Leashed Love?

I’m in Marrakesh, Morocco right now. It’s been quite the cultural experience and has got me thinking… Yesterday, while walking in the Medina I saw a guy with a monkey on leash. It upset me. This poor monkey was alternately doing back flips (without being cued) and sitting looking at his owner while holding one end of his leash, near his collar, in his hand.

I thought, “Poor monkey, trapped like that, he looks like a slave.” But then I thought, “What’s so different about this situation than the typical dog on a leash scenario I see everyday back at home?”

I guess one could argue that a monkey is a wild animal, not domesticated, and that, in-and-of-itself makes it a less palatable situation. I’m sure that was part of what bothered me. But also, for me, it was the fact that the monkey had to be kept there next to the man by force. That’s what the collar and leash symbolized to me, an unbalanced relationship.

Many of our western companion dogs wear leashes, and while sometimes it’s for their own safety, or due to leash-laws, often, the dog that’s been tethered to it’s human wouldn’t be there by their side without the aid of that little handy device.

Good training builds a strong and healthy relationship between man and beast and can be immensely enjoyable at both ends of the leash. When interacting with, and training your dog, why not do your very best to make sure your dog is there with you because she wants to be, not because she has no other choice.