Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine


Picture by Cate Hamilton

From our guest contributor, Dominic Wightman, editor, Country Squire magazine.

I‘m a Malinois. Among dogs, my skills surpass many; I excel in various disciplines and thrive on constant activity. However, in today’s world, I find myself being asked to laze on the couch all day, every day.

I am an Akita Inu. My ancestors were bred for bear fighting. Yet, in contemporary times, I’m expected to display tolerance, and I’m reprimanded for reacting defensively when approached by others.

I am a Beagle. Historically, I vocalized while tracking prey to aid hunters. Nowadays, an electric collar is used to silence me, preventing me from running freely, and compelling me to return obediently to my owners at the flick of a switch.

I am a Yorkshire Terrier. Once a fearless rat hunter in English mines, today, I’m often coddled as if incapable of using my own legs, frequently cradled in human arms.

I am a Labrador Retriever. My joy lies in retrieving game from ponds for my master. Yet, I’m often forgotten to be a dog who loves to walk, run, and swim. Consequently, I become overweight, confined indoors, and relegated to babysitting duties.

I am a Jack Russell. I have the spirit to confront foxes, fierce badgers, and rats larger than myself. Nevertheless, my spirited nature is often chastised, and I’m coerced into becoming a subdued household pet.

I am a Siberian Husky. Once accustomed to vast open spaces in Northern Europe, where I pulled sleds across great distances at remarkable speeds. Nowadays, I’m confined within the walls of a house or a small garden, resorting to digging holes to release pent-up energy and frustration in a bid to maintain my sanity.

I am a Border Collie. Bred to work tirelessly alongside my master, I possess unmatched skills in herding. Yet, I’m met with disdain when I redirect my instincts towards checking bikes, cars, and even children in the absence of sheep.

I am a 21st-century dog. Though I may appear cute, alert, and obedient, I am also an individual shaped by centuries of breeding, with instincts that demand expression. I am ill-suited for a sedentary lifestyle.

Being left alone for eight hours a day in a house or garden, devoid of work or companionship, with only brief interactions upon your return, and limited toilet breaks, will leave me profoundly unhappy.

My dissatisfaction may manifest as incessant barking, turning your yard into a minefield, indoor accidents, unruly behaviour outdoors, and at times, a deep-seated melancholy.

While you may believe that providing comfort while you’re away at work suffices, I’ll be drained and frustrated because this is not what I’m meant for, nor what I require.

If you genuinely care for me, if you’ve longed for me as a companion, but cannot offer me a fulfilling dog’s life aligned with my breed’s needs, nor provide the job my genes demand, then refrain from purchasing or adopting me.

If you’re drawn to my appearance but unwilling to accept my inherent temperament, abilities, and characteristics honed through generations of selective breeding, and if you believe you can change them solely through goodwill, then do not acquire me.

I am a dog of the 21st century, yet within me, the spirit of a fighter, a hunter, a sled-puller, and a herder still resides.

Therefore, carefully contemplate before choosing me as your companion. Consider adopting two dogs instead of one, to alleviate my profound loneliness during your long absences. While eight or ten hours may be a typical workday for you, for me, it’s an eternity spent waiting alone.



One Response

  1. This is the best! Too bad it isn’t promoted by ALL BREEDERS with stringent requirements to potential pet guardians.

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