Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's Ezzo Week At TulipGirl.com

I realize I am jumping on the bandwagon here, but I cannot miss a chance to say a heartfelt word or two about Gary Ezzo. In the wide world of parenting literature, this man definitely stands out. Read about my past, semi-personal experiences with Ezzo's parenting techniques in this post.

As my humble contribution to the Ezzo week over at TulipGirl's, I'd like to make a confession. My thoughts after my first, second, etc. encounters with Babywise and other related books used to be, What a load of hooey! However, in the last few months, I have been actively rethinking my position on this issue. I am starting to think that Ezzo's techniques, actually, do make a lot of sense. You just need to apply them correctly and in correct circumstances.

I am referring, of course, to my dog Sparky. Ever since we got him, Sparky has been sleeping in his own little cage and no amount of whining and rattling will get him out of it until morning. Under no circumstances will we ever share our beds with Sparky! He has a very strict feeding schedule and is expected to eat anything he's given, and not beg for more (yeah, riiight!) He understands the words "NO!" and "BAD DOG!" and would do anything to avoid them being said. He is most definitely NOT allowed to explore, especially in the master bedroom, my office, dresser drawers, and, last but not least, the garbage containers! He has cage time, outdoor time, walk time and room time, and happily adheres to the schedule. Heck, he even poops at scheduled times! He is a very well-behaved little doggy who respects his owners. I am embarrassed to admit, the Babywise technique actually works very well! On dogs, that is.

I confess, though, that I still have not fully embraced Ezzo's techniques. I don't spank my dog. Embarrassing but true.

There are, however, valid reasons why Ezzo's teachings apply so well to a dog.

A dog has a pack mentality. He's not comfortable until he knows who's the leader in the family, and where his own place is. He is perfectly content to know that he is at the bottom of the pack, as long as it is an established hierarchy. He is perfectly happy to remain at the bottom of the pack for the entire duration of his life.

A dog is not expected to go to school, or college. He may learn to sit, shake, and roll over, but he's not really expected to do any extensive amount of learning. His job is to follow, not to think for himself.

A dog is not expected to live on his own, or make his own decisions for himself. He is not expected to start a family, be a good spouse, raise his children and pass his values on to them.

A dog is not expected to hold a job, earn money, and contribute to the society.

Finally, no one expects a dog to become a scientist or a writer, to invent a cure for cancer or inspire people with his creative work.

Bottom line, all his life, a dog follows the leader, obeys commands, and has all decisions made for him by somebody else. That's what a dog's life is all about. That is why a dog will thrive on Ezzo's techniques.

A human, on the other hand, will not.

The Goldie has spoken at 12:35 PM

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