I had the most perfect lunch today.
Perfectly prepared, from perfect ingredients, a perfect antidote to the effects of the terrible glass of wine I shouldn’t have drunk last night!
I also sat next to the perfect dog.
Cute, relaxed, friendly but not OTT, the little love seemed quite happy to lie on the floor and nap while his / her mum chatted over a coffee.
It occurred to me that this is a likely part of the ownership experience that a lot of dog-parents envisage when they acquire a canine friend. A perfectly cute, perfectly behaved, take-anywhere kind of pet.
Well, here’s a heads up. This kind of perfection doesn’t just ‘happen’.
I know for a fact that lady had put work into creating her perfect pet.
Just like the person who created my lunch, she started with good quality ingredients (a pup with provenance if you will), which she gently cultivated over time into the laid-back, trouble-free character who was quietly hoping to solicit some tidbits from my plate.
An organic process. Adding a little here, taking something away there, gradually, carefully crafting a calm and confident companion with whom to share her time.
In this age of instant internet-fuelled gratification, it seems that a lot of owners expect their dog to come ready-trained. Or at least that giving up an hour of their precious time each week to attend a training course will result in the finished article. I don’t for a moment blame anyone for thinking this: a lot of trainers / books / online press suggests that a quick fix to training your dog exists.
Another heads up. Having a ‘perfect’ dog is a luxury, not a right. And luxury comes at a price. But in this case, the price is not monetary: it is your time, patience and understanding.
It is you being prepared to invest fully in your new canine. To do all the necessary preparation.
To give them the best possible chance of becoming your ‘perfect’ pet.
(With apologies to the owner who was so deep in conversation I didn’t ask permission to photograph her dog)