Thursday, June 16, 2005
Only Skin DeepPart of my job is to assist clients in finding the right dog for their lifestyle. I often find myself asking the question, "what is it you're looking for in a dog?" I learn a lot from the answer.
Most commonly, what I get is a physical description. "Well, I really love those dogs with spots," or "Do you have any fluffy dogs?" or "Something little." or "Don't you have any puppies?" People who answer like this often haven't thought beyond the look of the dog they want. They assume the right aesthetic will be connected to a suitable canine personality.
Less commonly, I get answers like, "I'm looking for a dog who can jog with me," or "I need a dog who can come to work," or "I'm looking for a pet who can be left at home alone for six hours each day." These are the clients that make me want to clap my hands and shout "yay!". Potential adopters with these kinds of answers are looking for the right temperament for their living situation.
Not every fluffy dog is a jogger, and not every jogging partner is going to be fluffy. Many times I have heard on follow up calls, "You know, I never would have imagined getting a dog that looked like X, but her personality's so wonderful. I just love her." On the other hand, I have never heard an adopter say, "You know, I never would have imagined getting a dog with such an extremely high energy level, but she's so spotted! I adore her."