The yearly torture has once again, arrived. Time for Quinn to run and hide.
See, my 7-year old Shih-Tzu crossbreed is really, rather cute. And I say this in the most unbiased, non-parental way I can muster. He is, indeed, one of the saddest, most heart-wrenchingly adorable dogs I have ever seen. Thing is, he often has a propensity for being a little too cute.
And I’m not alone with this sentiment; more than half the people in my vicinity would agree with me, along with my parents’ friends, relatives, not-so-good-friends-but-I-still-put-on-a-smile-and-say-hi friends… Even the gardener knows Quinn. Granted, he’s from China, but a sappy smile still spreads broadly across his face whenever I bring Quinn out for a walk, enthusiastically barking: “QUEEN! QUEEN BOY!”
Okay, not really Quinn’s name, but I guess it’s the thought that counts. Plus, that dog’s so adorable, he’d probably get away with a gender swap. (Just to be clear, Quinn’s a short form for Harlequin Valentine, the main protagonist in Neil Gaiman’s short story, not the ditzy Suicide Squad member.)
And because my little devil is so adorable, the people that my folks invite over for frequent Wine parties, Christmas bashes and Chinese New Year celebrations often feel that its a waste to ignore due diligence to ‘pamper’ Quinn, thus feeling the need to pick my 9kg annoyance off the ground and start cuddling him tightly.
This doesn’t happen just once. Oh no. They take turns carrying Quinn, who’s probably rolling his eyes going: “Oh dear bacon, not another hooman.”
Now, although this may be fun for most people (myself included), there are hazards which come with improper manhandling of one’s pooches. Dogs aren’t hamsters, and as much as you’d like to believe that both animals are poop machines alike, dogs’ internal organs are way more complicated and play incredibly vital roles in handling their bodily functions and general health.
I’ve never seen a hamster with a fever, have you? But Quinn? Let’s just say his medical bills made my folks very angry last month – But I’d probably tell you about that in another post. Just think of dogs as small furry humans – Get the picture? You’d probably wouldn’t like it if a taller, bigger more dominant creature started picking you up and jiggling you up and down, cooing at you to give them a kiss, now would you?
Studies have even shown that dogs that suffer from serious back problems are usually carried around their underarms (like a baby), with their hind end hanging down in the air.
Let’s be clear. Dogs, akin to babies, are cute as hell. No, freaking delicious and smell like a mixture of baby powder, dog and bacon. But you don’t pick them up the same way! Babies will eventually learn to walk vertically on their own two feet. Dogs on the other hand, will always toddle on on all fours. Their anatomy encompasses back muscles that span the entire length of their body, and picking just half of them up won’t do your pooches any good.
In fact, long-term studies have shown that improper handling over a course of a dog’s lifetime would contract and twist a dog’s back muscles permanently, placing stress on the lumbar spine due to the lack of hind, shoulder and scapular support.
So please, try not to pull a Gyllenhaal, and learn the proper technique to carry your pooch. Or try to avoid it altogether if you must! Us humans are smart people, having invented this fantastic contraption called a leash.