The Frustration of Animal Advocates

The Frustration of Animal Advocates

Every so often (probably more than I should be, because I’m trying to defend my honor) I engage in heated conversation with someone who claims what I do is abusive and cruel.

Anyone who knows me would be floored at such an accusation. And I’m grateful for that support, as I live every day bending over backwards for my animals, developing issues like severe neck stress pain when one is faced with an issue I can’t remedy, and feeling horribly guilty to almost tears when I accidentally drop something on my service dog in the grocery store.

Yes, I have been on my knees in the soda aisle, apologizing profusely as my dog licks my face because I dropped a liter bottle on him by accident.

Unfortunately however, when you work with horses (who seem to get a lot of flack) or any animal, you are setting yourself up for the advocates who come racing in with what I personally think is little knowledge, all emotion. They claim you’re abusive, you’re hurting your animals by making them work, you are subjecting them to slavery and entertainment when they should be free to run and sing.

What I know however, is a life “free to run and sing” is the same as a life for a human “free” in front of the TV nonstop - nothing but a set up for depression, OCD, bad habits, and obesity. That's why I work my horses, that's why I work my dog, and that's why I do so much to encourage enrichment for all types of animals. Don't get me wrong, play is important too - but all play isn't practical for anyone.

To each their own. I probably will ruffle a few feathers even writing this. But all I can do is keep on loving my animals fiercely and doing what I have studied hard to do. If you're facing similar issues, trust your gut, trust those who trained you, and listen to what makes your animals happy.

Live with love.

xo, A & P

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