I was in a discount store the other day; of course I was in the dog section checking out the goods for my dogs. Beside me was a woman with a handful of dog stuff, a jacket, a few toys etc. As I rummaged through everything I overheard a discussion that is quite common. First the kids arrived to see what Mom was getting for the dog. Perhaps they had a new dog at home? Not sure, but they for sure had someone that was very special and needing a new coat and some toys. The daughter asked if she could get a few different items for the dog which Mom said "no" on. I had a really cool coat (which unfortunately they didn't have Tilley's size) in my hand when Dad showed up on the scene.
Everything changed in an instant, what had been excitement and fun soon turned into a convincing job. "Why do we have to spoil the dog?" This was all he had to offer. I hate that word "spoil," it has such a negative connotation to it, doesn't it? He repeated it again "why do we have to spoil the dog?" No answer came, Mom and the kids continued their search for a new coat and toys for "the dog."
Spoiled: to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of (someone) by unwise treatment, excessive indulgence, etc
And this is exactly what it means to me; over indulgence. Now that can mean either too much behavior indulgence or indulgence in the form of treats. Either way the result is not good, spoiled is not a good thing. Most times when I hear the word "spoiled" when referring to a dog it means "much loved." Most dogs who are taken care of, loved, and have a great family are often called spoiled? Is a dog who has a comfortable place to lay, two healthy meals a day and a loving family spoiled? Not in my books, they are cared for properly.
Many people throw the word "spoiled" around loosely. But if you asked them what they really mean by their label of a spoiled dog it would probably not be a negative. I have met spoiled dogs; those who have been unruly, untrained and badly mannered brought on simply by being overindulged by their guardians. But when I see a dog wrapped in a blanket on a cold night, sleeping on top of a comfy bed or wearing a new coat to keep them warm, "spoiled" never comes to mind. A dog that has an amazing nutritional diet, healthy snacks and clean water I never think "what a spoiled dog." On the contrary, I think "what a great canine guardian."
For me "spoiled" means getting things that you don't deserve. Don't all of our dogs deserve to be taken care of to the best of our ability? I think so. Let's trash this out dated "spoiled" word.