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It's a bit early for Willow and me to be celebrating our two year gotcha-versary, but I felt like posting because something has been occurring to me lately.

When I first joined this forum, when I adopted Willow at 3 years old and had never owned a dog (except for my childhood dog), almost everything about her irritated me. She barked at strangers. She whined all the time. She was sensitive. She was insecure. She was leash reactive. She tipped over my garbage can ONCE. She shed like a fiend. I'm kind of Type A, I work a lot, I'm very organized and set in my ways, and I had this idea of what I wanted my dog to be and Willow, while being great in a lot of ways right off the bat, was not the "perfect" dog.

Looking back, the poor thing was probably so petrified about me--who I was, how I was going to treat her. She had 0 control over the situation. Here was this uptight lady who grabbed her leash and drove off with her on a hot August day and took her to an unfamiliar home and immediately started demanding things from her.

Nowadays she's just so....happy. She is the happiest dog I have ever seen. And I am so happy with her. We have adapted to each other.

I think I went into dog ownership thinking I could control my dog, I could mold her into my perfect companion that fit my lifestyle and didn't cause me any inconvenience. When that didn't immediately happen, I was disappointed and angry. What an unfair expectation! And now what has happened is that Willow and I have molded each other into perfect companions. Just like any relationship--it's give and take. You win some, you lose some. Things I thought I could not live with, I'm living with, and you know what? It's not a big deal. And letting that stuff go has helped give Willow more security, more stability, and--gasp--turned her more into what I wanted her to be in the first place.

So this is probably something stupid that most of you already know but hey, I had to learn it....that you cannot control everything about your dog, nor should you; that each dog is a unique, sentient being that deserves your kindness and trust and will return it to you a hundred-fold even when you don't deserve it. That there's nothing quite so satisfying to someone like me than seeing your dog gaily rolling around in a ray of sunshine on the freshly-mowed grass with a ball in her mouth because she's just so darn happy to be alive, and with you.

I wish every dog and every dog owner that kind of happiness.
willo1.jpg
 

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She looks very much at peace and it seems you have found the peace that comes with having a great companion in your life. Congrats to both of you.
 

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What a great uplifting story. I think you should submit it to Reader's Digest. The world can use some happy ending stories right now.
 

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When I first joined this forum, when I adopted Willow at 3 years old and had never owned a dog (except for my childhood dog), almost everything about her irritated me.
oh, we remember!!! 😜
glad you stuck out and have your perfectly imperfect girl 🥰
 

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This caused some onions. Just goes to show that PATIENCE is key.

Thank you for sharing and may you and Willow have a long and happy companionship.
 

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It's a bit early for Willow and me to be celebrating our two year gotcha-versary, but I felt like posting because something has been occurring to me lately.

When I first joined this forum, when I adopted Willow at 3 years old and had never owned a dog (except for my childhood dog), almost everything about her irritated me. She barked at strangers. She whined all the time. She was sensitive. She was insecure. She was leash reactive. She tipped over my garbage can ONCE. She shed like a fiend. I'm kind of Type A, I work a lot, I'm very organized and set in my ways, and I had this idea of what I wanted my dog to be and Willow, while being great in a lot of ways right off the bat, was not the "perfect" dog.

Looking back, the poor thing was probably so petrified about me--who I was, how I was going to treat her. She had 0 control over the situation. Here was this uptight lady who grabbed her leash and drove off with her on a hot August day and took her to an unfamiliar home and immediately started demanding things from her.

Nowadays she's just so....happy. She is the happiest dog I have ever seen. And I am so happy with her. We have adapted to each other.

I think I went into dog ownership thinking I could control my dog, I could mold her into my perfect companion that fit my lifestyle and didn't cause me any inconvenience. When that didn't immediately happen, I was disappointed and angry. What an unfair expectation! And now what has happened is that Willow and I have molded each other into perfect companions. Just like any relationship--it's give and take. You win some, you lose some. Things I thought I could not live with, I'm living with, and you know what? It's not a big deal. And letting that stuff go has helped give Willow more security, more stability, and--gasp--turned her more into what I wanted her to be in the first place.

So this is probably something stupid that most of you already know but hey, I had to learn it....that you cannot control everything about your dog, nor should you; that each dog is a unique, sentient being that deserves your kindness and trust and will return it to you a hundred-fold even when you don't deserve it. That there's nothing quite so satisfying to someone like me than seeing your dog gaily rolling around in a ray of sunshine on the freshly-mowed grass with a ball in her mouth because she's just so darn happy to be alive, and with you.

I wish every dog and every dog owner that kind of happiness.
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LOVE this. Great insight, great thoughts. This should be a sticky for ppl adopting dogs!
 

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Love seeing your Happy photo. 😊

But actually I never doubted you both would get there!
I started on the rescue dog path a few years earlier than you, I guess, and I recognized/remembered those stages...(i.e. the "OMG What Have I Done stage", ha)
But you were so committed to Willow and thought about her so much, I never had a doubt.
 
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