Last week I went with a friend to check out a dog she may be adopting. It's a little ***, maybe a Border-Jack or a Border-Rat (was a stray, so no one knows for sure). Itty bitty, 17 pounds, a shade over 16" at the shoulder, black and white with classic Border Collie markings except that her face is white and she has black panda ears. Built like a gazelle and with expressions that make her Fly's Mini-Me. Other than that, she isn't very BC-like, with none of the characteristic mannerisms or obsessive behaviors.
She's not as intense as either of my dogs, but has a lovely, playful, biddable attitude and could make a nice sports prospect although one can't be sure since she doesn't know how to do much yet. About a year old. Rock-solid temperament, great with all humans and other dogs, apparently unafraid of everything and no prey drive whatsoever (she ignored some very tempting groundhogs within easy reach, and doesn't look at squirrels). Has a rocket recall and is a fantastic cuddler.

I watched my friend play with this dog and the thought hit me: This is the dog I was looking for when Harley died.
It was a very odd feeling. The road not taken and all that. If I had come across this dog then, my life would not be any different as it was with Harley. This dog would be the perfect "go to school" dog and probably wouldn't care much if it never had a hobby outside of that. I would never have gotten into dog sports and definitely wouldn't be herding sheep for fun. I would still be doing my dressage. I would still be carrying a little dog to school in a tote bag. I would still think I could never handle a dog like a Border Collie. I would not understand enough about dog behavior to know what it was that made Harley and this little dog so special. I would take this little dog for granted.

I didn't actively covet this dog, because my life with dogs has changed dramatically, and I know I can't recreate what I had with Harley with another dog. But the me of three years ago, the one that still dreams about Harley at night (fantasies in which she isn't dead after all and she lives with me and the Border Collies in perfect harmony, and comes to school in her Sherpa tote), was ready to just grab that little black and white dog, and run as fast as I could.
Have you ever met the perfect dog for you, but it was just too late?

Melanie Lee Chang > Form ever follows function. Departments of Anthropology and Biology >
University of Pennsylvania > Louis Sullivan (Email Removed) >
- Snip.
Have you ever met the perfect dog for you, but it was just too late?

- Melanie, nothing is ever too late Emotion: smile A happy little dog that would be a good "public" dog going to school and visiting friends with you, happy to snuggle with you on the couch in the evenings, might just be the perfect 3'rd dog for you. It would make it possible for you to give each dog their individual time, and you would be able to spread your dog time and activities to fit in so that you and each dog felt good about it. You have a lot to give so if you miss a more sociable dog then don't let your "collie" life stop you from opening your heart and home for one more companion.
Have you ever met the perfect dog for you, but it was just too late?

I don't think I could say "too late." Instead, maybe I'd say the perfect dog for who I was, not who I am.
I've been offered that perfect dog more than once the great conformation dog who could easily finish a championship and who might get an obedience title or two. But I'm no longer interested in that dog. I'm certainly interested in good structure, and having a dog who can finish a Ch is nice. But temperament and health are now much more important to me than attaining a Best in Show. No way could I go back to one of those low drive couch potato dogs. And I call it progress, not regret, that I don't want that any more.
Have you ever met the perfect dog for you, but it was just too late?[/nq]Too late, no, because that would have meant I wouldn't have one of the dogs I have now - but too early, yes. Wylie's breeder had a litter out of his grandmother earlier this year and in it was the exact puppy I had wanted when I put my order in with her in 2001. A little brown girl. She came to visit at the age of 10 weeks and thought she belonged here - chasing my boys around the yard like she owned the place, falling in the koi pond and then going back to investigate it again (and falling in again!!) - just a little spitfire with energy and confidence for days.
But the timing was all wrong - three dogs is enough for me - with two active in classes and trialling, I have to work to make sure all three get the right amount of individual attention and training. A fourth would mean the other three would get proportionally less time, and that wouldn't be fair, especially with Wylie being just a bit over a year old at the time. I was sorely tempted but I knew I had to do what was best and not give in to the temptation.
I'm glad that little girl wasn't in the litter and Wylie was, because I wouldn't trade him for the world, but I do wonder if I'll get the chance to get that perfect little monkey girl again...
Have you ever met the perfect dog for you, but it was just too late?

I used to do volunteer work at a private shelter. This guy was 65 years old when he started taking in a few stray dogs. 10 years later, he had 135 dogs and worked from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., 7 days a week. He had a pretty good set-up, and his dogs were well taken-care of.
Out of these 135 dogs, Sheba would always find her way into my lap. I didn't know what kind of dog she was then, but I know now she was a pit bull. I connected with her immediately. She was beautiful, with a white face and a black circle around one eye.
When I'd drive up and all the dogs were outside, I would meet her eyes instantly. I never had to look for her. She would draw me to her with her gaze. Quietly. Just standing there, admist 134 other raucous dogs.

I had a foster at the time, and she was recovering from a recent litter of puppies and needed to be spayed. So I had to wait a while to take her home, but I knew she was coming to live with me.
She somehow dug out of the fence (the only dog who ever managed it in 10 years, though several dogs had somehow gotten IN), and got hit by a car and killed.

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