Monday, June 21, 2010


Yup, that’s the title of another “oldie but goodie.” If you been in this breed for any length of time, many different dogs have come in and out of your life by now. You’ve owned all different types and personalities of the breed. Some were better than others. Some may have been “stars” or top producers of “stars.” Some may have been great show dogs and others had the potential to be, but maybe they lacked the “get up and go” needed to reach that potential. Maybe they just found running around in a circle a foolish waste of their time.

Some of the dogs that we have owned were more favored than others. Perhaps it was that one had a great personality while one was more laid back and content just lying around the house all day. Dogs are not that much different in personality than people are. And the same way that we are drawn to certain people, is the same way that we are drawn to certain dogs more than his kennel mate. It’s called chemistry.

Chemistry is not something that we can explain. It’s like the beautiful woman hanging off the arm of the not so attractive man. How many times have you asked yourself, “What does she see in him? How did he get so lucky?” We don’t get it. Beauty and the beast! It’s the same thing with our dogs. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the prettiest dog in our kennel that is our favorite one. There’s just something about this favored dog that might be familiar to us on a whole other sub-conscious level. Your friend might come to your house and notice the attention that you give to the favored dog. She might not see anything special about her at all, but it’s a connection that you have with the favored dog. You can’t explain it. It’s just there.

I own three dogs. My Amber is my house dog and then there are her two daughters Bu and Jess (that's them as babies in the above picture....Bu in the front and Jess following her like usual).  Amber is a great house dog. She’s extremely intelligent and learns very quickly. Amber lives for love……24 hours a day if she had her way. Then there’s her daughter Bu, who is my “heart” dog. It doesn’t make sense to me because she’s by far the “bad to the bone” dog that I’ve ever owned. Bu lives for Bu. She’s always happy. She’s always on display. She’s the alpha bitch although sometimes her mother will challenge her for that position. She could play 24 hours a day. Life is a party for Bu. Then there’s Jess. She’s built like an Ox, strong but gawky. She lives in the shadow of her exuberant sister Bu. She could eat 24 hours a day. Of the three, she’s my least favorite………….and she’s the reason that I’m writing this article today.

Jess is the one that wags her tail the most when she sees me looking out the back window. Oh Bu loves me too, but that’s because Bu knows I love her best. It’s not that any one of my dogs gets more attention than the other. They all get the same food and treats, and the same amount of attention. You know what I’m talking about though. Whether you admit it or not, you have a favored dog as well. Just notice how your voice changes when you speak to the favored dog. Notice how your eyes get all soft and “love sick” when you’re looking at the favored dog. It’s true. The favored dog is the one that we’re more tolerant of than the others. He does something bad and yeah we get mad at him and yell at him, but he really doesn’t’ take us too seriously. He knows we’ll get over it quickly. Yeah he really does. He’s got us all figured out. He’s not too much different then the spoiled child in a family.

Oh I know there are those that are reading this saying “Not in my house. My dogs know better. I’m the alpha and they know better than to come up against me.” Well that may be true, but I bet you still have a favored one that even if you do get mad at her, it’s not too long before she softens you up a bit. It just seems like we can’t stay mad for too long at the favored child.

Do you find your patience is different with one of the less favored dogs? Do we tolerate less from them than the favored one?

How many times have you had a potential buyer for one of your puppies call you up and tell you they’d like to look at your litter, but they’re not ready to buy yet? They tell you that they’re just looking. They just lost a beloved dog and that no other dog can ever take their place in their heart. I remember one such instance years ago.

A husband called me to tell me that he and his wife would like to take a look at my puppies. He told me that they had just lost a beloved dog and that his wife is devastated over this loss. He said that she didn’t even want to come look at the puppies, but he convinced her to join him. He told me that he hopes she will change her mind once she sees the puppies. So they come to my house. I could see that although the lady was friendly, her mood was withdrawn and sad. They showed me pictures of there beloved German Shepherd and proceeded to tell me that no other dog could ever take the place of their “Sadie!” I wasn’t about to try to change the woman’s mind on my own. Instead, I brought the puppies in to the den and let them sell themselves. They ran happily in to the arms of the young couple. Kisses were plentiful from these fat little babies. I immediately saw a change in the woman’s body language. She was smiling from ear to ear. I didn’t have to saw a word. She was sold. But even so, she tried to convince me that no one could replace Sadie.

Well over the following weeks I heard from the woman that bought this puppy from me. She finally admitted to me, that although the puppy didn’t replace Sadie, she helped make much of her pains go away. She told me in time, she was convinced she would love this puppy just as much as Sadie. And she did. All the wonderful phone calls and pictures of the puppy growing up convinced me of that.

Is there perhaps one of our own dogs that may not be the favored dog that we might have overlooked? Have we been guilty of not developing this dog’s full potential? Does this dog sit in the kennel without the proper training and socialization that he needs to be the dog that he can become? Have we forgotten about the less favored one because we are too busy putting so much time in to the favored dog? We just might be surprised at what we might find locked away in that great old big heart from the dog that wags his tail at us the most!

From the book:  "THE BIRTH ORDER BOOK, WHY YOU ARE THE WAY YOU ARE".........Your birth order -- whether you were born first (or are an only child,) or second, in your family -- powerfully influences what kind of person you are, who you marry, the job you choose. Now you can discover: How to pick out the first born in any group. Why the baby in the family gets away with everything. How to help middle children feel less squeezed and more loved. Ways to overcome your worst inborn tendencies. Which career suits you best. How to make the perfect marriage match and much, much more... You've seen him on television and heard him on the radio. Now internationally known psychologist Kevin Leman reveals an exciting new way to better understand yourself and those you love. "Forget astrology. The fresh, new karmic aid for picking friends and lovers is birth order... a funny, and sometimes not so funny, look at the effect siblings, or the lack of them, have in shaping a person."

My rating:  favored dog: (4), not so favored dog: (4), love the one you're with: (4)

1 comment:

  1. We have 6 kids and 8 grandchildren...and there is nowhere I would rather be than with my dogs. They accept me not care if I am dressed or if I am wearing spotted sox with a shirt that does not match, or if my hair is "blue merle" instead of bottle blonde, or if that last tiramisu I ate is now residing firmly on my hips...they never correct me...never chastise me..never tell me to "get a job ya bum!"....or ask me why the vacuum cleaner is permanently residing in the middle of my kitchen floor. Walking with them is a joy...I get a chance to talk on the cell with an occasional "good dog" thrown their way, and they are happy with it. A ball is a miracle to them; they do not ask for my credit card, my car keys, or Christmas gifts. They are happy with the menu each day, whatever it is and do not complain that I am "picking up a chicken" instead of slaving over a hot stove on a summer night. They think, they KNOW...that my world revolves solely for them and ask "arent I just the cutest thing?" as they engineer a new trench through the backyard, causing half the dogloo to sink into a waiting pool of sand.
    We wipe their feet, brush their luxurious coats, choose their toys and cookies with an eye toward mental stimulation and physical health. I keep their health records in neat tidy folders with their pictures on top...damned if I could find the kids vaccination records; they are somewhere in this house...I just know it.