This is justified when it comes to products. They should perform their function flawlessly and we should expect them exchanged or get our money back.
When it comes to living beings, are our expectations realistic?
Let's face it, we are all messed up by our parents, by our schooling, by our pasts. None of us are perfect. And yet we feel entitled to having people in our lives just the way we want them.
We expect our dogs to be perfect.
And by perfect we mean do only what we want, when we want, and how we want.
How often do we stop and think how far are their lives removed from what is natural to them? How often do we stop and think how little they are actually allowed to be dogs?
Dogs ARE perfect.
Their kind of perfect just doesn't always fit well enough within our lifestyles and our expectations.
Cookie is a perfect dog. She is smart, gentle, friendly, kind, loving, happy to please. We couldn't have found a more fantastic little girl.
And I call her perfect in spite of her not meeting all our expectations right out the door.
Because of he past, she was quite an independent little girl. Since she's been with us, she has learned the feeling of belonging. She now feels like a part of the group, which means that her desire to stay together is taking over her desire to go and have fun on her own. Before, that was all she knew. Having fun only when she chewed through her lead and broke free.
Because in the past she could either do nothing at all or anything she wanted, her impulse control is poor.
At home she learned quickly that being patient gets her things. Outside, though, she wants to chase after anything she moves and gets quite frustrated when she cannot. Cookie is a textbook example of a frustrated greeter. When she gets to greet with everybody, she's perfectly happy. Problem is when she cannot.
I've been working with her daily to my best ability but we've reached a point when I needed controlled set ups and some one-on-one guidance.
Instead of getting mad at Cookie for not being perfect, we enrolled in a Reactive Dog classes.
I want her to get to a point when she realizes that not always being able to do what she wants is OK. Sometimes she can meet the people or dogs and sometimes she cannot. And I want her to be comfortable with that fact.
I searched hard for a good class and with help of my online dog trainer friends, I found one.
Our first class was on Saturday. As much as I was quite nervous going in, I left very pleased with the class, the trainers and with how well Cookie did.
"Cookie is one sweet dog and she’s got tons of potential."
~Norma Jeanne Laurette, Puppy Power
Everybody fell in love with her right away and they were surprised at how well was doing. One thing this reminded me of is that she can be only as good as I am. Once I figure out what the heck to do with myself, she'll have no problem doing what she should be doing.
Dog training is really about people training.
When I saw how easily the trainer got Cookie do what she wanted her to do I felt totally inadequate with my skills. When it was my turn, I felt like I had two hands to handle twenty leashes with twenty dogs at the end of them.
In spite of that, Cookie did really well with me too.
As soon as I get my ducks in a row, we'll do just fine.
Cookie IS a perfect dog. Now I have to try to be a decent trainer.
I need to teach her to live in the world which doesn't make sense to her. World with roads, cars, fences and leashes. World where a dog cannot always just do what makes perfect sense to them doing.
I just hope that Cookie can put up with me.
Do you think you deserve the perfect dog? If you did, you'd have one.
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat
Observation Skills Of Dogs
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It
Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks