Some of the worst decisions in all of dogdom are justified by this line – “He chose me.”
I am tempted to make this post about why this is the case, why we want to make the acquisition of a dog a wholly emotional decision, and (further) why we want it to not just be emotional but an inexorable decision BY THE DOG in the face of which we are hopeless – because it’s ridiculous. Are we somehow thrilled by dogs who are stalkers?
But what I really want to make it about is this gorgeous bunch of Australian Shepherds thundering toward me.
I took this photo about a second and a half before that lead puppy made it to my face. This was the last photo I could take for several minutes, in fact, while I held the camera above my head and laughed helplessly as six babies chewed my ears, sucked on my hair, licked my nose, and wiggled gleefully into my coat.
Once they had all been gently detached from my person, they went running all over the place, except for one.
This dude was on top of me, biting my face, tugging my pants leg, generally making himself a glorious nuisance the entire time. When I put my hands down he ran to them; when I smiled he grinned. I talked to him and he stared into my face as though I was the only person on earth.
So why did I not re-mortgage my house and come home with him? Didn’t he choose me? Isn’t it inevitable? Hasn’t my heart spoken to his, and his spoken back?
Well, for one thing it’s because he’s Leslie’s keeper puppy and I don’t have that much courage in the entire world. But mostly it’s because of this:
Same set of puppies.
There’s “my” puppy, and there’s all that love.
Why? Because he’s that kind of puppy. In fact, a TON of puppies are that kind of puppy. If I went to see a litter of Tervs or Danes or Chihuahuas or Kerry Blues, there would be a puppy “choosing” me in each litter. That puppy would, in fact, “choose” every human to walk into the room, and try to choose the piano and a space heater. Sparkly, pushy puppies are geniuses at it.
Bringing home an Australian Shepherd puppy is the wrong – WRONG – choice for most families. Bringing home a Kerry Blue is wrong for even more of them. Bringing home a puppy of any breed from a pet store or from a bad breeder is even worse. You must choose. YOU must be the one who selects and who takes responsibility and makes sure that the breed and the puppy is a wise and considered choice, and IGNORES the fact that one puppy thinks you’re the bob-omb.