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Up The Pets
Column

Re-Up the Pets!

Y'all wanna talk doggos?

Greetings and hello!.. again. You may remember earlier this year when I showed you a bunch of pictures of my pup, Midas, and teased the idea of introducing a column dedicated to one of my favorite things in the whole wide world: other people’s pets.

Then, for a long time nothing happened; there are a lot of reasons for that. If there’s one thing that will keep me from getting almost anything creative done, it’s the prospect of sharing it with others. Even worse, having fun. *shudder*  It also didn’t help that what I had originally perceived to be a good move career-wise ended up being the third time since 2016 that irreconcilable differences lead to my departure. Several months ago was the first time it wasn’t up to me and that felt weird.

A pretty big rift had opened up between me and the owner of the dog training business after I put up a poster at work seeing if anyone would be interested in starting a dog book club. She, for some reason, responded with a copy of the non-compete clause I signed when I was hired. That wasn’t exactly the reaction I was hoping for. Seeing how things never really got better from there, it was only a matter of time before one of us pulled the trigger.

Motivated by a healthy combination of spite and still thinking that learning more about dogs is something everyone can benefit from, I have a new idea for a direction to take Up the Pets. Don’t worry. I still want to to showcase everyone’s pets. I’m hoping this project will get me out of my funk and back into the groove. I aspire to work with people improving their relationship with their dogs. But, getting started has proven to be an overly stressful and woefully under-paid process. There is plenty that I still don’t know. However, one thing I am well aware of is that I love learning about dogs and what they’ve recently been teaching us. Science rules and adding dogs is only natural.

Now that I’m unemployed, there’s no longer any rule against asking if anyone wants to learn about dogs with me. This is where y’all come in. There is a lot to learn about puppers and it can be overwhelming at times to pick a direction. I need you to tell me what you want to know about our fluffy friends so that I can spend a bunch of time looking it up and then writing about it. Like, did you know that dogs and people have similar REM patterns and that they are dreaming when they twitch and whimper? Or, how about the fact that Kublai Khan somehow had 5,000 mastiffs? I’ve got books full of shit like that and I want to share it all with you.

The only thing I ask is that you refrain from asking anything in regards to specific training of your pet. I’m not a trainer and don’t feel comfortable giving advice I’m not qualified to dish out. To be fair, there is no real certification and literally anyone can tell you anything and call themselves a dog trainer. I’m not super into that approach. It’s been one of my biggest obstacles breaking into the field.

Being over 30, what I’m about to say goes against everything I stand for, but I want to hear from you! Let’s talk about all the cool shit we can learn from dogs and maybe we can use that knowledge to be better at our own pups. It drives me up the wall how much bad information there is when it comes to dogs. I think for all of our sake, it’s worth it to work smarter. So, let’s help each other out.

Let’s up the pets! *bark*

Mat Stokes loves dogs and invites you to talk about all things pets.

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