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You might remember last fall when I asked if anyone in The Dog Files Community would be interested in writing their opinions in a monthly column for us? Well, I am very proud and pleased to bring you our very first, Dog Files Viewpoint.
First up, we have KatyBeth Jensen of Chicago, Illinois whose column will center around running a “pet spoiler” business in Middle America.
The Perfect Pup
By KatyBeth Jensen For The Dog Files
Being a professional pet spoiler and president of Camp Run-A-Pup, I have learned one thing for certain: your pups are perfect.
Someday, an owner will show up at my door and say, â€œKatybeth, our dog is spoiled rotten, we allow him on the furniture, feed him from the table, he only minds when he wants to, he might mark your furniture or steal food off your counter, and his barking might drive you crazy.â€ The truth is, we donâ€™t mind a bit. We hope you wonâ€™t either, because we think he is perfect just the way he is. We can then both hug and agree from the get-go, this pup is perfect. However, it usually goes more like this â€¦
Perfect Pup and his owners arrive at camp to check in. He sits next to his owner who holds his leash with a death grip. I am told this pup would NEVER: jump on people, poop, lift his leg, or pee in the house, counter-surf, beg at the table, or put so much as a paw on the furniture. Barking would only occur if our home or property is approached by someone both dangerous and armed. I smile and nod at the proper places, being somewhat familiar with this story, and look down to meet Perfect Pup eye to eye. He knows I know.
Before the owner leaves, we mutually agree that â€œother peopleâ€ own the unruly dogs. His dog is, without a single doubt, perfect. The leash transfers hands, and the pup immediately jumps on me and the owner without missing a tail wag. We ignore the jumping, spinning and leaping on the other end of the leash and bid each other a speedy goodbye. Perfect Pup and I move inside the house.
With few exceptions, Perfect Pup will immediately put his feet up on my counter to do a little shopping. What? No bagel? No half-sandwich or carefully buttered piece of toast? The pup looks at me astonished, and knows I know. I explain, â€œWe are not a self-serve establishment.â€
Just like a kid checking into a hotel, Perfect pup then wants to explore. Finding our establishment to be suitable, he will decide to give us his mark of approval. I watch and I wait. He goes to lift his leg and I offer a sharp, â€œNo.â€ Surprised, he glances over at me, and knows I know. Foiled yet again, he resigns himself to leaving his mark on a deer antler by gnawing it vigorously and with joy.
When the family gathers for dinner, Perfect Pupâ€™s ears perk up and he watches intently. Who is the weakest link at this table? Choosing the human boy-child first, he is deeply disappointed. Discovering the boy has been trained from birth to keep his eyes on his fries, watching his plate carefully, he easily ignores Perfect Pupâ€™s pleading eyes, drooling and circling like a shark. With persistence, Perfect Pup moves on to me and is greeted with a, â€œHey buddy, you were sitting right there when your person said you never beg.â€ With persistence, he wonders could the soft touch be the dad at this table? Perfect Pup knows itâ€™s almost never the dad, but maybe, just this one time â€¦ and begins to nose his way in that direction. He plays it well: keeps his distance, eyes slightly downward, ears slightly pitched, and just the right amount of pack respect. Bingo! The dad rewards his perseverance with a tasty morsel from his plate. The pup glances at me shyly and I look back. He knows I know.
That evening, Perfect Pup, who would never dream of getting on the furniture at home, does not hesitate before taking his deer antler and heading for the big comfy chair where he makes himself comfortable for the rest of the evening. Leaving his comfy spot only to bark loudly at the human boy entering the room wielding an iPod, Perfect Pup looks at me … and he knows I know.
The days progress and soon itâ€™s time for Perfect Pup to check out of camp. The owner arrives. Perfect Pup wags happily, leaps to greet and meet his owner with gay abandonment, and the greeting is returned with equal enthusiasm. The owner looks at me a little sheepishly and smiles. He knows I know. Perfect Pup runs to me for one final pat, and I smile, telling the owner, â€œItâ€™s true. Your pup is perfect.â€
Pats for your Pups,
Katybeth is a professional pet spoiler, living in the Chicagoland area, running her own business, Camp-Run-A-Pup. Camp Run-A-Pup spoils other peopleâ€™s pups, and they do it really well. Katybeth lives with and loves three dogs of her own, Rascal, a Parsonâ€™s Terrier (AKC recognizers her as a Parsonâ€™s; you might recognize her as a Jack Russell), Skippy, a Schipperke with a personality disorder, and Scooby, a beagle that might belong to a neighbor. Katybeth’s newest family star is Soquel’s Last Souvenire, or as they like to call her, Trinket, a show-stopping Doberman pup. Katybeth co-owns Trinket with her mom because she likes being on the winning side of the dog show arena and wanted the rights to tell the real unabridged stories of the oddities of dog showing. the movie Dog Show did not even come close to telling. Katybeth also enjoys writing her blog — My Odd Family. Dogs, dog people, dog shows and owning a dog business combined with hearth, home and family never leaves her at a loss for material to write about.