Dog Adoption: A Myth and A Mistake
Part I: A MYTH: What you see is what you get.
July 23rd marks our 1 year gotcha Day with Dolly! The slinky and shy Great Pyrenees Border Collie mix – at least that is our best guess at what breeds she is - leaned into our legs and pushed her way into our hearts.
Yes? No? Maybe so? Oh, let me count the ways this question could be answered.
If you’re lucky enough to have hit the jackpot with one of those amazing pups who has the disposition and temperament of a Saint (my Emma was like that), then you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s a simple question for you because your dog is a friend to everyone and everything. You can promptly answer with a resounding, “Yes! He’s friendly!”.
Expectations are normal. We all have them, in almost every area of our lives. When we meet someone that might become a new friend, we subconsciously assess them. We make assumptions how they might be, what their likes are, what we might have in common. Sometimes we are right, sometimes we are not. We learn about them, about each other, and we adjust our communication styles as needed to be able to pursue that friendship. Common ground is established, and we start from there. We change our expectations as we go. There’s no difference really, when dealing with a new pet. Except that sometimes, it seems, we get too wrapped up in our expectations.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. This number is especially disheartening since most dog bites are preventable. Dog awareness and advocacy, as well as responsible pet ownership, is where dog bite prevention begins.
April showers may bring flowers, but it’s not all roses for many dogs. Does your pup predict storm better than your favorite weather person? Do you know it’s going to rain because your furry friend starts to pant, pace, drool, quiver, hide in the bathroom (or other enclosed space), or becomes hypervigilant and extra clingy?
I just want to squeal every time I get a call or message saying, “We’re getting a puppy!” It’s so exciting! I have the privilege of hearing how the little fuzzball was acquired and all the details. Then, dozens of questions begin rolling in that I am happy to answer. The most frequent are about potty training.