We feel pretty confident that many people would say that Ray is spoiled.
We certainly take care of him as best we can and include him in our lives. We take him to stores and other businesses that are dog friendly. We take him to visit his human friends at the Humane Society quite regularly. We give him his fair share of attention, ear strokes and tummy rubs and, even in inclement weather, we make sure that he gets out in order to at least exercise his nose! In good weather we take him for long trail walks in our conservation areas. We even allow him onto the sofa with us, as long as we are not eating.
We really don’t see all that as spoiling, but rather as simply taking care of him, and acknowledging the fact that even dogs have needs which should be respected if an all-round harmonious relationship is desired!
We did have a situation a long time ago when Ray would position himself in the most inconvenient locations (i.e. up against the refrigerator door), and a trainer at our Humane Society suggested we simply teach him “Excuse me please” (with an arm wave) which would dictate that he moved. We followed it with “Thank you”, after he had moved, just out of courtesy. It all worked very well and is still necessary on a regular basis.
This morning I made Carol and I some tea and, after letting mine “brew” for a short while, I removed the tea bag and was going to open a cupboard under our sink so that the tea bag could go into the recycle bin… but Ray was laying there against the cupboard door! Oh well… I’ll just put it on the edge of the sink and take care of it later.
Not long after that, Carol removed the tea bag from her cup and was going to drop it into the recycle bin, but saw Ray and put her tea bag next to mine.
Then the conversation started about whether Ray is spoiled. We had the perfect instruction to get him to move, but chose not to disturb him. From my perspective, it was a question of priorities. Did the immediate disposal of a tea bag into a recycle bin (a function which could always be done later) carry a higher or lower priority than disturbing Ray when he was clearly very settled? My answer was that Ray was more important than the tea bag, but then one has to ask the question “Is Ray spoiled?”