The dogs in our life

I am often asked "how do you know its time for another?" Sadly our dogs only share a portion of our life; their life expectancy is only a fraction of our own. They come into our life; enrich and leave us with life experiences and memories. Each and every dog that passes through our life leaves a mark; alone they assist in our human/canine evolution. All of us; as in humans, have made mistakes with our dogs. Making mistakes is a part of our evolution. You are the dog person you are today because of all the dogs who have come through your life.

Many of the dogs that leave the most considerable and lasting mark on us are not even our own; they may have simply passed by leaving life lessons upon us. What we do with those life lessons are our own personal evolution. As a trainer I am constantly helping others to understand life with a canine. Countless owners over the years have been overwhelmed by a sense of wrong doing. "Sherri; I wish I'd known." Going back in time and beating oneself up about things you wish you would not have done; is counter productive. We cannot go back in time and undo all the wrongs that we have done; heck I wish I could many times. And I wish I'd known back then what I know today. But the fact is; life is a never ending education.

Many of the dogs that slip through our lives are what we call "heart dogs." A heart dog is the equivalent to a human soul mate. It can be the loss of a heart dog that stops us from adding another to our life. "How can I ever love another dog as much?" I have loved each and everyone of my dogs; but differently. They have all been individuals; each sharing their life with mine. An intertwined species relationship that can and should be equally beneficial although I strongly believe that we are the lucky ones.

When I look back at the dogs who have progressively molded me into the dog person I am today I have good and bad memories. Some of the saddest moments have the biggest impact on change and the passing of a canine can be that. It can leave you an empty shell mourning the loss but it can also be the catalyst into dogdom. A great love can supercharge an understanding that may have otherwise been lost to you. I cannot imagine not having a dog in my life and as much as I love the dogs that I share my life with now; I also know that there will be others. And I look forward to knowing the dogs that I will share my future with. So make this day a great day; live, learn, love and move forward.

1 comment:

  1. Carol in St. LouisTuesday, April 13, 2010

    I made a conscious decision when my first dog was seven or so that I would get a second dog. I figured it would be a good age, as he would be close to halfway through his life, yet still young enough to tolerate a puppy coming into the household.

    I know what a soft heart I have and how strongly I feel about my first dog, my heart-dog, a Mini Poodle named Romeo. I'm hoping my younger dog will make Romeo's exit from this world a little more bearable, and perhaps make it possible for me to consider a new, second dog. Romeo is 12 now and dog #2 - a Std. Poodle named Dante - is now five. They get along like brothers do (mostly good, some minor scrappy moments). They have VERY different personalities and relationships with me, and I love them both, very dearly.


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