Welcome to the Land of Misfit Dogs
Actually that should read “Welcome, to the Land of Misfit Animals”. I don’t know why it is, but the misfits of the four legged sort seem to find their way to my house.
I guess it takes one to know one, or so the adage goes, so maybe I should find a therapist and figure out why I fit into the misfit realm. Perhaps I just don’t want to know the answer to that one! After twenty some years 😉 I am fairly comfortable with who I am.
Well I am a girl, so most days I am comfortable with who I am and other days the bedroom floor is riddled with clothes that just don’t “fit right” and I have “nothing to wear”.
If you know me from my articles (or you have the true joy of knowing me personally) you must know that up until recently I hated, despised and disdained getting up in front of people and competing. It just has never been my forte.
But recently I have gotten out of my comfort zone and done all kinds of things I would NEVER have done in the past and most of that includes getting involved in dog competitions.
I have had some major highs (and many, many blue ribbons) and also some “lows” when my dog decided she wanted to do what she wants when she wants (she is a bitch after all).
But because I live in “The Land of Misfits” I knew that none of my dogs could reach their full potential in some of the protection sports that I adore.
So I decided I would take the advice of my new friends and competitors and I would get a dog JUST for competition.
Now, I can’t spend 10,000 to import an adult dog, or risk trying to integrate an adult dog with my pets, dogs, cats and perhaps a raccoon that thinks he’s a person. All my dogs live inside, that is all there is to it!
So I knew I needed to start with a pup and do all that I could to raise him to reach for the skies completion-wise.
Puppies are a “crap shoot”, you can do your best to choose great genetics, socialize them sufficiently, and then train them right but you can still end up with a dog that doesn’t have what it takes to take it to win high level competitions.
I figured I would go into this with more “business sense” and less heart. If the dog wasn’t what I wanted when he matured, I would sell him or find him a pet home and move on to another.
Right before I went into this venture, I told a competitor friend and he giggled.
Seems he knows me too well.
Meet Cerberus My New Baby….
I had been looking forward to getting this little guy, but he had an accident and broke his jaw. It may never heal right, may cause him pain, or he may even lose 3 teeth and that portion of his jaw.
But I learned something about myself on that day. I DON’T CARE!!!!
I don’t care if he never reaches high levels of competition, I don’t care if his jaw is a little out of line…all I care about is him and his well-being.
It seems a person can’t just shut off their emotions.
I think this was a test from God. I think he too giggled and decided to give me a choice; I could refuse the puppy, I could let the puppy get euthanized (***gasp*** although shamefully this was suggested by competition friends) or I could take him and let him be part of my pack.
I decided the latter was the only way I could live with myself.
I still hope that he heals and some day he brings the “fear of God” to some decoy on the field and is still the kinda guy that wags and licks toddlers in the face or lets them blow zerberts on his belly.
But quite frankly I just don’t care if he never competes. If he ends up being a toothless, happy dog that is good enough for me. He will be mine till the day he dies and I hope that is not for another…say 20 years 😉
The quality of a dog is not about the job he can do (unless you are say a police officer and your life depends on it) it is about the love and joy he can bring to your life! At least that is how it goes for me. Which is not to say that I judge my friends that compete!
So it doesn’t matter to me that my 12 year old dog has always had vision problems, my 2 year old dog has some kind of bizarre snotting problem that keeps her from gripping full, my 1 year old dog is afraid of his shadow and my hair dryer. I have an adult cat that was so starved as a kitten she is only 3 pounds, or that I have a raccoon that thinks he is a Dutch Shepherd or small blonde person like me…I love each and every one of them with all my heart.
So laugh if you want, point fingers and talk about me if you are a competitor; I simply don’t have what it takes to harden my heart and get rid of anyone I love no matter their short comings (even if I do have to clean snot off of the walls, the TV, the cat and my face)…and I think that is a pretty special trait don’t you?
Welcome to my home of misfits, and I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I will find SOMETHING for all of them to do so that they live happy and fulfilled lives!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.