Pet Hitting

So, I was walking today and ran into a man and his dog outside their place.  The dog came over and barked a couple of times and looked like he wanted me to pet him.  However, I didn't think that was a good idea for some reason and I kept on walking after exchanging pleasantries with the gentleman. 

He called the dog back to him and hit him soundly on the lower back while saying sternly, "You will mind me!" 

It reminded me of the time when I was just starting college and I witnessed a woman at a beach who called her dog to her, then kicked and hit him a couple of times before he got away.  This set her off screaming at him, "X Come!"  (I forgot his name) over and over.  I yelled over to her, "I wouldn't come either if I were him." 

She said, "What did you say?"  I repeated my statement and she started walking briskly toward me.  I realized too late that I didn't want any sort of interaction with her and so I ran away... I used to be pretty fast.  She refocused her attention on the dog who refused for good reason to approach his owner.  What I should have done was call the police as that was obviously animal cruelty.  The lady was out of control. 

Now what about one sound swat????

I'm convinced that there are other ways of teaching both animals and people that don't involve whacking them.  As a member of the civilized society that I would strive to be a part of, it is my responsibility to learn other ways of relating to others.  As a parent I want to draw my kids to me, not repel them from me. 

Oooo... this also reminds me of when a family member of mine soundly beat a hunting dog with a boot because the dog chewed one of each of around 5 sets of boots.  I remember that the point the person was trying to make was to teach the puppy not to ever chew a boot again.  I remember thinking that it wasn't the puppies fault that he chewed the boots... the little guy was just teething and the owner should have put up what he didn't want the dog to chew... as well of perhaps given the dog something acceptable to chew upon.  I think the owner in this case was just sick that s/he didn't think to put the boots beyond the puppy's reach and flipped his/her lid in frustration... so s/he wasn't thinking clearly. 

I also don't think this person had made a conscious commitment to living non abusively.  So therefore, s/he did his/her best with the resources/knowledge that s/he had at the time... minus brains because literally people flip their lids when they get mad and without the assistance of their prefrontal cortexes, they become incapable of acting in a civilized manner.  So that is why we all need to talk ourselves down instead of freaking ourselves out when in challenging situations--no matter what happens.  Using positive self talk messages that focus attention upon solutions rather than punishing everyone (including ourselves) literally keeps the prefrontal cortex engaged and therefore, options are available, consequences are pondered, empathy and compassion exist, and intelligent choices are made. 

For my life... I'm committed to not whacking anyone... I'm also studying Aikido currently which is a martial art focused upon preventing harm to both myself and others.  Very cool... you could check it out!

My Best,


Published: Oct 10, 2010 by Jodi Harvey (Santa Cruz, CA)


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