How Far Would You Go To Get Back At Someone?

Scarlett at the Spite Tower in Adamsville RI.
Scarlett at the Spite Tower in Adamsville RI.
Went to one of my favorite breakfast restaurants the other day with the family.

My wife, kids and in-laws were enjoying coffee when I pointed out the spite tower. Right across the street from The Barn restaurant in Adamsville, RI is a tower that was built out of spite.

In 1905 two friends, John Hathaway and Abraham Manchester, got into an argument. Abraham was a merchant and slept in his store every night. His sisters lived across the street and would place a white cloth out the window to signal Abraham when meals were ready.

20160117_102204_HDRHathaway, who lived next to the sisters, built a tower in the line of sight between Abraham’s store and the sister’s home to “spite” his former friend and ruin his dinner.

Spite is an interesting topic, and if you look up the definition you’ll find that it states: “deliberately hurt, annoy, or offend (someone).”

Imagine spending time, effort and money to deliberately hurt, annoy or offend someone?

One comment I hear all the time is: “My dog did (behavior) to spite me.” I hear it all the time.

“My dog chewed my shoes to spite me.”

“My dog peed on the floor to get back at me for leaving him today.”

This is what in the dog training world we call anthropomorphism, which is a very fancy word that I need spell check to write for me.

If you are not familiar with the word it means: “Attributing human characteris to animals, places or things.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our dogs are “getting back at us.” This would require them to understand right from wrong.

I owned and operated a kennel for years. One of the problems I was always worried about was hot weather. A lot of the dogs loved to tip their water bowls over. Being in a fenced kennel during 95 degree weather could result in a dog dying from dehydration if there is no water. If the dog understood right from wrong they would never tip over their water bowls.

Why would your best friend sit there in the house thinking: “I can’t believe I am left here in the house again. I’m going to get back at that no good, dirty skunk for leaving me here. What could I do? Let’s think about this. I got it, maybe I could knock over the garbage, maybe I could pee on the bed. Wait, wait wait, I know, I’ll find their shoes and chew those puppies up. Now that I’m thinking about it, I think I’ll do all of it. And then, THEN I’ll feel better because I got back at them. Take that you creepy human, now let’s fill up on some water and go find those shoes.”

I know this is ridiculous but that is what the dog’s line of thinking would have to be.

When you dog does a behavior in these situations it probably has more to do with:

The dog not being properly housetrained.

The dog having separation problems.

The dog was nervous about a thunderstorm or strange noise.

The dog knows he will be punished when the owner comes home.

Anyway, today is the last day you can get the KINDLE version of my book on Amazon. Here is a small sample of what you’ll find in the book:

Dog Training “Secrets” From The Son Of A Russian Priest

Dog Training Tips From Stephen King

How To Stop Begging

Why You Should Ignore Dog Trainers (Including Me)

The King Of Dog Training

He Once Trained A German Shepherd To Bark In Spanish

And much more.

You can get the book no strings attached. All I ask is if you could leave a review I would greatly appreciate it.

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All the best,


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