The Curse Of A Perfect Dog

I read dog stories every day.

I love seeing pictures of Sage seeking out mud with the efficiency of a heat-seeking missile. And reading about Delilah stealing popcorn while no one is looking.

But I’m also jealous.

It isn’t easy when your dog is Little Miss Perfect. She never digs in the garbage, surfs the counters for foods, or pulls me face first down the sidewalk.

Honey the golden retriever is perfect.

Not only am I perfect but I’m as pretty as a flower.

Are you feeling sorry for me yet?

Let me tell you more. And maybe you’ll understand the painful curse of having a perfect dog.

My Dog Is Little Miss Perfect

What’s the problem with having a dog who acts like Little Miss Perfect?

No Good Stories

When we pull up to a carry out window, Honey definitely gets excited. But short of a little wagging, she does nothing story-worthy.

Should I send her to visit Shiva who knows the most entertaining behavior to exhibit at the Tim Horton’s drive-up?

Can’t Explain Her Training

Do you know how many training questions I’m asked that I can’t answer?

When Honey was much younger, we met a young girl with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair. Because of her coordination problems, the girl’s “pets” were more like rough slaps. But Honey sat there calmly.

The girl’s mom asked, “How did you train her to do that?” And I could only reply, “I didn’t. It’s just the way she is.”


Okay, no one is perfect. Honey misbehaves at times.

But when it happens I’m so shocked I don’t know what to do with myself. Like when her brain fell out the day she took her Canine Good Citizen test.

If she would misbehave a little more often, I’d probably cope better.

Connecting with my Golden Retriever.

I’ve recovered enough of my perfection to pass my canine good citizen test.

No Ordinary Projects

Some dogs lends themselves to all kinds of interesting projects—learning to walk without pulling, dog sports to stimulate their brains and bodies, diet management to settle touchy tummies.

Honey is a good walker. She’s happy to play dog sports but she doesn’t need them to help her cope with life in a human house. And we’re lucky that she can eat anything (except for a plastic dog squeaker) with no negative effects.

Since we don’t need common projects to keep her happy, I’ve devised some wackadoo things to work on. Like riding in a bicycle cart, kayaking, and sailing.

Get Less Attention

When Agatha and Christie got into a fight with the neighbor’s dog, they rumbled out into the street where we stopped traffic while we tried to get them under control.

If you’re an extrovert with an exhibitionist streak, there’s no better way to attract attention.

Walking Honey, we might as well be invisible. Some people don’t even notice us. And we certainly don’t stop traffic.

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

They weren’t perfect. But Agatha and Christie did grab attention.

No Viral Videos

I wonder how much the person who posted this video has made in advertising revenue?

Somehow I bet it’s more than I’d earn posting videos of Honey sleeping or carrying her squeaky around the house.

Imperfect Dogs Are Still Perfect

My first two dogs, Agatha and Christie, were far from perfect. They ate couches and cookbooks. They humped each other in front of company. And they howled like banshees every time we left the house.

But I would not have changed a thing about them. They made me the dog person I am today. And taught me things about dogs I never thought I’d need to know.

My imperfect dogs were perfect for me. And my perfect dog is too. Even if being perfect isn’t quite perfect.

Honey the golden retriever is a perfect dog.

All dogs are perfect? I’ll start looking.

Do You Look Like Your Dog?

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Do you look like your dog.

Your Turn: Are you cursed with a perfect dog or an imperfect dog? 







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  1. Ha ha ha! I’ve often said that well behaved dogs don’t make for good blogs. Most of the time, Bunny is darned near perfect, which I think is why her misbehavior amuses me so much when it happens. However, I think the blog was most popular when we had Lilac because everyone loved reading about her misdeeds and honestly, writing about it was a great coping mechanism for me because dealing with CCD is a tough thing. And I freely admit that I love telling the stories about Flattery and her mischief. Actually, tomorrow’s post is a rather funny story about her now that I think about it. Maybe part of it is that I love making people laugh and I think a lot of the things we go through are universal, so people can relate and laugh and just be glad that this time it didn’t happen to them!

    • So are you actually saying that if I want my blog readership to go up I need to adopt a dog who misbehaves, I mean, one with more comic potential? :)

  2. Well, my dogs aren’t perfect, but they are pretty good – going all the way back to Maxine. I think I attribute it mostly to having only seniors for the last 10 years…seniors can’t be bothered getting into mischief.

  3. What a great post! Perfect or imperfect mom loves us just the same! More so on some days than others! BOL!

    • We golden retriever people understand the pain of the perfect dog. Even if our dog’s behavior is the result of years of training, everyone thinks goldens are automatically perfect.

  4. I love how you so perfectly characterized Sage! I don’t think I’ve ever had a perfect dog, come to think about it, although it sometimes would be nice not to have to bring a dog home and hose her off so often. And, yes, you’re right–our dogs do teach us so much about both them and us no matter how perfect or imperfect they are.

    • I love reading a story about Sage and her love of mud. It always makes me smile. And when I realize I’m not going the be the one hosing her off after a day at the park, I smile even more. :)

  5. Harley and Honey are a lot alike. Although Harley keeps me laughing daily – I am amazed at how well behaved he really is. Consider ourselves blessed beyond measure!

    • You’ll certainly feel blessed at your therapy dog outings. I can only imagine Agatha and Christie listening to kids read for about five minutes before starting to hump each other in the middle of the library.

  6. Mom’s last dog was the perfect dog and we still hear about it all the time. When she first came home, she was a nightmare, but shortly after got her angel halo. None of us are perfect. We create scenes both in and out of our own home, draw attention like crazy, misbehave often, but Mom is so used to it, it doesn’t even phase her. Mom sees our lives as a daily challenge, and it for one thing, is never boring!

    • Perfect dogs will always be talked about for being perfect. But your mom will remember and retell the specifics of the mischief stories forever.

  7. Wilson is pretty darn close to perfect. Once out of the puppy stage, he’s done very little wrong. Jimmy is a bit more of a challenge, a big barker when he wants attention/is bored, and can be a jerk to other dogs (certainly not due to a lack of socializing!), but in general he’s pretty easy to live with as well. Corgis are great dogs, just so long as they are well-exercised!

    • Aha, so now we see what led you so seriously into agility with Jimmy. It sounds like he’s just trying to tell you, “more, more.”

  8. Oh, I feel SO sorry for you *wink*. It’s starting to look like now I might have one of each. Boca is relaxed and easy, a perfect counterpoint to Ruby’s unstoppable energy.

    • The crazy thing is that in another household, Ruby’s “unstoppable energy” would make her perfect and Boca’s being “relaxed and easy” would be more challenging. I love the way perfect is an always changing category.

      And it looks like you have a perfect pairing in your house.

  9. Our first three dogs were closer to perfect….though maybe I just have a selective memory. The current ones seem to be more work. But I’m probably learning a lot more now than I did then. :)

    • I remember the crazy stories about my earlier dogs. But I also look back on them with so much love that I can’t remember how upset I was to find my house being destroyed.

      So here’s to dogs that have things to teach us. :)

  10. How funny. I’ve always felt all my dogs were near perfect. I do have a few funny naughty dog stories, but very few. And all my dogs have had one behavior issue or another, but nothing I can’t manage. I do have to say that perfect can make a good story too. I love hearing about good girl Honey.

    • I find that the more I learn about dogs the more I can see my dogs (and foster dogs’) perfection. I wonder how much more perfect Agatha and Christie had been if I had known what I was doing when I adopted them.

      But I’m glad to hear you don’t find Honey boring for being perfect. I’ll be sure to tell her. :)

  11. Thanks for the shout out Pamela and might I say, that Tim Horton’s story is my favorite Shiva story of all time!!

    I’ve learned a lot of patience by having Delilah and often joke if we didn’t have Mr. Perfect dog at home, there never would have been a Delilah. Seriously, if I’d had her first, I probably wouldn’t have gotten another dog, BUT I’m also not sure I’d have had the patience for her if she had come first.

    I think ultimately the universe gives us the dog we need. :-) Honey is perfect for you and that’s what counts.

    • I reread Shiva at Tim Horton whenever I need a laugh.

      I love how Sampson and Delilah have all these wonderful lab traits, like trainability and enjoyment of their food. But no one could ever confuse them for duplicates. Breed is only one little piece, isn’t it?

  12. LOL – I just love your blog. I can’t stay away. Our dogs are perfect when compared to each other. Sydney is my perfect shadow and is always down for a snuggle. Zoey is perfectly affectionate. Rodrigo is the perfect communicator. And Scout is the perfect playful dog.

    There flaws challenge me as a human and dog mom – from our dogs, I’ve learned patience and to appreciate the moment.

    • I love the way you see the perfection in each of your dogs. I think your comment could make a lovely blog post.

      It led me back to think about Agatha and Christie and what made them perfect too. Maybe that’s the only good thing about saying good bye to our dogs after such a relatively short time. When we’re not dealing with their messes, we’re better able to see those perfections that are hidden from us in the midst of trouble.

  13. Well I think I am perfect! But Jen, well she feels differently. Sure, I do like to dump out the recycling to see if there’s any scraps of food inside. And I do like to occasionally get in the bathroom garbage. And well, yes, I have, upon occasion, snacked in the litter box. But I don’t see where that’s a problem. Do you?

    • You’re right, Rumpy, that those behaviors are perfect (ly) natural for a dog. So I guess you’re right. You are perfect.

  14. Oh dear …the joys of a dog … two are as far from perfect as you can get …at 11 and nearly 12 they still keep me on my toes..i have had a perfect dog ..he was a dream…I miss him terribly…and these guys I adore and will equally miss them when they leave..after all perfect is what ? they make me smile..they make me laugh and grumble and have me frustrated..our other boy also made me feel happy and laugh and also grumble..they are perfect because they are mine to love…even if these two drive me crazy :) Fozziemum


  1. […] is funny, down to earth and she has the most awesome sweetie-pie of a dog named Honey.   Honey is practically perfect, but Pamela shared a hilarious story of her dogs’ most embarrassing behavior. […]