Ah, the (stereotypical) perfect dog. Equal parts Lassie, Benji, and Rin Tin Tin, the perfect dog is unswervingly loyal, flawlessly obedient (unless when practicing learned disobedience, as guide dogs for the blind often must - as the "forward" command for example, must obviously be disobeyed if, by obeying it, the dog would lead its handler into harm's way), and keenly intelligent, with a spot on sense of comic timing. He also never barks except on cue or has accidents of any description inside the house. He doesn't shed and would never need to be taken to the vet at 3 am. In short, the perfect dog is, in many respects, like one of the other cherished urban myths - the perfect man. (Or to be fair, the perfect woman.)But that's a whole other blog entry. In fact, that's a whole other blog, one that I, personally, have no interest in authoring.
If, when you get the urge to bring a dog into your life, you go about things the right way, do your research, educate yourself about the different breeds and their salient characteristics as it relates to temperament, exercise requirements, known health issues, etc., you will almost certainly get a lot closer to YOUR "perfect dog" than if you simply chose a dog on the basis of cuteness, for example. Many, if not most, of the best dog/handler matches come about because the human in the equation has done a great deal of research before getting the dog, whether that dog is a rescue from a shelter or a pup of outstanding lineage from a reputable breeder.
I strongly believe that anyone who is even thinking about getting a dog should first think long and hard about whether they can commit to giving that dog, both dogs in general and that specific dog breed or individual dog, what it needs to be happy, well-adjusted, and live successfully in one's household. In fact, Tena at Success Just Clicks wrote a great post about that very subject just the other day! In the final analysis, though, there is, just as in any successful relationship, a certain amount of chemistry involved.
I would never EVER advise anyone to make a rash decision when choosing a dog that they are going to live with for the next ten or fifteen years. Nonetheless, I am here to tell you that sometimes the dog you never thought you'd want can turn out to be your perfect dog. I know, because I've experienced it. And who would ever have guessed that a self-professed "big dog person" would fall so hard and so fast for a scruffy little dog that was about as far from my "ideal dog" as he could possibly be? Certainly I never would have predicted it.
And yet ...
Tucker is, undeniably, unquestionably, and irrefutably MY perfect dog. I'm not saying he'd be the perfect dog for everyone, and he certainly has his moments where his halo slips a bit and he can test my patience, but they are very few and far between, and we have lived in almost seamless harmony for over eight years. Which is why, recently, I decided that MY perfect dog needed the perfect dog tag.
I ordered it from Fetching Tags, and I have to say, I really love it. Not just because the front of the tag can be customized with any saying you choose (or you can select one of Fetching Tags' own sayings, such as Love Sponge, Lucky Mutt, Squirrel Patrol, or Treat Whore), but because it's a really good quality product that, as far as I can tell, will last a really long time. (The back of the tag can be customized with the dog's name and up to two phone numbers.)
Of course, since Tucker was getting one, Phoebe had to get one, too. Hers says ...
She wasn't impressed.
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