Today marks Pyrrha’s four-month “anniversary” with us.
I have nothing special to report here, except that this dog is really funny and sweet. We love her a lot. I would never have dreamed seeing her so confident and relaxed; she is such a different dog from the one she was in May. The dog who hid from us in various corners of the house now comes to greet us with a wagging tail and kisses every day. The dog who slunk around behind me on walks now leads the way with a confident, curious posture. The dog who cowered with every passing dog on the street now wants to greet (almost) all of them.
She’s been very rambunctious and spunky lately, too. I think part of this has to do with her squirrel-catching encounter, and I’d attribute the rest of her blooming personality to the fact that she’s been very friendly with Guion lately. Last night, HE was the only one she wanted to play with. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. It’s the little things, you know? She opens up more and more every day. We are so happy to have her.
Is there such a thing? I doubt it. Dogs, like people, have distinct personalities and like people, dogs don’t always behave like angels. But I think there is truth in the notion that dogs possess naturally distinct temperaments. I’ve met dogs who, despite their difficult circumstances, were overwhelmingly joyful. I have also met dogs who seem inherently grumpy, the equivalent of a canine Mr. Scrooge. I also know that breed is not destiny or prophecy. Background does not always require the same outcome. Every dog is different.
I know all of this, but lately I’ve been thinking about the qualities that are important to me to have in a future dog. I know this is an unrealistic exercise, but it is helpful for me to think about the things I really want in a dog. I also know that most of the things I list below cannot be controlled or, alternately, can be trained into a dog. This is just my detached-from-reality future dog wish list.
So. If I could build my dream dog, these are the qualities that would be most important to me, ranked in order of most important to least important:
A happy, playful personality.
Patient and kind toward people, children, and other dogs.
Intelligent and highly trainable.
Fundamentally calm (meaning he or she is willing and able to achieve a resting state!).
Not excessively vocal.
Athletic, always up for a romp in the woods.
Medium to large size (50 to 100 lbs.).
Ideally from the herding group (in the future, though, I want to adopt a greyhound).
The rest, I think, will work itself out. Specifically, I want to avoid dogs that exhibit: Excessive solemness, short tempers toward people and other animals, little to no interest in people, hyperactivity, and shyness. Too much to ask for? Probably. I know my already beloved future dog will have problems. I know this. I’m just dreaming on the sunny side of the clouds today…
What quality or trait do you think is most important in a dog? What kind of temperament does your dog have?