With no disrespect meant to pure breeds whose purpose and training are to serve as working dogs, show dogs or therapy dogs, mixed breeds from county shelters or rescues are just fine with me. With no particular purpose, except to fill a “hole” in our hearts, the latter have had better, longer lives with a family than where they had been. For us, our children, and in the last few years, our grandchildren, Dexter and Comet, as with Happy and Sydney that preceded them, taught us all many good lessons.
Some of these lessons are the following:
- If you encounter people or dogs along your journey, do your best to make a friend. Continue to press your case even when they are doing their best to avoid you.
- Ignoring personal space, getting as close to your human as physically possible, is therapeutic for dog and human; sometimes climbing up between your human and their work is necessary. However, a dog biscuit or a spoon of peanut butter, is an equivalent therapeutic approach for the needy canine.
- Listening intently (or appearing as though) to a human, whether you follow or not, is comforting to them. Until something else grabs your attention.
- Guilt is a powerful motivator for your human.
- When your dog buddy “blocks” your path in the hallway, is between you and your food bowl, or snaps at you for stealing his dog biscuits, guilt- inducing whining or looks, motivates your human to intervene.
- You can make yourself comfortable on dirt, concrete, couches, human beds or dog pillows. But when your dog buddy is on “your” pillow, you determine to make the human feel guilty. Then you lay on the cold tile floor in full view of your humans until they put out clean towels or bedding to comfort you.