Before I met my beloved dog, I had visions of what being a dog owner would be like. Sure, I had previously had dogs growing up. But this would be the first one I would raise with my own training and my own morals, which is a completely different experience. And I had very grandiose ideas of what it would be like.
My first thoughts were of all the friends I would hang out with and make once I got my dog. I scoped out great paths in the area: Snyders Flats, McLennan Park, literally anywhere else with dogs. I lived knee deep in suburbia, so the dogs often came in hoards. I was so excited to be a part of this new community and meet with my fellow dog lovers that I never imagined a dog life without tons of dogs. My life would look something like the image below.
I figured hey, why not get a high energy bully breed dog. They were super cute, super smart, and would totally go on long hikes with me. Thats would be enough to poop out a high energy dog, right?!
The biggest thing I couldn’t wait for was to show off to all my friends and family how I could raise a beautiful, bold, and well behaved dog. One who would sit when I asked, sleep on her bed, and be able to do party tricks to impress even the cat people. I had all these all these beliefs on how my dog would be so much different from all the other ones. After all, I would take my dog to dog training and that would magically make her the best of all the other puppers - because that’s how I believed it would work.
I wish someone would have slapped me in those moments. Someone to shake me and tell my what a giant, fucking idiot I was. Because taking in a rescue dog is a promise to love whatever faults comes with them, and support them with whatever they need to succeed. Its not about having a creature to do cheap party tricks, but something to love and care for the rest of its life. A rescue dog needs a companion for the rest of their lives to finally put their needs before your own - and I had no idea what I was in for.