Among my “guilty” pleasures are the home shows on HGTV and TLC. Since I rent in an apartment in the Fan, maybe the pleasure lies in the fact that anything that requires improvement or repair isn’t my responsibility, so I can sit idly on a Saturday and watch other people’s headaches instead. One of my favorites of these shows is “House Hunters International,” and an episode I saw recently featured a couple’s search for an apartment to buy in Paris. I don’t bring this up because of the three tiny apartments they were shown, or the magnificent views of the city, but it was, of course, their dog that caught my attention.
After the couple decided to purchase an apartment that would be considered almost inconceivably small by American standards, they were shown walking through a Parisian park with their adorably large black lab. What a difference in attitude! I’ve often been surprised by visitors to our center who state, “We’re looking for an inside dog,” after walking past wonderful dogs who are already housetrained and know basic manners. It’s not the personality or training or anything about the dogs’ behavior that have cause them to be passed by, only their size.
It’s not a fenced yard in suburbia that a dog like the adorable 50 lbs. Shelby longs for. An attentive owner who will take her on leashed walks and rub her belly while she lies at his feet would be a much better match. Providing enrichment for a dog of any size is part of giving her a loving home. In Richmond, there are a great number of options to make that one of the most enjoyable things about having a dog. Flyball anyone? How about dog parks? Giving your dog exercise and stimulation isn't just good for him. It’s good for the human too!
Tabitha Hanes is the community relations manager at the Richmond SPCA. To read her complete biography, or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before submitting a comment, please review our guidelines.