Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Words Can Hurt

Toughest. Meanest. Power house. Most intimidating. Got game. Aggressive. Super short and beefy. Heavily muscled. Short, mean stance. Largest melon. Big-headed. Blockhead. Vicious. Guard dog.

Words are a powerful tool. We can use words to create images and ideas in other people's minds. Our words influence others perception of things. Even the truth can be told 100 different ways. How very important it is, then, to create positive images and ideas about dogs. We can wreak havoc with our words, just as quickly as we can forestall disaster. When we encourage the negative (like contests for most intimidating dog, largest head, most muscular), we reap negative.

If it weren't for mankind's own selfish vanity, pride, and desire to be a "winner," the English Bulldog wouldn't be a walking medical bill. The Bassett Hound would still have its legs...and less ears and droopiness. The Bull Terrier wouldn't have a deformed skull. The Pug would have a neck (dedicated to Mary Todd Lincoln).

Loyal. Friendly. Loving. Big smile. Handsome. Cute. Pretty. Beautiful. Cuddly. Companion. Energetic. Playful. Gorgeous eyes. Soft coat. Floppy ears. Family dog. Athletic. Forgiving.

Words are the paintbrush, minds are the canvas. What an opportunity we have to influence others, to let them see how wonderful our dogs are; to inspire them to adopt, foster, or rescue. How great it is to reward positives with praise, photo contests (kids & dogs, dress up, cutest, etc), and other venues.

Sissy dog. Frou frou dog. Lame. Weak. Stupid.

Dogs are living, breathing individuals. I fully believe they have souls, though some may be tortured souls (RIP Otto). They are not accessories. They are not an expression of ones manhood (or womanhood). They are not amusement. Size/stature, color, breed...none of that should matter. No dog is less than another.

Wonderful. Funny. Graceful. Regal. Delightful. Smart.

I know many people treat their dogs as family. (I sure do!) Obviously, everyone's standard of familial love is different or we wouldn't have the national horror known as Toddlers and Tiaras... That aside, take a moment and think about how you describe your dog(s) or other people's dogs. I'm sure you're already doing great.

Keep in mind that every word is a seed. Every seed has the potential to take root and grow into an idea. If we truly want to make a difference for dogs (rescues, fosters, shelters, breeders, etc), then we need to make sure we are planting the right seeds.

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