Sam: Oh moooom. I’m calling an editor’s meeting to discuss equity and fairness.
Mom: Umm, what part of “I’m the boss of the Ranch hands” do you not understand? I’m the one who calls these meetings.
Sam: Umm, we both know who runs this show but if you want to think it’s you, fine by me. Whatever gets you through the night, but I wouldn’t mention that to Elsa though.
Elsa: What…did someone call me?
Sam: I’m calling an editor’s meeting to discuss the issue of equitable treatment around here, or inequitable as the case may be.
Elsa: Wait, what…there’s some sort of inequality going on? As the one calling the shots around her, I want to get to the bottom of this. Yes, let’s have a meeting!
Sam: See, what’d I tell you?
Mom: There is no inequity around here. Sam was just trying to be clever.
Elsa: Clever, schmlever. Ok, bro…I’ll bite. What are you talking about?
Sam: I think mom may actually be giving you more treats than me on our walks so I’m registering a complaint.
Mom: You know I give positive reinforcement to Elsa so she doesn’t go nuts when we encounter another dog on our walks. And yes, I give her a treat to help her focus on me rather than going all Cujo on some neighborhood dog.
Sam: See I knew it! How come I don’t get one, huh?
Elsa: Look Knucklehead, I’m making up for lost time learning how to be a dog after all those years in the puppy mill prison. Those treats remind me that I’m loved and well taken care of and help me bond with my mom. They’re building my confidence.
Sam: “Our mom,” but I digress. [Displaying pitiful look on face] I just want to know why you get a treat and I don’t.
Elsa: Well, I’m the one doing all the learning here. You’re just along for the ride. I didn’t realize wingmen needed treats.
Mom: Now, now…the treats are rewards and positive reinforcement. When you’re good, you get a reward.
Sam: Yeah, but…
Elsa: Oh put a sock on it, dude. I’m the star here. And I’m learning as quick as I can. It ain’t easy when you’ve never had exposure to dogs and people and strollers and…SQUIRRELS!!!
Mom: I don’t think we’re resolving anything thing. Maybe we should check in with Blogville and see what they have to say about this issue.
Sam: Oh you mean let all my fans decided this. Hell, yeah!
Elsa… Let’s hold on to our top knots here, kids. As the resident Ranch baby and aggrieved puppy mill survivor, I think I should be getting treats all the time. For just being me.
Mom: Treats are given with good performance, Elsa. When you act appropriately and calmly, you are rewarded. We’re trying to teach you that life can be good and is not always a DEFCON 5 alert. It’s possible that you can walk nicely without going off the reservation whenever you see another dog out for a walk.
Elsa: I can…with the right treat.
Sam: See, I’m doomed here.
As a parent, you wouldn’t show favoritism with your 2-legged children, but what are the rules regarding the 4-legged ones? Are the rules the same? Is it possible that dogs know the difference, especially the more ‘simple-minded’ ones?
Has Sam suddenly learned to count and is now calculating that Elsa is receiving more treats that he is? Should he be afforded the same number/same high value treats? He looks at me like I’m some sort of cretin with such a pitiful expression as to induce guilt. I swear that dog must have been a travel agent in a previous life since he is so successful at sending me on those guilt trips.
So where do you fall on this issue? Am I being a monster if I don’t treat him? Remember we’re dealing with a very simple mind and yet, I feel like maybe there’s some merit with his case. Do dogs understand the notion of equality?
Live, love, bark! 🐾