Do you know any people who are all about themselves, who love to relate all the details of their daily lives, all their adventures, all their problems, never taking a breath during which, God forbid, you could get a word in edgewise?  Or someone who will let you talk, but only when it’s about them. Do you know anyone so self-congratulatory that they assume they are more interesting than you are, that they are more fascinating, in fact, than anyone else in the entire world, because if they do this to you, rest assured, they do it to everyone.  What do you do?  How do you even get away without just leaving while they are still talking?  If you were brought up to be polite, if your mother taught you not to hit, well then!  What a nightmare.

So – how would you like to be the dog of someone like this?  Your dog, of course, would know everything there is to know about you, at least everything a dog could understand, which is quite a great deal.  But you would know nothing about your dog.  Alas.

If you have adopted your dog from a shelter or rescue group, no doubt they told you what breed or mix of breeds your dog is.  No doubt they lied.  Everything black and white is part Border collie.  Everything big with floppy ears is part Lab.  No dog, no matter how broad his head, no matter how muscular, agile, strong, is part Pit Bull.  Every dog is a something-poo, already house trained, just waiting to love you to pieces.  But your dog is not an appearance or a color.  Your dog is his behavior.  So no matter what the nice person in rescue says and no matter what the DNA test says, you will need to carefully note your dog’s behavior – how he plays, how he moves, what he finds exciting, what, if anything, he loves to chase, how and when he barks, how and when he is or isn’t protective.  It is from knowing your dog that you will, well, know your dog.  Pretend you can interrupt that blowhard and say, “What would you like to know about me?”  And then pretend your dog has asked you that question.  Because there is nothing finer between friends than truly knowing each other and it is from this that love comes, that empathy comes, that permanence comes.

And next time you meet someone who is all about himself, no matter what your mother taught you, it’s okay to walk away.  After all, it’s more important that you spend your time getting to know your dog than getting to hear all about someone who doesn’t love you and never will.

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