Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 22, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 22, 2014





Looking For A Best Friend to share the 
Thanksgiving holidays with???? So is Jake! He 
is a shepherd mix, about 6 years old, weighing 
56 pounds. He has a beautiful short reddish tan 
coat with white highlights, and is a handsome 
boy. Jake is a little timid when meeting new 
people, but once he warms up, he shows his 
loving personality, and can be very affectionate. 
He enjoys getting pets, but he is not demanding 
for attention.

Jake loves to go for a walk and is very easy to 
handle on leash. He is quite contented to take 
a break and sit in the park under a tree with 
his companion. Jake has been chosen to go to 
several adoption events because he is so polite 
and well-behaved in public. He has a calm, easy-
going personality and is a pleasure to be around.

Jake needs a forever home with a family who can 
give him the love and security he deserves. In 
return, he will be your loyal companion and will 
happily share your life. He is patiently waiting 
for the right family to come in and recognize 
what a special dog he is. Please come in to meet 
Jake who will happily sit for a treat!

He currently resides at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand Avenue 
in San Gabriel. We are located off San Gabriel 
Blvd., north of Mission and south of Las Tunas. 
To arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Jake, please 
stop by any time from 10:00am to 4:30pm 
Tuesday thru Sunday. 

His adoption fee is $135 which includes his neuter 
surgery, a microchip, first vaccinations and a free 
wellness check-up at a participating veterinarian. 
He is eligible for the shelter’s ‘Senior For Senior’ 
reduced-fee adoption program. Feel free to call 
us at (626) 286-1159 for more information on this 
happy guy. 

 See our website at for 
information and photos of all our wonderful 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

I recently resumed my on-going pursuit of learning 
new techniques for proper dog-handling, by reading 
books and articles and viewing tutorials online as well 
as related television programs that might enhance my 
skills. I go through phases of learning, followed by 
the purposeful application of what I’ve learned while 
spending time with my four-legged friends. I think this 
system works because I believe a little knowledge goes 
a long way when it comes to the humans’ intentional 
influence on the dog.

 We two-legged, upright walkers have a tendency to 
think we know more than our pets know, therefore 
we need to teach them how to think the way we do. 
I personally tend to maintain the mind set that I am 
the one learning from them, more often than the other 
way around. There are important lessons to be learned 
on both our parts, but I am very aware of my own 
need to look, listen and anticipate the interesting and 
enlightening messages the dog has to offer.

 I realize that dogs benefit from the structure and 
consistent patterns we humans set forth for them, and 
I know that basic behavioral training is an important 
aspect of helping a puppy mature more happily. But I 
also think there is a sensitive, and extremely important 
balance we should endeavor to achieve in the 
relationships we have with our canine companions. 
So, if the purpose of the dog is just 
to be a pet, versus one being trained 
for a position of service, I think it 
is important that we humans give 
them mutual respect and let them 
be themselves. There’s a reason why 
we call them our best friends, and 
to miss out on what a dog is capable 
of teaching us would be a travesty of 

 One challenge most trainers 
address in their programs is the 
basic concept of leash-training a dog. 
Of course, every pet owner wants to 
be able to take their dog out in public 
without the stress of excess pulling 
or over-excitement when another 
dog passes by, and fortunately there 
are some very simple, basic tips available to help in 
training a dog to walk obediently on-leash.

 But, what about when it comes to allowing a dog to 
take their time and sniff around in a leisurely fashion, 
during a walk? Should that be allowed? Or, does it 
mean you are being a lazy owner by letting the dog 
take charge of the time you are spending together? 
There are various schools of thought regarding this 
issue, from far right to far left, and for some trainers 
the bottom-line question is; “Who’s walking who?” 
I guess my question is; “How important is it for the 
human to control every moment of the dog’s attention 
during a walk around the block?”

 I vacillated from one side of the fence to the other 
regarding this specific dog-handling technique for 
quite some time, but I now know for sure where I stand. 
My personal take on allowing the dog to stop and have 
a sniff break now and then during a walk is based on 
what I’ve learned about the physical characteristics 
of the canine’s olfactory system, along with what I 
understand about the dog’s way of thinking. First and 
foremost, I accept that a dog does, indeed, think, and 
that his thoughts do matter.

 I won’t go into the specific ‘rules of the road’ I have 
heard told by the many trainers I‘ve come across over 
the years, because it is such a wide variety of opinion 
to consider, and because I am not a professional 
trainer, myself. I am just a person who spends a lot of 
time around different dogs on a daily basis, and I’ve 
come to realize that each one is an individual, just as 
my human friends are. I don’t assume any particular 
behavioral response from one human that I might 
expect to get from another, and the same goes for my 
canine friends. However, there are a few predictable 
traits I can definitely anticipate from every dog I know, 
not the least of which is the need for a sniff break 
during a walk.

 The dogs’ way of “reading” or “seeing” the world 
definitely applies to whether or not random sniff 
breaks should be allowed on leash, and you can be sure 
that any healthy dog is going to want you to let him 
enjoy those precious moments. Why? Because their 
noses work over time, and they are viewing the world 
through their nostrils much in the way we are viewing 
the world through our eyes. How would you feel if you 
were forced to wear a blind-fold every time you were 
out for a walk? I imagine it would be very frustrating, 
and that is how I imagine a dog feels when he is not 
allowed to use his nose to sniff or “view” the world 
when he is out and about.

 Inasmuch as we humans want to believe dogs 
think and experience the world the way we do, that 
philosophy could not be further from the truth. In 
her book, Inside of a Dog (Simon & Schuster, 2009), 
Alexandra Horowitz shares her wealth of knowledge 
about why dogs do what they do, and what they are 
most likely thinking when they do it. In one chapter 
she makes the point that humans place an immense 
amount of value on inanimate objects, whereas dogs 
don’t give them a second thought. They don’t assign 
meaning to, say a chair or a couch unless we’ve 
been sitting there, leaving multiple molecules of 
our personal scent for them to investigate with their 
overactive olfactory’s when we walk away. Then, and 
only then does that sitting spot become of paramount 
importance to the dog.

 The same goes for a tree or flower you may come 
across during a walk with your dog. Regardless of 
what comes to your mind, I assure you that the dog 
won‘t be thinking, “What a beautiful tree or flower.” 
He will only choose to pay attention to that object if 
there happened to have been a previous visitor of 
(typically) the furry four-legged type who passed by 
and sprinkled a urinary “calling card” on that spot for 
the next passing pet to take a whiff of. Then, and only 
then is when the tree or flower becomes an object of 
interest to the dog.

 So, my dear dog-loving friends, are you getting 
the picture? If you will let yourself think the way the 
dog thinks while you are out for a walk together, you 
will likely want to allow him to take that occasional 
momentary sniff break, just so he can enjoy the great 
outdoors with his nose, the way you are enjoying it 
with your eyes. If you can forego being the alpha, at 
least for this purpose alone, I can almost guarantee 
your pet will be a much happier pup!

 There’s a lot more to know about the dog’s way of 
enjoying life, but I hope I’ve touched on the basic 
premise of sniffing clearly enough to inspire you to 
pay attention to your dog and learn more about why 
he behaves the way he does, so he can live a fuller, 
happier life. After all, isn’t that the whole reason we 
have pets? To give them a good life? Get out with 
your animals often and enjoy the wonders of nature 
together. Try not to focus on constantly being the 
boss of your dog, rather work toward achieving a 
respectful balanced friendship between the two of 
you. And, as always, love and let live! 

DogWalking & Sitting ServicesSierraMadre, Californiawww.canyoncanine.comchris@canyoncanine.comChris LeclercCanyonCanine626-355-8333 626-533-9536CCConCaCanyonCanineCanineeeieCCChris LeclercChris Leclercae,, CaliforCaalking&SonDogWWalking & Sitting ServicesonCa626-355-8333 62onCayeclercinnia6-533-95362eclerccanine.comanine.comani,CaliforirnanineSittingServiceseaninee
The good news 
$24 Cat 
adoption fees!! 
We are happy to report from Meow Manor -that as a 
result of our 90thAnniversary $24 cat adoption fee 
celebration, 56happy cats found their forever homes!!
For those adopters who missed out and those cats eager 
to participate—the good news continues!!
Until the end of November, the adoption fee for all cats will 
be $24.If a cat is in your future, take advantage of this 
wonderful opportunity to make it happen.There is plenty 
of time to welcome a feline into your family for the 
Call the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society at 626-286-
1159or go to our website: