Only Social Media Has Perfect Dogs

Everybody wants perfect dogs.

“I wish my dog didn’t…” or “Why doesn’t my dog…” or even “So-and-so’s dog is so much…” Everybody wants the perfect dog. We all know, somewhere inside, that there’s no such thing. Just like people, every dog has its own unique personality.

Picture of four perfect dogs, ranging in size from small to large left to right.

It’s easy to look at other people’s social media and see all the wonderful things there dogs are doing, how obedient they are, how cute they are, how mannerly they are, and how perfectly trained. Just remember that the picture is a moment in time, not a true representation of life.

We all do it. Our dogs are being so darn cute we have to take a picture and share it with our friends. The thing is, if they’re being irresistible at that moment, it’s unusual. If you take notice of something, that’s usually an indicator that it’s uncommon.

Warts and all

This week a Facebook page we follow did show the warts. The page is usually full of adorable dog pictures, light-hearted anecdotes about the day’s adventures, and is generally a feel-good story. This week one of the dogs had a behavioral episode that was frightening for his owner. And she was brave enough to share it.

We didn’t read all of the comments, but we’re happy to report that all of the ones we did go through were supportive. It takes some courage to show the world the bad stuff. The trolls are out there, as well as the “shoulda, coulda, I woulda” done-it-better folks.

This dog was adopted from a rescue and while being fostered for months showed no signs of the situational aggression he’s displaying in his forever home. No one will ever know if there was a trigger, or why it suddenly manifested. Dogs can’t tell us. All we can do is deal with it.

This person said, when posting the scary video of her dog, that she’s working with veterinarians and behaviorists. She has access to all of the resources she needs. Her team had never witnessed one of the episodes, which was why she was recording it when it happened this time. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to help her dog.

No one knows what goes on behind closed doors

This person’s willingness to make the video public fosters honesty. Nobody’s life is perfect. One of the best uses of social media is building community. Knowing we’re not alone in whatever troubles we face makes it a bit easier. So many people spoke up and let this person know they’d “been there, done that.” And many of them shared their own “happily ever afters” with their dogs.

You don’t have to share anything that you don’t want to – with anyone. But be reassured that everyone experiences the same ups and downs you do. Even if it’s not on social media. 

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