Today is Thanksgiving. Be thankful for the dog you share your home with. I am a true believer that people are joined with dogs at a certain time in their life because they are ready for that particular dog and whatever “baggage” the dog brings with him or her.
There is no such thing as a perfect dog. There is a perfect dog for you. I think my dog is perfect, but she wouldn’t last long in a lot of homes for various reasons.
Over the years I’ve learned about Evey and accepted her for who she is. Sure she’s changed my life forever. Evey is the reason I left nursing in an intensive care unit to help others train their dogs. I wouldn’t have it any other way. She makes sure I keep my counters clean and the butter pushed all the way to the back. When we move to a new house she is under 24 hour supervision for the first 1-2 weeks just to make sure she knows where she needs to go to empty her bladder. When she’s around other dogs she is constantly supervised because I never know what she’s going to guard or when she’s had enough. It’s a lot of work but she’s worth it.
Evey has also learned how to listen to me as well. I’ve taught her a lot of different cues and trained them in hundreds of different situations so that she’s easier to manage. This training has also allowed her more freedoms. When we first got her she got into a lot of fights with other dogs, she was well on her way to becoming a grumpy growler student. However, with training and a lot of patience and management she has now been a helper dog for grumpy growler classes and it doesn’t phase her a bit. She is also able to come to parties with us and hike with other dogs around. While I still keep an eye on her to see if she needs help, I don’t worry so much that she’s going to get into a fight.
Evey has taught me a lot about accepting people and dogs for who they are. She has taught me to train behaviors that you can to make both of your lives easier and happier. For the rest of the behaviors management will do.
So today on Thanksgiving, be thankful for the dog(s) that you have in your lives right now. Take the lessons they teach you with a smile on your face. Learn to live with your dog so that he/she may learn to live with you too. Enjoy each other.