Some Amazing Dogs I Wish I Had

I’m not proud of myself. But sometimes I feel envy.

No, I don’t covet my neighbor’s car. Or wish I had someone else’s house.

But every so often I meet an amazing dog. And I wish I had one just like him.

Honey the golden retriever and cult movies.

How could you ever want another dog when you have this face at home?

The Amazing Dog Who Waits

A contractor who works in my neighborhood had the most amazing dog.

He was a pitbull with the calmest spirit.

The contractor would bring his dog to jobs with him. Then, while he was setting up ladders or scraping paint, the dog would lie down near the front sidewalk and “supervise” the job.

They’d work for hours and the dog never moved.

Kids rolled by on scooters, squirrels scampered up the tree providing his shade, and people walking their dogs strolled right by him.

He sat quietly and waited for his person.

I’d love to have a dog who could wait so patiently without being distracted by activities around him.

Until one day I realized I did.

Mike and I went grocery shopping. When we got home 90 minutes later, I saw a dog sitting on the front porch looking down at the sidewalk. I said to my husband, “That dog looks like Agatha.”

It couldn’t be Agatha. My neurotic dog who barked at every stranger, lunged toward strange dogs, fought with her sister, and wasn’t fully house trained until she turned twelve years old? Never.

But it was. She stayed on the porch as we unloaded our groceries and was very pleased to see us.

Once we got inside, we discovered that my husband who put the “A” in absentminded had left the backdoor open. Agatha wandered out after we left, traipsed up the alley, and waited for us on the porch.

I’m sure people walked their dogs past my reactive pup. And there are always squirrels.

But Agatha just sat and waited for us. What an amazing dog.

My dogs, Agatha and Christie, post in the garden.

Agatha is the one in the back. I can’t believe I got both her and Christie sitting calmly at the same time.

The Amazing Dog Who Is Always Calm

My sister took us to a party. The hosts had a beautiful, furry dog. They said he was an elkhound mix.

Strangers came in and he simply circled the room, sniffed a polite greeting, and remained calm.

No person, noise, or strange sight got him excited.

I’d love to have a dog who stayed calm no matter who came to the house. My first dogs, Agatha and Christie, barked like fiends at everyone who visited—even my sister’s boyfriend who came every day. Until he accidentally left a salami sandwich in his pocket, he thought he’d never get them to shut up.

I wish I had a dog who stayed calm no matter what happened around the house.

Until one day I realized I did.

Shadow came to our house from the local shelter when she was eight years old.

Although she pulled hard enough on leash that my hands bled and reacted ferociously to every dog we passed, inside the house she was the calmest dog I ever met.

When we had guests, Shadow would roam around just enough to get a good sniff of the new people before lying down on the nearest comfy surface. I don’t think she ever barked inside the house.

Shadow, in the house, was a perfectly calm girl. What an amazing dog.

Shadow was a beautiful mutt.

Inside the house, Shadow was the most perfect dog ever.

The Amazing Dog Who Walked By Food

My boss held a senior staff retreat at his house. He had set out muffins and juice on his coffee table. As we entered the living room to start our meeting, my boss’s golden retriever walked by the coffee table loaded with food at nose level to greet us.

If you left a plate unattended to visit the bathroom, his dog showed no curiosity at all. He never bothered the food on the table, no matter how little attention we paid to him.

I had never seen anything like it.

I wish I had a dog who didn’t know the meaning of the phrase “counter surfing.”

Until one day I realized I did.

As Honey grew up in our house, I was always careful to keep food away from the edges of counters. I didn’t want to tempt her.

But even after she got tall enough, she never once jumped up on the counters to explore our food. I can leave my lunch beside the couch while I answer the phone and it will still be there when I get back.

It’s not that Honey doesn’t like people food. She does. Very much.

But she knows better than to snatch food that isn’t offered to her.

Honey can walk by human food without stealing. What an amazing dog.

Honey the Golden Retriever admires Bad Dog coasters from UncommonGoods.

Is that treat for me?

We All Have Amazing Dogs

When Agatha and Christie were howling from separation anxiety or fighting, I had trouble seeing how amazing they were at their best.

Shadow’s pulling made me cry. I can’t tell you how many times I fell hard on the ice while trying to walk her. But she was the most perfect dog I ever saw, inside the house. And from the very first day she came home with us.

I recently told you my dog Honey is crazy town banana pants. When she’s barking for the sixth time because she heard a car door close on our street that she’s hoping is my husband coming home from a trip, I have trouble remembering how amazing she is.

But whether she’s teaching a visiting foster puppy how to play politely or walking by the toast I left on a table, Honey is an amazing dog.

Just like your dog. Just like all dogs.

Your Turn: When does your dog most amaze you?


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  1. Oddly, Maggie amazes me when she does dog things…like learning to go out the dog door, sniffing at a stranger in the house, letting Steve pet her…the small victories with her are amazing.

  2. I thought it would be wonderful to have a dog that I could train to do therapy work. And then my mother fell this past winter, and she had to spend 6 weeks in a rehab/convalescent home. We brought Ryder, our collie, to visit her. He walked politely down the hallways, and quickly became a favorite of the nurses…and always seemed to be drawn to the people who needed his attention the most. All this, without training!

  3. You THINK you’d prefer these dogs, but you might be surprised to find that you have nothing in common with them.

    • I agree. I always think I want my dog to act like other dogs I see, but really when it comes down to it I couldn’t stand my dogs to be any other way. It’s what makes them unique and special and mine. :)

  4. Some days Mom wishes she had totally obedient dogs as when we all start getting out of hand, it is a handful for her, but usually, she is pretty happy she has us just as we are. That is not a lie, she really doesn’t wish for different dogs.

  5. They are each amazing in their own ways, aren’t they? Luke amazes me when he comes the first time I call him. Sheba would never dream of counter surfing either, no matter what was left out. And Cricket just acts like a crazy nut, rolling around on the ground with glee when I get home from work….she makes me laugh every day. I think it might be kind of boring to have a perfectly obedient dog all the time (and I’m sure I’ll never know). :)

  6. Thinking back on it all of my dogs have such amazing qualities – I’m sure I could think of ways to try and combine all of their best traits into one completely awesome dog but then again they’re perfect the way they are. I do get envious of people with calms dogs – but then I realize if I had a perfectly well behaved dog I probably wouldn’t be nearly as bonded. Without all the extra training and challenges I wouldn’t have grown nearly as much and learned so much about dog behavior… Laika is certianly my biggest handful so far but I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

  7. It’s true. All too often we don’t admire/realise what we have until we don’t have it any more!!

  8. Aww, such a good post! Thank you for reminding me that I have an amazing dog. Of course, I knew that (aren’t we all lucky to have the most amazing dogs?), but sometimes it’s hard to remember.

    I love that my dog prefers to stick close and will not wander off outside. And that he is lazy in the house, perfectly content to lounge around all day. Yep, I feel so lucky to have him!

  9. Harley amazes me with his expressions. He seems to have some that give you the impression he’s been here before. My daughter says “Harley was a little old man who got in the wrong line in heaven when it was his turn to to return!” I tend to agree with her LOL