I have this habit of breaking bones. I broke my leg in 18 places and partly ripped off my ankle after falling down a collapsed rabbit warren. I ended up in a wheelchair for a while and began studying dog behaviour. Over the years I had been in the armed forces, a musician and worked in sales, but I was never happy. Since working with dogs my wife said I’ve changed completely.
Stan Rawlinson, Dog Behaviourist
Saturday August 25, 2007
The Guardian Weekend
Dogs can feel the stress of owners. The lead is like an aerial and the dog can sense what’s happening through it. Dogs are affected by their owner’s reactions.
I’ve lost my father, my mother and that truly affected me, but I was really affected when I lost a young springer spaniel. Next to my desk I have a little coffin-shaped box with a model of him on it and his ashes inside. We had to put him down at five because of bone cancer. I was devastated. I cancelled everything for a week. Before he died I had him with me 48 hours straight. I’m over William but I still get upset thinking about him.
My dogs are an extension of me. When I watch them work and see the pleasure on their faces I feel a sense of reflected happiness.
Humans hold grudges more than any animal. We allow unhappiness because we can’t be like dogs. You can tell a dog off one minute and the next minute you smile and it wags its tail. If we could give absolute love and loyalty to other humans we’d be happier.