We all do it; I think it is human nature, we compare. Comparing does not have boundaries; pretty much anything can be compared and compare we will. I often hear about a neighbor's dog being so good or so bad; many of my clients let me in on their comparing. This is when I try my hardest to stand up for their dog; the one who is being compared. Canines are a very diverse species; even though they are all dogs, no two are alike. And for that fact alone we humans can find it difficult not to compare. We compare our dogs to all the other dogs that we've met along the way; we even tend to compare our living breathing dogs to an idea of the "perfect" dog we have in our heads.

Let me be the one to tell you that there is no perfect dog; they have faults and flaws just like we do. They actually have far less flaws than humans and shine alot brighter much of the time. So what happens if you end up with a dog very far from what you had conjured up in your head? You learn to love and appreciate that wonderful dog of yours. The three dogs that I have now are all very, very different. In fact my two standard poodles are probably the most different. Over the last 25 years I've lived with several standard poodles and no two have been the slightest bit similar. I like it that way; you sure learn alot from each individual.

Comparing often happens when we lose a dog. With the addition of a new dog to our life we hold great expectations. In our day to day life we may see the smallest of differences in the newbie and focus on those as imperfections. This new dog is not living up to the mold your great past dog left; and to be honest, there is no way they could. This is not your old dog; this is your new dog and this new dog is a completely different animal. I often advise people when they have lost a heart dog to go with the opposite sex this time; or choose a dog that looks entirely different. This can sometimes help to lessen the comparing.

When Luke entered our lives it was big; I'd never lived with a reactive dog before. I chose him out of his whole litter because he was the one with the waggingest tail; the one that would stop jumping on me. He is the same today as he was at the age of 7 weeks old. Yes he came with alot of issues; none of which Tilley has. But never have I lived with a dog that has taught me so much and I love him with all my heart; issues and all.

When I think of adding a new canine member to our family I think about the fact that this will be an entirely new entity in our home. It is exciting to get to know your new dog. As someone who does regular litter temperament testing; it always amazes me how different 7 week old puppies can be from one another. All raised in the same home; by the same Mother with the same experiences and yet they are all very different. Ah; of a kind. ;)

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