I pose a question for which I have no answer. What makes a dog beautiful to a person?
Growing up, my family had two consecutive miniature schnauzers; they each had distinctive personalities and were members of my family. They were small, yappy and always in the middle of our gang of kids. We were their charges, along with the various farm animals we had. Each had lively eyes, the salt and pepper signature coats and the eyebrows that always made them look like little old men. I couldn’t imagine my childhood with out them.
That being said, I went to college and didn’t have a dog in my life for the next decade or so. Between living in apartments and job demands I knew that my lifestyle wouldn’t be fair to a dog. Finally, things settled down and I started thinking about getting a dog. I knew that I wanted to adopt a dog. By this time I was sharing a house with my mother, so we needed to come up with a set of criteria that we could both live with. After all, my dog would be in her life too.
We both started looking at various organizations, either their dogs didn’t fit our criteria or we didn’t fit theirs. Finally, mom went on a trip and I was determined to have a dog. So I went to a shelter outside of Baltimore, Maryland. It was a no-kill shelter that typically took dogs off of ‘death-row’ from the city and county shelters.
The yard was full of dogs of all sizes. I’ll be honest, I never thought about pit bulls, what they looked like or what they were. I knew they existed, but they weren’t on my radar. I walked in to the yard and was mobbed. This little 17-lbs white ball of energy pushed his way to the front and presented him self to me. Ta-dah! I’m the one you’ve been looking for.
And darned if he wasn’t right. Floppy ears, square head, black nose, and a tail that wouldn’t stop wagging. I was a gonner. All the carefully argued criteria went out the window, I think the only thing that stuck was he didn’t bark. Did I recognize him as a pit bull, no. The shelter told me he was a hound-beagle-terrier mix.
I came home with my treasure and the first thing out of my mother’s mouth was, “You brought home a PIT BULL!” I spent the next year training my dog, training my mother and training everyone around me that at well-trained and well-loved dog is a good dog, no matter the breed. Five years later full of snuggles, laughter, love and more beauty than I can ever put into words, I have a partner in crime, a friend in good times and in bad, a bed hog, and most importantly one of the brightest lights in my life.
So, back to my original question, what make a dog beautiful to a person? The dog itself. It doesn’t matter if it is a show dog or a shelter dog, a dog’s heart and personality is the most beautiful thing in the world.
Any comments and stories are welcome. What makes your dog beautiful?