The Caged Dog and the Unhappy Lawyer

So I know this dog. He used to have a fairly free run of the house he lives in. But recently I visited his house and his humans, and he is now confined to the mudroom/laundry room most of the time, except for walks a few times a day.

Dog in small featureless room

The warm, fuzzy parts of you deserve better than banishment to a sterile holding cell.

His sin is that he has started marking furniture, walls, etc. all the time when let loose in the house. I’m not really a dog person, but confining this dog to a 5×7 room for 22 hours a day makes me incredibly sad for the dog. Even if he does have a window, food and water, he doesn’t have that thing that dogs crave: a pack to belong to and cavort with.

Avoiding the Problem

One thing that is really interesting about this confinement solution is how inconvenient it is for the daily lives of the humans. The mudroom is the most direct way out of the house to the cars, but the humans often take a route twice as long to avoid going through the mudroom and dealing with a dog that wants to escape. Rather than confront the problem and try to solve it, the owners disrupt everyone’s lives and say it’s all OK.

Sometimes our blind spots are in how much we are willing to contort ourselves rather than confront the issue. Kind of like how law firms will throw money at attorneys rather than deal with bad behavior Continue reading