Thursday, April 17, 2008
I don't know why most people don't understand that behavior problems are the cause of the death of more dogs than any one health problem. Think about it. The dog misbehaves, they take it to the shelter. The dog isn't housetrained, they take it to the shelter. And the shelter will usually only hold the dog for a few days, except for the no-kill shelters and even then, no-kill shelters have situations where a dog must be put down.
Most problems are fixable if people take the time. In fact, they wouldn't have the problem at all if they'd taken the time to train properly (and I do mean positively) in the first place. We know that aggression begets aggression and that's a topic for another blog entry!
Some behavior problems are genetic. Why do dogs do what they do? How much is the owner's fault, how much is genetic and how much is a combination of nature and nurture?
After my mother died, I wanted to do something meaningful to honor her and to keep her name alive. I went to the American Kennel Club's Canine Health Foundation (www.akcchf.org) and started The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies. Everything that AKC/CHF does ultimately benefits people so please don't scream at me about only caring about animals. That's not true. This is a win/win. My mother was my best friend and I became her sole caregiver. It was from my mother that I learned about unconditional love.
Part of my royalties from the sale of my new behavior book, "Rover, Get Off Her Leg!" will go to the fund. The book is available online and anywhere books are sold.
I also use the behavior fund to give gifts for weddings, anniversaries and to honor other special occasions. There is a form at akcchf.org that allows the donor to designate where they want the money to go and all they have to do is remember Behavior Fund if they don't want to write out the entire name. Or just mail them a note and put the behavior fund in the note line at the bottom of your check. It's such an easy thing to do.
If everyone who loves dogs gave a dollar or two for behavior studies, imagine what could be accomplished for dogs and their people.....