Nothing beats owning a dog and knowing its unwavering affection every time it looks at you. Having said that, I understand if you aren’t a fan of them. I’m not sure if you have allergies or if you just enjoy cats. What I don’t understand is why these animals are being dismissed. Neither does Lucille aka Notidee, a French musician.
She tweeted a comic titled “It’s just a dog” last week, in response to someone who could say that about her dog, Neos. Notidee’s dog and its personality are perfectly defined in the touching comic, which also perfectly captures their beautiful relationship.
The comic went viral almost immediately, with over 170K likes and 48K retweets as of this writing. Let’s hope it also hits the intended audience.
Notidee is an illustrator based in Strasbourg, France. She’s always worked with animals, but it was her job as a wildlife mediator/illustrator for the French equivalent of Birdlife that inspired her to pursue a career as an artist full-time. “I work on a number of fronts artistically, and am currently concentrating the bulk of my attention on an upcoming visual novel named [Kernel],” she explained.
“Neos is a five-year-old Japanese Spitz who came here and single-handedly destroyed my world,” Notidee explained. “He came to me [with health and reactivity issues] when he was three months old, causing me to relearn everything I thought I learned about dogs from the ground up.”
Reactivity is an overreaction to certain stimuli or circumstances, according to the American Kennel Club, and is often confused with violence. Overreaction to external stimuli is referred to as reactivity. Barking and lunging are two typical examples. People, animals, other pets, sounds, movement, or any combination of the above can cause dogs to become reactive. It is, in essence, a dog’s reaction to something external that has disturbed him. Reactivity may be caused by biology, a lack of socialization, inadequate preparation to learn self-control, a frightening experience, or a combination of these causes, with fear being the most common driver.
Is there a way to get rid of reactivity? This is the wrong issue, according to Janet Finlay, owner, trainer, and coach at Canine Trust. According to her, responding to the environment is not an illness that needs to be treated, but rather a natural and required survival mechanism. When we feel threatened, we all respond. We – fight, run, freeze, or attempt to bluff our way out of it, but we still respond. Our dogs are in the same boat. It’s natural to react to a hazard, and it’s not something that needs to be fixed. What we need to do is show our dogs that these commonplace items do not pose a threat to them.
“Working on reactivity and resource guarding without the assistance of a skilled behaviorist will put both the owner and the pet in danger,” Notidee said. „When it comes to reactivity, we typically concentrate on applied behavior analysis, which, to put it plainly, entails giving our dogs an option while gradually desensitizing them. We prioritize fun games for the dog that we use to prevent stimuli when we encounter them outside, so we never need an order.
“I began researching animal behavior (in particular, medical training and behavior analysis and modification) to enhance his quality of life and give him the opportunity to make decisions whenever possible,” Notidee explained. “He is now a happy and stable puppy. As for me, in addition to literature, I’ve discovered another area in which I’m incredibly passionate.”
Notidee characterized the response to her comic as “overwhelming.” “I’ve got a flood of messages from pet owners all over the world asking me about their pets and how this comic captured their feelings about their dogs, cats, birds, and other critters.”