Why is it that so many strive for this? Is it achievable? Is it worth achieving and should we expect this from not only ourselves, but our dogs? Personally, I don't think it actually exists and nor do I want it to. I mean, what would life look like then? Would it be any fun at all?
Recently I had someone tell me that I should be studying my 'competition', figuring out how they do things and do it better so that I can "take over the industry in my area". That I should perfect my website, the way I run my business to be better than the others. My response was simply why? Why do I need to see others in the industry as competition? Why do I need to perfect anything? No one is perfect, no human and no dog. Why can we not just work together as an industry with a common goal to improve the quality and in some cases, the length of a dogs life? Isn't that what we all want to do anyway? Help owners to understand their dogs and work together to improve the quality of life for all involved.
When I was 17 years old, I rescued a wild, ill mannered, unruly, not at all housebroken, unpredictable four and a half month old American Pit Bull Terrier cross. She had some serious resource guarding when it came to food, especially food that wasn't hers, would spend hours outside with me only to promptly relieve herself indoors within seconds of being back inside and found particular joy in destroying anything and everything she could reach. She was far from perfect, but I fell instantly in love with her and vowed to make her life better. There were countless nights with 2 am showers for both her and her crate (that was borrowed and she ate a hole in...), because she decided that 2 am was a good time to empty her bowels. Endless hours were spent learning that biting was not acceptable and did in fact hurt. Many household items were lost to the teething jaws of puppyhood but we made it. Not only did we make it, she became a familiar and welcome face in the covered patio of our local coffee shop. She would spend hours curled up under my table next to my feet on her blanket while I had coffee with friends. She learned to play with the children in my aunt's building and now knew to be gentle with them. Children that were once afraid of her jumping and nipping now squealed with delight when they saw her. By 7 months of age her leash was a formality required by law but was not needed. She was never more than a few feet away, always checked in, and no longer ate food or trash she found on the ground. Her recall was bombproof even when she took off after a squirrel. One word and she turned on a dime and returned to my side. By the age of one she had learned to retrieve several different objects by name and could open wheel chair accessible doors. Dare I say it? She was perfection, or so I thought. Until one summer day. We had done our usual walk with off leash play time then headed to the post office to get the mail. By we I mean myself, my baby in his stroller and my beloved dog. We lived in a small town, some may say a village even, and that day when crossing the intersection that ran directly through the center of that small town my perfect dog decides now, that instant in that moment was when she needed to take a poop....smack dab in the middle of the intersection with traffic stopped in both directions. Well wouldn't you know it, the light turned green....and she wasn't done. So there I was, standing in the middle of the intersection with my baby in his stroller, mid summer in the height of tourist season and traffic lined up in all directions waiting for my dog to finish pooping....so I could then clean it up. Well, the green lighters became once again red lighters as I cleaned up the mess, meekly smiled and mouthed an apologetic sorry and carried on. So my perfect dog wasn't so perfect after all. Perfection. It does not exist and is not something we should strive for. Instead we should strive for our personal best and that is all we can expect from our dogs. They too will have good days and bad days. Embrace the days that they poop in the middle of the road, for one day you will wish you they were still here so you could pick it up.