That perfect fit.
A match made in heaven; isn't this everyone's dream of living with a dog. That old image that comes to so many when considering the idea of getting a dog. You sitting watching television in the evening with your dog laying by your feet. Jogging through the park with your dog by your side; ahhhhhh heaven on earth right? Or sitting on the front porch with the birds chirping; your dog snoozing away the afternoon. How glorious. Well, not all relationships end quite so happy; many are a mismatch right from the get go. Sad but true.
I have visited many homes where the owner simply has the wrong dog. It may be the wrong breed or it might be just the wrong dog as a individual. It doesn't matter if it is a purebred, mix, rescue or shelter dog. If it doesn't fit, things can go from bad to worse. The whole idea of living with dogs is to better your life and your dog's as well. That means that you will be required to fulfill your dog's needs as he will fulfill yours. But if you cannot happily or willingly fill those needs then it's not going to be a happy life for either one of you.
Finding the perfect fit can take a while but I cannot stress how important this is. Do you think that shelters and rescues would be filled to the brim with dogs if everyone had taken their time and considered, before acting? Many people should never have a dog; those who have an idealistic yet unrealistic image of living with a dog. A dog by their side that is just cute and cuddly, yet never poops, pukes, rolls on dead things or needs training? Those folks are best to go buy a beautiful new piece of furniture to spend their time with.
Not all of us want to or can happily live with every dog. That my friends is the fact. Even when some rescue people believe that a dog is a dog is a dog and if you love dogs you should take any of them. That is simple a recipe for failure. Being a very experienced dog person; I can deal with a great number of issues and fit them into my life. That said there are some things that I do not want to live with and I know what those things are. I have my life and I want a dog to enjoy it with me; we are active and social as we are out and about a lot.
Of course there is the "work" factor. How much work are you willing to put into making your dog fit? Some people don't mind any amount of work; training, grooming, socializing etc etc. Some dogs take a huge amount of work to help them fit in anywhere. But there are also those who are not willing to go to extreme heights to fix issues and that is fine, as long as they know that and do not take on a dog that needs a ton of work or help. Some dogs come with a ton of baggage; some have issues that they are born with, both mental and physical.
When you are looking for a dog to add to your family, think. Think long and hard about the "what ifs." Do not look into those sad little eyes staring at you at the rescue event and cave. That dog that is sucking you in may just be the worst decision that you ever made. Maybe the not so adorable dog in the next cage is perfect in every way, FOR YOU. Yes I love dogs, I love them like crazy; every shape, size, color and age. I LOVE DOGS. But, I also love a perfect fit. When a dog and human come together and make magic together. There is nothing like it when it's right. But when it's wrong it can be very sad.
I have met client dogs with huge problems with their living arrangement. But those same problems in someone else's home would seem small and inconsequential. When choosing to add a second, third or fourth dog you should always add with care. The right dog can enhance a pack; the wrong one can turn everything right, wrong. The same goes with adding a dog to your family; it has to fit. If you are one of those "want to help" folks; one who loves to nurture and give all the care needed then you will obviously have a larger selection. But if you have a limited knowledge of the canine species, a lack of willingness to rehabilitate; then go with something that fits you, just you.
Sadly there are way too many dogs out there needing homes. But finding the right home, the home where they will stay; love and be loved for the rest of their life is where they should be. Taking a dog on a whim, a heart pull or just feeling like you should do something is not a good reason to take a dog. All dogs deserve someone; someone who will do everything in their power to make their life together a great one.