I’d like to thank all our friends and followers for choosing to include our posts as part of your routine reading. It is an honor to know so many wonderful people enjoy the pictures and tidbits we share; and have come to be part of our repertoire too. However, there is something about sharing that bothers me: those who compare our lives or our pets to themselves and their pets. Comparing our lives or pets is a losing proposition for us all because any time comparisons are made, they reveal short-falls and cause negative feelings.
It’s natural to read about others and think maybe they’re living better; or they’re better at grabbing more of the brass rings in life; or that their dogs are smarter, prettier, do more than our own. But, I certainly hope when you all post things saying that Cinder is already smarter and doing more than your beloved best friends, you are not feeling your own pups/dogs are less valuable or less loved. I hope you are not feeling that somehow you or your dog(s) and/or your relationships with your dogs are less meaningful or less rewarding-that you have somehow missed out.
This is not a competition to see who’s doing more, better, faster at anything-at least, not for me. I am merely sharing our puppy and the assortment of things that occur in our lives as we raise Cinder, knowing she will truly be our last puppy. It is an on-going chronicle of things we do and learn; things that happen; hoping we can raise Cinder to be a good dog; and sharing the ways our lives are greatly enriched through life with our dogs. It is my hope that regardless of what we or anyone else does with their pets, you don’t really compare our pets and yours. We all lead different lives with different backgrounds and goals for our pets.
Part of the enjoyment of being friends and followers with so many on this blog, Facebook, and in real life is enjoying the diversity of our lives and pets; and sharing things about our common bonds that create(d) our friendships – our love of our animals.
I'm as guilty as anyone of comparing myself and what I do or could/should do with my dogs. I look at Tina and Chandi-now Tina and Gracie (http://tinaandchandi.wordpress.com/), or Zolza and her Border Collies and think, "Geez! I should really be teaching Cinder all that stuff!" Then reality sets in and I realize they are trying to achieve different goals with their dogs-including competions. Those aren't my goals. Cinder will never reach her ultimate potential with me and I know it. I have to be content with making her the best that I can, fitting our lifestyle. After all, she doesn't even know what a competition is so she certainly doesn't care about how well she learns tricks, obedience, agility or anything else. She doesn't even know what "beautiful" or "ugly" mean to care where she falls in the spectrum. Caring about those things is a human thing, not the dog's.
Please don’t compare our pets and their intelligence or beauty. When I compare my three dogs, I realize how different they are and how much more or different I could have done and could yet do with them, “if….” If I had: more time, more money, more space, more help, more knowledge, more talent, more energy, more… I didn’t and don’t have all the “if” items, in the past or now, so the “if factor” does not apply and therefore, my own comparisons are silly. It’s not fair to compare my dogs to each other or your dogs. In reality, I’ve done as much as I could for each of them given my resources and abilities; so second-guessing myself now is futile. Life gives us all enough hard knocks without comparing what we or our pets do or don’t do. Comparisons only apply in competition and this is not a competition-at least not for me. It's a journey through life raising Cinder with our other wonderful dogs and trying to get through life one day at a time.
Be well and be good to yourselves and your pets! As Cinder would say, “Pooch smoochies to everyone!”