For food pictures, please do pop over to my Instagram.

It’s where my food images first appear. They are later posted to Facebook.

The Instagram name is Simoniscoolandlikescoffee

I know it wont feel like enough to me, but.. if you have any ideas for honoring her after, I’d still really appreciate them. My parents plan to bury her, and I thought maybe planting strawberries above her grave would be good, but I’ve heard that’s not the best plant for a pet burial. I dont know, even if it wont feel like enough, I’d still like to do something, for her, you know? Rather than just what’s convenient for everyone else.

I’d plant something. I’m not sure why anyone would say anything about what plant you should plant beyond the soil chemistry. I know several people who have purchased pet grave markers, and people who have purchased many TripIt statues of their pets or the breed

Simon, my childhood dog is going to be passing soon. She was all I had as a child growing up in a “severely neglectful” home (as mental health professionals have said it). I want to do something, anything, to ease her passing, and to honor her afterwards, but I’m at a loss. I’m spending as much time with her as is available to me, cuddling with her, feeding her bits of anything shes willing to eat (and is safe of course!), but it doesnt feel like enough. Do you have any ideas?

No my friend. Nothing will ever feel like it’s enough.

I’m sorry to say that, but it is true and I won’t lie to you.

Dude… I… understood what you meant… I’m a major animal lover, a believer in ‘all life is equal’ and I understood what you meant. Of course there isn’t an alpha structure, of course it’s more complicated than that! But in the same way that my two dogs occasionally get aggressive and try to ‘dominate’ the other (usually over a bone), there is no harm in training your dogs. Hell, humans have to train their kids. And doing it in a way familiar to dogs (rather than yelling ‘NO’) is very useful.

Yes. Precisely.

As I said in the notes on that post:

Goody was part of a dog fighting ring. I have had to subdue him many times to prevent him from harming someone. I do it by swiftly and with absolute force, pinning him down. I do not shout or growl unless he won’t break state. I pin him and speak softly to him until he is calm. This assured him that I am capable and willing to defend him, intervene in stressful situations, and protect anyone he thinks he might need to protect. I can do this, so he may relax.

It is very effective. And it has saved his life. So I don’t really care what a human dog trainer thinks about pack dynamics observed in controlled settings. I care about the technique that prevents my dog from mauling a teenager who is playing piggyback with the spawn.

That is what I care about.

Goody is my friend. I saved his life. He has kept me from harm, even from doing things when I am dangerous. And so I return that favor in kind. He and I are equals, though I know I am more fit to guide him through a world of human making. That is how I view it. Why?

Because I’m not human and I don’t have a superiority complex about how man should be in charge of and dominant in all things. I don’t train my dog. I guide my friend.

That’s how I see it. You may have to see it differently. I can not deny that.

Pets are family, man.


Or they ought to be. I suppose if you’re going to have pets, they ought to be treated as individuals, given the respect you expect them to give, and treated in accordance with the habits of their species.

Dogs in particular have a number of habits that may not be compatible with human life, so make allowances. The dog doesn’t demand that you stop watching television all night while he’s tired. And yes, you pay the bills, but then again, you invented the bills, so you can hardly expect the dog you took in to care about obedience. You can only ask the behaviors a dog would perform for his pack alpha, so be a proper alpha and engage in dog dynamics since you have the cognitive ability to adapt.

Don’t shout down at a dog. They have no idea what that means. Drop down on the dog and flip it onto its back and press it there. That’s an alpha submission maneuver that teaches the dog that you are it’s leader and it must learn to obey.

Alright. Since I’ve been immediately accosted by five people in the hour since I’ve posted this, I might as well address the issue so that it doesn’t happen again.

Yes the strict “alpha dog” paradigm doesn’t exist as was described by the man who coined it. He was a Nazi, and like most Nazis used observation of specific animal behaviors to explain away human behaviors and justify horrifying things in the same way they used “natural selection” to justify eugenics. But it’s a bit more than that and historically I could dive down a well of Nazi obsession quite easily. They needed legitimacy and so they delved into all sorts of symbolism and metaphysics and managed to confuse science with the imagination. Wolves are an animal that for them had deep symbolism, and it anchored them to the Roman myth of the founding of the empire. The Nazis also upheld a cultural trend of animalism, identifying with supposed animal traits in a mimicry that was meant to create a kind of power. It’s all magical thinking. It’s nonsense.

I am aware of that, as you can plainly see.

However, the term “alpha dog” is so much a part of the modern western culture and the vernacular, you can hardly fault me for using it to communicate a tremendously difficult and non verbal dynamic. Strictly speaking, there are no set alpha dogs among wolves or dogs. However, there are domination and submission behaviors and the one I described: flipping a dog on its back and getting low, is actually a means of establishing dominance.

I have spent a good many years in the forests and watching wolves. I’ve lived on this earth since there were packs of wild dogs— which are not wolves in any way. I can assure you, I’m aware of pack dynamic. I’m also aware that modern research on the topic exists and that I’ve read some of it, but I also know the specific ways in which it is flawed and that, while it may be very informative to you, it is quite dull to me. That is not to say I won’t read it. It is to say that humans use far too many words for things, when animals don’t have words.

Understand me, I do not mind being corrected and I’m happy to have adjustments or detail added to my posts. I’m fine with having hyperbole or rhetoric disassembled to benefit understanding for those who wish to explore the subject more deeply. I don’t, however, like being nit picked. That kind of thing is actually fallacious. Picking apart my use of a single word to convey a concept swiftly and throwing Nazis at me as if I’m perpetrating a conspiracy to propagate their ideology is frankly offensive.

The cat is out of the box and you cannot put it back in. The phrase “alpha dog” has weight memetically speaking. It means something to people and it’s a far easier and swifter way to convey the complex idea of pack hierarchy than any phrase you had previously. Probably because it appeals to human egoism, but who am I to judge. It is the foremost way to convey that idea or it wouldn’t exist. So if you don’t like it, then find a new word and use that. And then you can erase the Nazi and the misconceptions.

I’ll caution you that most people are not educated enough to understand anything more complex than “top dog”. Most don’t even know what the word “hierarchy” means, so you’re going to have a hard time with that.

Now, if we are satisfied that I do in fact understand the limitations of using human language to convey a non verbal concept that varies across animal groups, may I please be left alone to talk about why dogs shouldn’t be treated as if they are the member of a hierarchy? If you read my post, you will see that I was not advocating for anything other than “treat the animal like an animal equal, because both of you are animals. Learn to translate your words into their behaviors to have proper communication. And if these behaviors are truly destructive or dangerous, you can correct it in a submission technique used by dogs in groups.”

Are we fine now? May I go back to my tea?

I welcome critique if it is constructive. I welcome anyone who wishes to post about the flaws in historic concepts of animal behaviors. However this post does not require that and messaging me to accuse me of being an “ignorant Nazi lover” is fucking vile.

Thank you.

Never in my life would I suppose that a post about treating dogs like people would ever get me called a Nazi.


Negative Fucks Tee

You can buy it here

The zazzle store is essentially a collection of random objects with some of the things I’ve said which you seemed to want to memorialize. As well as some amusing objects for the sake of humor. All proceeds are put back into the experiment, used to pay my staff, sort out competition prizes, and so forth.

There is also a mug and a tote bag.

These items are all designed by @imgoingtogobacktheresomeday and illustrations have been created by artists who are themselves part of the experiment.

Thank you!

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