You Get the Dog You Need – Not the Dog You Want

A friend told me once you never get the dog you want, but you always get the dog you need.  And darn it, that’s always been true.  I have yet to meet my magical dog, however, I did grow up with one.  Rosie was the sweetest dog on the whole planet.  Loved people, dogs, and life.  She ran with me off leash, she snuggled in bed, and was a magical creature in my eyes.  What I didn’t realize is the destruction/problems she caused for my parents, i.e. Trashed retainers, dug holes, toys stuffed in the couch constantly, and lots of barking.....

 Rosie and a very young Sissy...

Rosie and a very young Sissy...

We humans tend to build up our new dogs in our minds, especially when they are puppies.  This dog is going to be perfect, he will have the drive, the physique, and the best temperament of any dog known to mankind.  He would never eat or shred anything, because he is way too smart for that.  We’ve all lived this moment, and this is where most of the trouble starts in a handler/dog relationship. 

Now before you panic, or try to say “But my dog really is perfect….” let me explain.  Here’s the beauty of this moment, 1 in 100 of you will be right.  You will have found the perfect dog.  That never causes problems, mind reads, and just KNOWS what they are asked to do.  This is the rarity.  Here’s the other good part of this moment.  The other 99 in 100 of you are about to learn A TON! 

When we get a dog that pushes us past the comfort zone, teaches us more, and helps us realize that every dog is different….well, let’s just say those dogs are the keepers.  They aren’t the dogs we wanted, they aren’t our magical picture, but they are what we need to move forward.  These dogs may be really tough, or just a bit more energy than anticipated.  These dogs may cost you $3500 in vet bills in the first year because your management isn’t what it should be with a puppy.  These dogs may teach you more than you ever wanted to know about raw feeding, because they are a whirling dervish on kibble.  These dogs may teach you that there is more to life than just walks.  This is a good thing.  The more we know, the better we do. 

So let’s all step out and embrace the dogs we need.  Rather than being disappointed with the dog in front of us, let’s enjoy them.  Let’s learn some new stuff and be better for our dogs!

This post is from the 12 Things I Learned From My Dogs Series.