I cannot tell you how many times that I’ve heard the phrase “I’ve tried EVERYTHING” when someone is expressing frustration with their pet and are at their wit’s end. It usually preceeds a statement declaring some horrible “last resort” tactic, like declawing, relegating the poor beast to the outdoors, or euthanasia.
My response? “I bet I know a few more “everythings” than you do.”
I’ve done a lot of research over the years and have picked up a lot to include in my bag of tricks.. Do I know it all? Of course not. I couldn’t possibly. But I do have a few outlets and resources.
My biggest frustration is the amount of “old school” information that people still feel is valid. Things like:
- Rub his nose in it
- If your dog pulls, hang him up on the leash
- Flick your cat on the nose when she does something you don’t like
- Punish the cat for scratching
- (one of my personal favorites, currently making a return) Alpha Rolls are the only way to teach submission
- A guilty look means your dog KNOWS they did something wrong.
- Use a stern voice when you call your dog to you so they know you mean “business”
- If you get pregnant, get rid of your cat. They will give you toxoplasmosis
I was really frustrated the other day at work (you know, that thing that pays the bills?). I was having a lovely conversation with a co-worker at my desk when another person interupts and tells my co-worker that she has made the appointment to have her cat declawed because she is “tired of cracking his ass everytime he claws the furniture”.
I told her to NOT have this conversation at my desk. She ignored me and went on.. I’ll spare you the details. So I asked her once more to please not have this converstation here and she didn’t budge.
So I asked “Do you KNOW what declawing is?” and she said “I don’t want to know. We’ve tried EVERYTHING”.
First of all, I’m ticked that she hasn’t moved off. Secondly, how can you have a procedure done to your cat without knowing what it is? So, I told her..
And she turned pale.
And said “I’m still doing it. I have to save my furniture”. (Now, I have furniture that is comfortable for my furries.. I don’t understand this but I know that people do it)
I piped back “Have you really tried everything? Have you tried behavior modification? Have you tried Adversives? Have you tried retraining him? Have you tried Feliway? Have you tried soft caps for the nails?” (By the way, this cat is 6 months old and the furniture is new to the house)
She just looked at me like I spoke another language (she’d obviously never heard of any of these) and said “I don’t appreciated your tone. I am an animal lover and I think it’s better for him to be declawed than to be punished on a daily basis”
Ugh… ugh ugh ugh! Well, if she didn’t like my tone, she should have left when I asked her to.
If you find yourself frustrated, please seek advice.. google is your friend… heck, Ask Me! I’ll send you to resources that you may not have heard of yet.