Throughout evolution, dogs have always played a crucial role in their relationship with mankind.
Today, their roles have become even more significant and unfortunately, the relationship between humans and dogs is proving to be more biased than mutual.
“If we don’t fiercely protect their right for freedom, and break them loose of the control, intimidation, force, bribery, manipulation, and unnecessary restrictions we have imposed on them, they too will face extinction in the near future.”
The Weighted Relationship
Never before have dogs been responsible for our mental and emotional health. They have helped us fulfill physical, tangible and observable tasks, but nowadays, we have bombarded them with the pressures of helping us maintain our own psychological wellbeing, never mind their own.
How Did Street Dogs Become Our Teachers?
For almost two decades, our founder, Teena Patel, has traveled the world documenting free roaming dogs and street dogs in developing countries. They are our inspiration.
Here are some of our lessons from street dogs and free roaming dogs:
- When their environments become limited, stagnant and sterile, their behavior becomes reflective of their poor living conditions and the quality of experiences that occur as a result.
- Dogs need, and seek, human companionship.
- Dogs develop a “community like” intra-species connection.
- Survival is often misrepresented as hardship.
Certainly, there are challenges. However, there is a richness that is present when living beings, in particular mammals, have to convert energy into purpose.
- It gives them meaning, and defines life.
- It makes them adaptable, apt and attuned.
- Learning becomes a way of living not training.
Species will behave in a species-typical manner, and characteristics that contribute to their survival will persist; those that don’t will disappear. We need to help preserve the dog’s ability to:
- Be effective communicators.
- Prefer avoidance of conflict.
- Be resilient, adaptive and highly flexible.
“The environment is their first teacher.” -Teena Patel
“We aim to give dogs the freedom and purpose they once had. Protecting them from the dangers of the “streets” yet honoring them of all the benefits of having more space, access to nature and a rich environment to roam, we were inspired to give companion dogs some of the simple joys of living.”