I've been thinking a bit about the bond I have with my dogs. Several things I've read lately have made me ponder what it is that creates that bond that some of us have with certain dogs. I have to wonder if some of it doesn't start right from the beginning.
I know that everyone has a different experience in picking out their dog. As a kid growing up, we chose puppies, but I didn't get the final say in which puppy it would be until I was fifteen years old and chose our Australian Shepherd for my birthday. She was female and the last blue merle the man had left. My sister and I worked on my dad and he agreed to pay the extra money the man wanted for her unusual coloring. We started dog obedience together the next year, just hoping she'd learn to come sometimes when we called her name and she went on to win the State Fair obedience competition that year. I loved that dog and I remember crying a lot of tears when I left home and had to leave her behind. My sister still loves the breed and has a pair of Aussies now, but she lives in a rural area where they can really do the sorts of things Aussies like to do.
It wasn't until my husband and I were married and able to buy our first house that I was able to really choose a dog of my own. I consider us very lucky that we found the adoption kennel that we found. There are some adoption kennels that choose your dog for you and that's the dog you go home with. Others will let you look at a website and choose your dog without meeting before hand. At Quad Cities, we filled out a questionaire and they let us meet dogs that they thought would fit our criteria. There were only four cat safe dogs in the kennel at the time, so we only met four. Looking back, I see that as a blessing. We'd have been overwhelmed meeting twenty dogs.
We went back to the adoption kennel. It was the first time we'd chosen a dog without Treat. We took Blueberry with us and she was...less than impressed...by the dogs we were introduced to. I saw some very sweet dogs who were beautiful, but I didn't feel that connection. I was feeling pretty disheartened, to tell the truth, after meeting over a dozen dogs with a very patient adoption representative. Finally, she offered to bring out a little dog she'd mentioned before, but she cautioned us that she was very new and they didn't know a lot about her yet, and that she was very young. When Bunny walked in that door, she walked straight over to me on the couch and leaned against me. Blueberry -- didn't dislike her on sight. She eventually made her way over to Mr. Taleteller and gazed up into his eyes. I was stunned by her calmness and confidence. I'm pretty sure I asked several times if they were sure that she was only eighteen months old.