Pets offer companionship during pandemic - MassLive.com
Dakin Humane Society: Pets offer companionship during pandemic  MassLive.com

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Jan - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Jan  KCBD

Check yourself and pets for ticks as weather warms in metro Detroit - WXYZ
Check yourself and pets for ticks as weather warms in metro Detroit  WXYZ

Adoptable Pets - Ponca City News
Adoptable Pets  Ponca City News

How do pets react to our stress? - WGN Radio - Chicago
How do pets react to our stress?  WGN Radio - Chicago

Volusia County Animal Services giving out free pet food, microchips - WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando
Volusia County Animal Services giving out free pet food, microchips  WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando

Pets find homes during pandemic - Journal Times
Pets find homes during pandemic  Journal Times

Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Slade - TAPinto.net
Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Slade  TAPinto.net

3 Pet Med Stocks That Offer Growth and a Nice Dividend - Motley Fool
3 Pet Med Stocks That Offer Growth and a Nice Dividend  Motley Fool

PACC offers free vet clinic to pet owners financially impacted by COVID-19 - KVOA Tucson News
PACC offers free vet clinic to pet owners financially impacted by COVID-19  KVOA Tucson News

Selective planting can protect your pets - Idaho Press-Tribune
Selective planting can protect your pets  Idaho Press-Tribune

RPG The Waylanders features many pets, and they are cute - PC Gamer
RPG The Waylanders features many pets, and they are cute  PC Gamer

Unattended vehicles pose threat to children, elderly and pets - KTVH
Unattended vehicles pose threat to children, elderly and pets  KTVH

Clarksville area Pets of the Week for June 3rd, 2020 - Clarksville, TN Online - Clarksville Online
Clarksville area Pets of the Week for June 3rd, 2020 - Clarksville, TN Online  Clarksville Online

Pet stores in Santee, Escondido cited by San Diego Humane Society - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Pet stores in Santee, Escondido cited by San Diego Humane Society  The San Diego Union-Tribune

IronPigs to host pet food drive | Sports | wfmz.com - WFMZ Allentown
IronPigs to host pet food drive | Sports | wfmz.com  WFMZ Allentown

Hillsborough names pet center after retiring administrator Mike Merrill - Tampa Bay Times
Hillsborough names pet center after retiring administrator Mike Merrill  Tampa Bay Times

Pet of the Week: Dillon - KEZI TV
Pet of the Week: Dillon  KEZI TV

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society hosts pet food pantry - WRGB
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society hosts pet food pantry  WRGB

Local charitable group donates $11,000 to Coulee Region Humane Society for pet health - La Crosse Tribune
Local charitable group donates $11,000 to Coulee Region Humane Society for pet health  La Crosse Tribune

Should you be quarantining with your pets? - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Should you be quarantining with your pets?  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pet spot: Harry is a bird, and squirrel, watcher - Leader Publications
Pet spot: Harry is a bird, and squirrel, watcher  Leader Publications

Escondido pet store cited for illegal puppy sales - Coast News
Escondido pet store cited for illegal puppy sales  Coast News

Pet Of The Week And Free Food For Pets - The Transylvania Times
Pet Of The Week And Free Food For Pets  The Transylvania Times

Pandemic pets: How to take care of that newly adopted quarantine companion - The Mercury News
Pandemic pets: How to take care of that newly adopted quarantine companion  The Mercury News

Eight-year-old girl tortured to death for releasing pet parrots, police say - CNN
Eight-year-old girl tortured to death for releasing pet parrots, police say  CNN

Emergency pet care assistance for panhandle pet owners - WEAR
Emergency pet care assistance for panhandle pet owners  WEAR

Vets Prepare To See More Cases Of Pet Anxiety As Their Owners Return To Work - CBS Pittsburgh
Vets Prepare To See More Cases Of Pet Anxiety As Their Owners Return To Work  CBS Pittsburgh

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Kali - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Kali  KCBD

The Comfort of Pets - Richmond magazine
The Comfort of Pets  Richmond magazine

Pets of the Week: May 23 | The Herald-News - The Herald-News
Pets of the Week: May 23 | The Herald-News  The Herald-News

This is what happens to the pets left behind when their owners die from coronavirus - CNN
This is what happens to the pets left behind when their owners die from coronavirus  CNN

Michigan dog groomers set to reopen Thursday as restrictions ease up - Detroit Free Press
Michigan dog groomers set to reopen Thursday as restrictions ease up  Detroit Free Press

Pet of the Week: Cutie - wausaupilotandreview.com
Pet of the Week: Cutie  wausaupilotandreview.com

The Last of Us Pt. 2 hands-on: You can't pet the dog—but you can expect terror - Ars Technica
The Last of Us Pt. 2 hands-on: You can't pet the dog—but you can expect terror  Ars Technica

Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown - NPR
Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown  NPR

Survey shows benefits of pet ownership during pandemic - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Survey shows benefits of pet ownership during pandemic  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic - WTOP
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic  WTOP

Animal Humane Society hoping families adopt pocket pets who still need a home - KSTP
Animal Humane Society hoping families adopt pocket pets who still need a home  KSTP

First-ever national virtual pet super adoption hopes to place thousands of pets - KUTV 2News
First-ever national virtual pet super adoption hopes to place thousands of pets  KUTV 2News

Smucker names senior vice president of pet food business - Crain's Cleveland Business
Smucker names senior vice president of pet food business  Crain's Cleveland Business

Mass. Pets Getting Seriously Hurt in Grooming Mishaps, Veterinarians Say - nbcboston.com
Mass. Pets Getting Seriously Hurt in Grooming Mishaps, Veterinarians Say  nbcboston.com

The JM Smucker Company Names Rob Ferguson Leader of Pet Food and Pet Snacks Business - PRNewswire
The JM Smucker Company Names Rob Ferguson Leader of Pet Food and Pet Snacks Business  PRNewswire

Pets strange behavior amid COVID-19 - 11Alive.com WXIA
Pets strange behavior amid COVID-19  11Alive.com WXIA

Your quarantined pet may be acting odd. Here’s how to help. - The Washington Post
Your quarantined pet may be acting odd. Here’s how to help.  The Washington Post

Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows - USA TODAY
Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows  USA TODAY

Veterinarians reveal the biggest mistakes you're making when buying toys for your pets - Insider - INSIDER
Veterinarians reveal the biggest mistakes you're making when buying toys for your pets - Insider  INSIDER

Pet Sustainability Coalition expands board and team - Pet Food Processing
Pet Sustainability Coalition expands board and team  Pet Food Processing

Seniors find adopting or fostering a pet can ease loneliness during stay-at-home order - OCRegister
Seniors find adopting or fostering a pet can ease loneliness during stay-at-home order  OCRegister

Coronavirus and pets: Scams exploit animal lovers in crisis - Los Angeles Times
Coronavirus and pets: Scams exploit animal lovers in crisis  Los Angeles Times

Animal Rights: Victory For Activists As China Reclassifies Dogs As Pets In New Guidelines - Green Queen Media
Animal Rights: Victory For Activists As China Reclassifies Dogs As Pets In New Guidelines  Green Queen Media

Meet Fando, FOX8’s Pet of the Week - myfox8.com
Meet Fando, FOX8’s Pet of the Week  myfox8.com

City Of Buda Implements Changes To Pet Registration Process - San Marcos Corridor News
City Of Buda Implements Changes To Pet Registration Process  San Marcos Corridor News

Arlington Pet of the Week: Sam & Marlowe - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Sam & Marlowe  ARLnow

Moment of Paws: About your pets and the pandemic - Dorchester Reporter
Moment of Paws: About your pets and the pandemic  Dorchester Reporter

How to adopt your next pet safely and virtually - The Verge
How to adopt your next pet safely and virtually  The Verge

Local veterinarians seeing an increase of pets with snake bites - WBRC
Local veterinarians seeing an increase of pets with snake bites  WBRC

Amazing Glaze's "I Love my Pet" Camp Week 6/22-6/26 - Patch.com
Amazing Glaze's "I Love my Pet" Camp Week 6/22-6/26  Patch.com

Pet Save turning to homemade face masks to keep adoption service afloat - CBC.ca
Pet Save turning to homemade face masks to keep adoption service afloat  CBC.ca

Dubuque to open pet, skate parks, other amenities with restrictions - telegraphherald.com
Dubuque to open pet, skate parks, other amenities with restrictions  telegraphherald.com

Latest Hinsdale Adoptable Pet: Lance - Hinsdale, IL Patch
Latest Hinsdale Adoptable Pet: Lance  Hinsdale, IL Patch

Pet Adoption Spotlight: Pogo | Region | northwestgeorgianews.com - Northwest Georgia News
Pet Adoption Spotlight: Pogo | Region | northwestgeorgianews.com  Northwest Georgia News

Pet Pals: Great Danes Inspire Essential Local Business — TPG, Inc. - TPG Online Daily
Pet Pals: Great Danes Inspire Essential Local Business — TPG, Inc.  TPG Online Daily

Pets and the Humans Who Loved Them - The Wall Street Journal
Pets and the Humans Who Loved Them  The Wall Street Journal

How to Make Your Garden Safe for Pets - 7 Unexpected Solutions for a Pet-Safe Garden - HouseBeautiful.com
How to Make Your Garden Safe for Pets - 7 Unexpected Solutions for a Pet-Safe Garden  HouseBeautiful.com

Get on a repatriation flight without their pets or miss the last flight home? - Vancouver Sun
Get on a repatriation flight without their pets or miss the last flight home?  Vancouver Sun

Local pet kennel comes to aid of victims of abuse and their pets - Steamboat Pilot & Today
Local pet kennel comes to aid of victims of abuse and their pets  Steamboat Pilot & Today

Cats, Dogs and COVID: How Safe Are Your Pets? - WebMD
Cats, Dogs and COVID: How Safe Are Your Pets?  WebMD

The best virtual veterinary services for your pets - Insider - INSIDER
The best virtual veterinary services for your pets - Insider  INSIDER

Woman dies in fire at Midland pet kennel - CBS7 News
Woman dies in fire at Midland pet kennel  CBS7 News

Ravenswood Pet Shop Among Businesses Damaged Amid 'Uptick' In Vandalism Monday Night - Block Club Chicago
Ravenswood Pet Shop Among Businesses Damaged Amid 'Uptick' In Vandalism Monday Night  Block Club Chicago

Virus delays flooding solutions at Austin Pets Alive! building - KXAN.com
Virus delays flooding solutions at Austin Pets Alive! building  KXAN.com

'People are looking for love': Adoptions of dogs, cats skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
'People are looking for love': Adoptions of dogs, cats skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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