I’ve never felt more embarrassed, shamed and judged in my life. I suppose this is the kind of welcome you get when you enter the dog world.
Am I really that indecent of a human being that my NEWLY ADOPTED 10-month-old dog isn’t quite leash trained yet? Barks at your perfect pooch because she wants to play? Gets overly excited and wags her tail so hard she looks like she could snap in half?
Am I that horrible of a person that because you keep eye contact with my puppy from a block away that she thinks you might enjoy kisses and want to pet her?
Is she a disappointment because she’s so darn happy to finally go on daily walks?
Is she a malfunction because she’s not as well poised as your 8-year-old collie mix who’s been through obedience training 3 times?
Is she a failure because she’s been re-homed — forced to adjust to city life without the only owner she knew and her big brother doggie- – confused because she’s probably unsure if she’s on vacation and going back to her former home — or if she’ll be somewhere new in a few months?
Is she no good because from across the street it looks like she could eat your Yorkie, but if you saw from my perspective, the hair on her back is raised and she looks back at me every few seconds with uncertainty in her eyes.
Is she a bad dog because she hasn’t mastered the skill of loose leash walking in 2 weeks?
Am I poor dog mom because I haven’t yet been able to successfully train her to stay calm when walking? But she’s learned to sit, stay, shake, shake with the the other paw, lay down, only chew her bones on her bed, respond to her new name, and play gentle with the first cat she’s ever been introduced to?
Oh, did I mention we started obedience training yesterday? Or that I’ve spent $520 on her in 2 weeks? How about the fact that she’s smothered with love and attention or that I take her for 3 walks a day, including 1 over my lunch break so she doesn’t have to stay in her crate for 8 consecutive hours. Or that she was introduced to tennis balls for the first time in her life?
Glare at me all you want “perfect” dog moms and dads.
It’s not easy adopting a dog, but it is easy to love her. Even when she’s barking and yanking my shoulder out of socket just to give you and your dog kisses.