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A Pack of Truth

dogs playing

I've built a solid reputation over the years as the go-to parent for picking up or dropping off the kids. That's me, Mr. Reliable - available 24/7 and I relish that role. You get to see how your kid acts around his friends and what they're really like when they are together in "the pack." Trust me, it's a lot different than when they're sitting down around the family dinner table. A lot rowdier too.

And of course, since I have a bad habit of associating the most mundane life experiences to the canine world, I can't help but remark on the similarities of adolescent boy behavior to that of the dog pack. They both growl, snarl, tease and constantly test each other to see who will emerge as pack leader. Their interaction is not gentle, but it's never mean-spirited.

It got me thinking: Isn't pack behavior the way of most mammals? Horses, monkeys, elephants and the list goes on. The deal with pack behavior is that it keeps the group in line, keeps the species going. They watch out for each other, there's strength in numbers. The great English poet, John Donne wrote that, "No man is an island," - he should've added dogs too.

That's why it's so important to socialize your dog from the get-go. Make them part of your pack whether it's at home or at work. A pack dog is a happy dog, a dog in harmony with the world around him. So make your dog a part of your world, your family, your friends. That way, he'll be balanced and better behaved. Trust me, if John Donne was a dog-owner and alive today, he'd add these words of pet wisdom, "No dog is an island."

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