Did you know that people have a “type?” Yes, they do whether it’s in dating, the friends they hang out with, or dogs. At least we think we have a type. And then we go to a party or join a book club or listen to an adoption counselor at a shelter.
One of the things we hear often is that someone has always had a big or small or light-colored or black or male or female dog, or this breed or that. You get the point. My husband was one of those who wanted a girl dog and he had some other must-haves when we were selecting a dog.
This was supposed to be my emotional support dog but I didn’t really want a dog so I deferred to his knowledge. Every dog that fit his criteria had zero interest in me. Then I listened to Jim who happened to have been my adoption counselor that day. He asked specific questions about lifestyle, why we wanted a dog, what was absolutely a deal-breaker, and more.
I told Jim I didn’t care about breed or gender or size. I wanted to not have a headache every day and continually think about suicide. A tall order for any dog I guess.
After I gave my list of demands, and, yes, they were demands, Jim said, “You don’t really want a dog, do you?”
Nope. He then proceeded to tell me that he had the perfect dog for me. He left the room and came back with an underweight, little brown mutt of indeterminate breed. He was labeled as a Shepherd/Mix but he sure didn’t look like a police dog to me. Yes, the only Shepherd I’d ever heard of was a German Shepherd.
This little dog had eyes only for me. He sat and stared and stared as if daring me to not love him. And so it was. We walked out with 100% the opposite of everything Gary said he wanted in a dog. You know why? Because we listened to the person who knows about dogs.
Sometimes we group our dogs on Facebook posts because people do have a type. Maybe they have to have a small dog so it’s good to see them all in one place. Or they have a large dog at home and they want a similarly sized dog as a companion. But when you come in we hope you’ll listen and be open to a dog who maybe goes against type. Magic happens when we are open to change.