The perfect dog

What do you envision when you consider the perfect dog?  A big ole yellow Labrador by your side as you sit out on the porch?  A beautiful Golden Retriever laying at your feet in front of the fire?  Or a tiny pocket pooch snuggled nicely into your fashionable bag?  Perhaps the funniest looking, scruffy Disney rescue dog is your idea of a flawless canine.  But does the perfect dog exist?  Sure it does but not in the way that many people think.

I was sitting in the living room yesterday with my arms wrapped around both Luke and Elsa; we were enjoying one of our many group snuggles.  As life's day to day pass, we often get swept into the routine of it and the tiny joys can simply be overlooked.  I try very hard to enjoy the small things in life and a group snuggle is most definitely one of those things.  While in the thick of golden poodle hair it donned on me how very lucky I am.  I get to be Luke and Elsa's Mom; honestly, does it get any better than that in the world of dogs?  No.  Are they perfect dogs?  In my life they are but they are far from perfect; like me.

Perfection is a complicated thing. There really is no perfection; it is after all far over rated in my eyes.  Luke was a very challenging dog when he was young; he was head strong and reactive.  But I have never in all of my life learned more from a dog than from him.  Our relationship is as close as a canine/human connection can be.  It was love at first site with us and I would not have changed a second of our life together.

When we search for the perfect dog to add to our life we are really longing for a dream.  That wonderful Disney dream of a dog by our side.  But perfection comes with a price and that price is learning how to live with dogs smoothly in our human world.  It is no easy task for a dog; it is not the world that they are meant to live in but evolution has put us together and sent us on our journey together.    There are many obstacles to conquer in our life with dogs.  Some dogs have an easier time of it than others.  Many are dealt a lousy hand from the get go; giving them a much larger mountain to climb to get to their destination.  Who they end up with can either make or break that journey.

How much has your dog taught you about life with them?  About life in general?  Dogs have so much to give us in life and much of that goes unnoticed as life lessons until we really sit down and think about it.  Adding a dog to your life changes everything.  Occasionally life with dogs can feel like too much of a challenge; work that would otherwise be non existent without them.  Would that be a perfect life?  Not having to clean up poop, puke or walk them daily?  Not in my books.  Sharing our life with another species and doing it well causes us to be better humans.  Being compassionate, patient and understanding may not make us perfect but it is most definitely a step in the right direction.

When I hear about people who rescue dogs; those who save a broken life, rehabilitate it and welcome them into their family, I consider the connection.  The dog may be damaged and have huge behavior challenges; quite far from perfection in many eyes.  But that relationship in itself could just possibly be perfection.  As one life lifts another; the human helping the canine which in turn helps the human.  It really is amazing.

Life is not about perfection; there is no perfect dog and no perfect human.  But there can be a perfect life together; it is what you make of it.  From my vantage point right now, these two twitching, curly hounds that are snuggled in my bed are about as close to perfection as I will ever come.

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