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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 [email protected]


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Mon. August / 08 / 2022

Creating Value from Consumers' Love for Pets - Mergers & Acquisitions
Creating Value from Consumers' Love for Pets  Mergers & Acquisitions

The Tilly Project; Helping Owners Remember Their Lost Pets - News On 6
The Tilly Project; Helping Owners Remember Their Lost Pets  News On 6

5 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Pets - Money
5 Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Pets  Money

Clarksville Area Pets of the Week for August 8th, 2022 - Clarksville Online
Clarksville Area Pets of the Week for August 8th, 2022  Clarksville Online

Mars ploughs $82m into Kansas pet-care plant expansion - just-food.com
Mars ploughs $82m into Kansas pet-care plant expansion  just-food.com

Higher housing costs force more pet owners to surrender their dogs - CNBC
Higher housing costs force more pet owners to surrender their dogs  CNBC

Pets of the Week | ClarksvilleNow.com - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week | ClarksvilleNow.com  Clarksville Now

N.J. pets in need: Aug. 8, 2022 - nj.com - NJ.com
N.J. pets in need: Aug. 8, 2022 - nj.com  NJ.com

Bear’s Bites Foundation raising money for pets - CIProud.com
Bear’s Bites Foundation raising money for pets  CIProud.com

Dwayne Johnson shares full, Black Adam-teasing post-credits stinger for DC League Of Super-Pets - The A.V. Club
Dwayne Johnson shares full, Black Adam-teasing post-credits stinger for DC League Of Super-Pets  The A.V. Club

Pets 'dumped' outside MB shelter with note, staff stresses proper way to surrender - wpde.com
Pets 'dumped' outside MB shelter with note, staff stresses proper way to surrender  wpde.com

Expert provides tips to keep pets cool during dog days of summer - WMUR Manchester
Expert provides tips to keep pets cool during dog days of summer  WMUR Manchester

Roblox: How To Get The Best Pets In Adopt Me! - TheGamer
Roblox: How To Get The Best Pets In Adopt Me!  TheGamer

New research suggests cat and dog ‘moms’ and ‘dads’ really are parenting their pets – here’s the evolutionary explanation why - WGN TV Chicago
New research suggests cat and dog ‘moms’ and ‘dads’ really are parenting their pets – here’s the evolutionary explanation why  WGN TV Chicago

ShopDisney now has Haunted Mansion gear for our pets too - Dog of the Day
ShopDisney now has Haunted Mansion gear for our pets too  Dog of the Day

Is it legal to break a hot car window to rescue a pet in California? - FOX 5 San Diego
Is it legal to break a hot car window to rescue a pet in California?  FOX 5 San Diego

Play ‘Match the Met with the Pet’ to win Nulo gift basket - KXAN.com
Play ‘Match the Met with the Pet’ to win Nulo gift basket  KXAN.com

How to keep your dog and other pets cool in the heat - CNN
How to keep your dog and other pets cool in the heat  CNN

Best Pets in Video Games - GameRant
Best Pets in Video Games  GameRant

Blaze rips through home in Stony Creek killing 2 pets - WRGB
Blaze rips through home in Stony Creek killing 2 pets  WRGB

The dangers of leaving pets in a hot car - Spectrum News
The dangers of leaving pets in a hot car  Spectrum News

Pet supplies, monetary donations being accepted for flooding victims - CBS News
Pet supplies, monetary donations being accepted for flooding victims  CBS News

Home renting with a pet 101 - Yahoo Sports
Home renting with a pet 101  Yahoo Sports

Animal Chronicles: Missing pets benefit from being microchipped – The Daily Gazette - The Daily Gazette
Animal Chronicles: Missing pets benefit from being microchipped – The Daily Gazette  The Daily Gazette

3 People Displaced, 2 Pets Die in Chesapeake Apartment Fire - WAVY.com
3 People Displaced, 2 Pets Die in Chesapeake Apartment Fire  WAVY.com

Why more apartments welcome pets - Finance and Commerce
Why more apartments welcome pets  Finance and Commerce

Pets, owners join forces for return of Napa's Walk for Animals - Napa Valley Register
Pets, owners join forces for return of Napa's Walk for Animals  Napa Valley Register

Quirky Cats in Hudson County: Our Readers Share Their Pets' Funny Anecdotes - hobokengirl.com
Quirky Cats in Hudson County: Our Readers Share Their Pets' Funny Anecdotes  hobokengirl.com

Razzle and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - The Arizona Republic
Razzle and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  The Arizona Republic

"Fluff Brothers" Snowy and Sherlock bring double the love as our pets of the week - KSBY News
"Fluff Brothers" Snowy and Sherlock bring double the love as our pets of the week  KSBY News

Adoptable Pets in St. Petersburg - The Gabber Newspaper
Adoptable Pets in St. Petersburg  The Gabber Newspaper

The Rising Cost Of Caring For Pets - NBC 6 South Florida
The Rising Cost Of Caring For Pets  NBC 6 South Florida

3 Pets Dead In Petaluma House Fire Saturday - Petaluma, CA Patch
3 Pets Dead In Petaluma House Fire Saturday  Petaluma, CA Patch

Pet Talk: Unearthing the truth about scorpions: How to prevent stings - Marshall News Messenger
Pet Talk: Unearthing the truth about scorpions: How to prevent stings  Marshall News Messenger

Find Adoptable Pets in Your Area Using the ‘WeRescue’ App - WCBD News 2
Find Adoptable Pets in Your Area Using the ‘WeRescue’ App  WCBD News 2

FDA alerts public after pet food tests positive for Salmonella - Food Safety News
FDA alerts public after pet food tests positive for Salmonella  Food Safety News

Traveling with pets for the first time? Here's what you need to know. - USA TODAY
Traveling with pets for the first time? Here's what you need to know.  USA TODAY

Pets For Patients | VA Cincinnati Health Care - Veterans Affairs
Pets For Patients | VA Cincinnati Health Care  Veterans Affairs

080822-news-pets 01.jpg | | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
080822-news-pets 01.jpg | | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — Aug. 8 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — Aug. 8  Gwinnettdailypost.com

Eight Home Design Features for Pets - Santa Barbara Independent
Eight Home Design Features for Pets  Santa Barbara Independent

Pets At Home quarterly sales up as pandemic boom survives - Reuters
Pets At Home quarterly sales up as pandemic boom survives  Reuters

Will You Regret Not Getting Pet Insurance? - The Motley Fool
Will You Regret Not Getting Pet Insurance?  The Motley Fool

Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Greenville County; Two Pets Exposed - SCDHEC
Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Greenville County; Two Pets Exposed  SCDHEC

Niche pets can be oh so cute, but your home environment may kill them - SHINE
Niche pets can be oh so cute, but your home environment may kill them  SHINE

The Chicest Pet Beds To Go With Minimal Decor - The Zoe Report
The Chicest Pet Beds To Go With Minimal Decor  The Zoe Report

Introducing FredToday's newest feature: a "cutest pets" contest! - Fredericksburg Today
Introducing FredToday's newest feature: a "cutest pets" contest!  Fredericksburg Today

Having Trouble Flying With Your Dog? Charter a Private Jet for Princess - The Wall Street Journal
Having Trouble Flying With Your Dog? Charter a Private Jet for Princess  The Wall Street Journal

Take steps now to protect your pets from rabies - Red Bluff Daily News
Take steps now to protect your pets from rabies  Red Bluff Daily News

Here’s What To Know About Monkeypox Risk For Dogs (Or Cats) - BuzzFeed News
Here’s What To Know About Monkeypox Risk For Dogs (Or Cats)  BuzzFeed News

HFD: 4 pets, 2 residents exit building fire safely - KHON2
HFD: 4 pets, 2 residents exit building fire safely  KHON2

High prices make it difficult to pay for pets - WANE
High prices make it difficult to pay for pets  WANE

This Year's Funniest-Looking Pets Are Here - Gizmodo
This Year's Funniest-Looking Pets Are Here  Gizmodo

Pets of the Week - Meet Neeson & Carl - City of Arlington
Pets of the Week - Meet Neeson & Carl  City of Arlington

Cost of living: How you can save money on pet care - BBC
Cost of living: How you can save money on pet care  BBC

Pets at Home raises more than £550000 in four weeks for disability charity - Third Sector
Pets at Home raises more than £550000 in four weeks for disability charity  Third Sector

SAPD warns of lost pet scam - ConchoValleyHomepage.com
SAPD warns of lost pet scam  ConchoValleyHomepage.com

Robotic Pet Care Manufacturer Plans $10.7 Million Wisconsin Expansion - ThomasNet News
Robotic Pet Care Manufacturer Plans $10.7 Million Wisconsin Expansion  ThomasNet News

PHOTOS: Pets of the Week | Lifestyles | marshallnewsmessenger.com - Marshall News Messenger
PHOTOS: Pets of the Week | Lifestyles | marshallnewsmessenger.com  Marshall News Messenger

Chinese Pet Brand BUCATSTATE Completes Pre-A Financing Round of CNY Tens of Millions - EqualOcean
Chinese Pet Brand BUCATSTATE Completes Pre-A Financing Round of CNY Tens of Millions  EqualOcean

Pet of the Week: Kimmy - Columbia Basin Herald
Pet of the Week: Kimmy  Columbia Basin Herald

How people, pets and infrastructure can respond to extreme heat - NPR
How people, pets and infrastructure can respond to extreme heat  NPR

How to help the pets in L.A.'s animal shelters - Los Angeles Times
How to help the pets in L.A.'s animal shelters  Los Angeles Times

Ukrainian risks her life to rescue wild animals from war - The Associated Press - en Español
Ukrainian risks her life to rescue wild animals from war  The Associated Press - en Español

Petcurean partners with crowdfunding platform to support animal welfare - Pet Food Processing
Petcurean partners with crowdfunding platform to support animal welfare  Pet Food Processing

12 Best Pet Memorial Gift Ideas in 2022 - Memorial Gifts for Pets - Woman's Day
12 Best Pet Memorial Gift Ideas in 2022 - Memorial Gifts for Pets  Woman's Day

DC League of Super-Pets movie review (2022) - Roger Ebert
DC League of Super-Pets movie review (2022)  Roger Ebert

Pet Talk: How do Betta fish get their color? - Sentinel & Enterprise
Pet Talk: How do Betta fish get their color?  Sentinel & Enterprise

Family, pets rescued after stranded on Wapsie sandbar - Cedar Valley Daily Times
Family, pets rescued after stranded on Wapsie sandbar  Cedar Valley Daily Times

Diablo Immortal players call for Diablo 3 style pets system - PCGamesN
Diablo Immortal players call for Diablo 3 style pets system  PCGamesN

Robotic Pets, Real Comfort? What the Research Says - PsychCentral.com
Robotic Pets, Real Comfort? What the Research Says  PsychCentral.com

How robotic pets can help with memory care | @theU - @theU
How robotic pets can help with memory care | @theU  @theU

How to travel with pets - The Washington Post
How to travel with pets  The Washington Post

Thousands of Pets Find Homes Through BISSELL Pet Foundation's 'Empty the Shelters' - Pet Business Magazine
Thousands of Pets Find Homes Through BISSELL Pet Foundation's 'Empty the Shelters'  Pet Business Magazine

How to keep your pets safe in a heatwave - The Conversation
How to keep your pets safe in a heatwave  The Conversation

Science Says: This Is How Pets Help Your Mental Health - Greatist
Science Says: This Is How Pets Help Your Mental Health  Greatist

Charlotte Fire Dogs Sound the Alarm for Pet Safety - charlottenc.gov
Charlotte Fire Dogs Sound the Alarm for Pet Safety  charlottenc.gov

Pets are freaking out over their owners playing Stray - Polygon
Pets are freaking out over their owners playing Stray  Polygon

Tampa Bay area pets available for adoption - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets available for adoption  Tampa Bay Times

Heartland pet shelter hoping to adopt out hundreds of pets to help empty the shelter - KFVS
Heartland pet shelter hoping to adopt out hundreds of pets to help empty the shelter  KFVS

No More Pet Store Puppies? New York May Finally Ban Sales. - The New York Times
No More Pet Store Puppies? New York May Finally Ban Sales.  The New York Times

Helping pets find and stay in their forever home - WGN TV Chicago
Helping pets find and stay in their forever home  WGN TV Chicago

Pets celebrate at ice cream social - WBOY.com
Pets celebrate at ice cream social  WBOY.com

Video: Pets showing Emory pride - Emory News Center
Video: Pets showing Emory pride  Emory News Center

Pet surrenders increase as inflation ups the price of ownership - NPR
Pet surrenders increase as inflation ups the price of ownership  NPR

Families are returning their pets to animal shelters due to inflation and rising rents: 'So sad' - Fox News
Families are returning their pets to animal shelters due to inflation and rising rents: 'So sad'  Fox News

2022 Best of the East Bay: Pets | People + Style | diablomag.com - Diablo Magazine
2022 Best of the East Bay: Pets | People + Style | diablomag.com  Diablo Magazine

Happy DOGust First, the Birthday of Shelter Pets - NBC Southern California
Happy DOGust First, the Birthday of Shelter Pets  NBC Southern California

People are giving up family dogs they adopted long before the pandemic, mostly due to inflation, shelters say - MarketWatch
People are giving up family dogs they adopted long before the pandemic, mostly due to inflation, shelters say  MarketWatch

Seeing Double: Long Island Pets in Pairs Available for Adoption - Long Island Press
Seeing Double: Long Island Pets in Pairs Available for Adoption  Long Island Press

5 Ways to Save on Your Pet's Healthcare - Nasdaq
5 Ways to Save on Your Pet's Healthcare  Nasdaq

Monroe County Animal Control's Pets of the Week - Monroe Evening News
Monroe County Animal Control's Pets of the Week  Monroe Evening News

National Adoption Weekend: Become a new pet parent or add another fur-baby to your family - WJXT News4JAX
National Adoption Weekend: Become a new pet parent or add another fur-baby to your family  WJXT News4JAX

East Bay pets of the week for July 29 - East Bay Times
East Bay pets of the week for July 29  East Bay Times

League of Super-Pets Brings an INCREDIBLY Obscure DC Character to Film - CBR - Comic Book Resources
League of Super-Pets Brings an INCREDIBLY Obscure DC Character to Film  CBR - Comic Book Resources

Free veterinary care for pets of Ukrainian refugees launched across Europe - Humane Society International
Free veterinary care for pets of Ukrainian refugees launched across Europe  Humane Society International

Pets can boost your brain power, study says - CNN
Pets can boost your brain power, study says  CNN

Keep Pets Safe in Hot Weather - American Red Cross
Keep Pets Safe in Hot Weather  American Red Cross

Research on the pet-human bond has boomed in the pandemic. Here's what studies found - CNN
Research on the pet-human bond has boomed in the pandemic. Here's what studies found  CNN

Pet Ownership Statistics: 78% of Pet Owners Acquired Pets During Pandemic – Forbes Advisor - Forbes
Pet Ownership Statistics: 78% of Pet Owners Acquired Pets During Pandemic – Forbes Advisor  Forbes

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