Owning my first dog was so simple. I went to the shelter, picked out the cutest puppy, then stopped by the pet store for some food and a leash. I wanted a puppy, so I got Sam. I loved that dog, and I still miss him today. I have days of sadness and regret. I wish I could have shared my current sharing-life-with-dog mindset with him. I think he would have loved it!
He was my companion, I walked him, played with him and snuggled him. He had a good life. So what would have been different? My focus. I did the things I liked with Sam, and I didn’t consider life from his perspective. I was so happy with him that I assumed he was happy. I wish I had a do-over to consider his needs.
What I Have Learned
Dogs have needs too, and there is not a do-this-and-needs-are-met recipe. Each dog is an individual and has a range of needs to consider.
Enter - corny metaphor: The Range of Needs
Stay with me for a minute and let me explore why this metaphor may not be as corny as it seems.
Let’s look at two of my current dogs, Luke and Obi. Luke is a rescue - he is a parvo-surviving, found-in-a-field-alone herding mixed breed. This guy is needy. He needs to be doing something at all times - sitting in my lap, running, chewing something, playing with our other dogs, sniffing, etc. Obi is a lazy poodle mix who loves to cuddle but is just fine spending the day napping. Obi has lower needs overall than Luke.
Let’s now expand this view to consider all my dogs. Just like different mountain ranges, they each have their own unique range of needs. And, the ranges look different! And, while they do