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Manage episode 348284260 series 3418632
Welcome to Sincerely, Melissa Podcast where I talk about advice. FYI, my dog Jasper is present with me, you may hear him on the audio. Today, I am recording outside near a water fountain.
What I wish I knew before I got my previous dog. I am not here to judge you, whether you adopt from a rescue, obtain one online, or get a pedigree dog. What I am here to do, is stop you from yourself. You know what I am talking about. I mean the, "I am a couch potato, but if I get a high-energy dog I will become more active" comment or "I will train it to be a service dog, so I need a high-energy dog". No ... no you don't. You don't need a high-energy dog to be a service dog. What you need is a dog that matches your personality, habits, and living situation. Any dog can be a service dog as long as it is trained to do a task for your disability, and you follow government rules regarding service dogs.
I know you are thinking this because I had been there myself. I ignored the warnings from the breeder and the information provided to me about a high-energy breed and still ended up with one even though I had never met one in-person. I know what you are thinking, what kind of person gets a dog without meeting them in person until they brought the pup home. I was that kind of person. I was excited, naive, and not willing to listen to friends, family, coworkers, even the breeder. I lucked out, I wouldn't change my past decisions because I had wonderful experiences with him.
I learned a lot. I took him to places like training classes, dog parks, on walks and even to my family's backyard. I lived in a small place that required him to be on leash at all times. I even researched his breed, researched how to tire him out and bought dog puzzles, toys, you name it. He was a really sweet intelligent dog, but I could just not meet his needs because of his high-energy and mental stimulation he craved. Believe me when I say this, meet the dog in person before getting one, even if you have prior experience with dogs or even the breed. Then, you will know if you can meet that specific dog's requirements. That is what I should have done, even though I had years of experience with dogs and other animals. He is now living his best life with his new family who has more than 20 years of experience with the breed. What I should have done, is listened and researched a different energy level dog breed or even gone with a dog breed I have experience with. It is okay to make these mistakes, we are only human after all, but if you find yourself in a similar situation to what I went through, it is okay to give up and find the pup a better-fit home. I know how hard it can be, I literally cried in a petstore as I was buying him his goodbye present. It is okay to feel how you are feeling. It will get better over time, your pup will be happier, you won't be so stressed and if you're lucky the new owners will give you updates on them or even let you visit them occasionally. I write this on my one year anniversary of when I rehomed him and I now have a wonderful dog that is a much better match for my energy level and goes almost everywhere with me. He will become a service dog if he is willing to learn. Just know that just because a specific dog is a better match, doesn't mean they are perfect, there are bound to be problems or mistakes, but maybe now you can manage the situation better and not get overwhelmed.