Sometimes, l see owners who like to tell me the “abused past” of their dogs, or how they think their dogs were abused. In doing so, they become emotional, and they feel good about what they have done. They also may give their dogs lots of excuses for inappropriate behaviours. “She was abused” “she wasn’t socialized” “ she might have been used in dog fights” “ she was used in breeding” ... They may also tell me their dogs are grateful to them because they have saved the dog from being abused. I get it. I understand what they are trying to tell me. It is human nature. I have probably dealt with and owned more “abused” dogs than most dog owners. But l don’t think about them that way. I also don’t think of myself as a saviour. And l don’t ever think the dog is grateful to me. It makes no sense to the dog to be treated like that- even though it may make lots of sense to the human and it may make the human feel really good. The dog may or may not have been abused. But...who cares? The fact that it keeps being mentioned again and again is keeping the dog from moving forward. And it is messing up the dog, and the owner. It is like a guy you just met who keeps talking about how his girlfriend cheated on him, and it is all he talks about, every single time, on every single date. Is that going to do anything positive for him or your relationship with him (if you do still want to see him that is?) Is it going to help someone to move on if they keep dwelling on how they have been a victim? If the dog is really so grateful that she has a great life now, why is she so fearful, anxious, nervous...? Is her life so great when she cannot even go out for a normal walk like normal dogs can do? Is that something she should be grateful for? Is this a high quality life for a dog when she is imprisoned in a very tiny circle without any leadership and cannot meet any dog or people in the outside world without an explosion? Is this what she is supposed to be so grateful for? Often, we express so much “love” to a dog because it makes us feel good. We baby talk to a dog because it makes us feel good. We hug a dog because it makes us feel good.... But if the end result of our action is that the dog is not feeling good about these things that we are doing, aren’t we being selfish if we keep doing them anyway? A dog, abused or not, is not a fur baby and is not a poor soul. A dog does not exist to make us feel good. She has her own needs. She has her own feelings. She lives in the moment and she wants to move on. She deserves to move on and not be imprisoned anymore. She wants to live a life where she can feel safe and not having to freak out over every little thing. It is our job to provide that for our dogs - who cares if she was abused or not? I only care about what life she will lead from now on. We are here to support our dogs. Not the other way around. Don’t use your dog to feed your emotion needs. Stop all the fur baby and abused dog thinking. Don’t look at yourself as a saviour and don’t look at your dog as a victim. Give your dog what she really needs. Don’t imprison your dog in this “abused” past. Don’t imprison your dog in this world you have created. You dog does not want to live there. Your dog deserves to move forward. Thank you.