Expectations

Been having a lot of puppy lust lately, and I've been pondering what exactly I'm looking for in my next dog.  And the more I tried to define what I was looking for, the more I realized that I didn't want to have any sets of expectations about that 'perfect' dog.  The perfect dog is the dog that speaks to you.  

Sure, I could give you a list of traits that are desirable to have in a dog.  Do you know how many of those traits Fenwick has?  NOT MANY, let me tell you!  He can be moody and bitchy, snarky and irritable (all those traits that I attribute to girl dogs and how they're not 'right' for me).  He can and will bite people and he's not the best with other dogs.  He's very sensitve to his environment and still has a hard time being at a trial for two days.  He's a terrible reactive barker and I have to constantly keep him from barking at people outside, he'll also bark continuously whenever he's not the center of attention.  He's a counter surfer and is constantly chewing up all our wooden spoons for cooking.  He's certainly not cuddly in the least!  Let us not forget the physical issues like hip displaysia, bad knees, bad eyes ... etc.

Of course I adore Fenwick right down to every little evil thing he does.  He's my favorite!  But if you were to just describe him to me he would never in a million years fit into the box of the 'perfect' dog.  Fenwick is Fenwick - he's perfect at being Fenwick!  I wouldn't have him any other way.

So I guess that was my big revelation recently.  Sure, I can say that I want this breed of dog or that I want a cuddly dog ... but really, what it comes down to is that I really want our next dog to be one I'm just totally in love with, so matter what weird personality quirks they might have.  Of course, I would certainly PREFER to have a dog with good funcational structure and health - but the rest of it, it comes down to really feeling that connection.

Ahh, love.
Question, did you love Fenwick right away? Seriously love him? He sounds kinda scary the way you point out his minor weaknesses (eheheh). But he's such a lively guy with just so much personality.

Never find another like him I betting.
Oh, I fell for Fenwick the moment I met him. Of course, he was acting very sweet at the shelter. The barking took a bit to get used to though. ;-)
Expectations are tough. Oso was/is SO phenomenal that I just switched breeds altogether. I didn't want to look at a new dog and go "Why aren't you Oso?"

Sounds like, after Fenwick, that Aussies would be a walk in the park for you!
The biggest thing that gets me with the aussies is the HAIR. At least with a border collie you just get enough hair to play with, but you don't really ever have to do much with it.
LOL!!! You have never met Cinder! That BC has more hair than just about any Aussie I have ever been around (and that's including Chance - the Aussie that won Crufts!) From what I have seen in my 10 years with Aussies is that the foo-foo (conformation) dogs have LOTS of hair. The working lines tend to have less. Plus if you do performance stuff, the working lines tend to be better anway. Check out Sizzle - that is a spayed female. She has a perfect coat for my money :-) But Cinder...geesh. I bought Mars coat thinners for her.
Speaking of breeds that you have mentioned in the past, the trainer who has the black Mudi in NY has updated her webpage with updated pictures if you're interested. She did have a video of her Mudi herding, but she took it down.
http://www.noordelijk.com/Matra.html

Puppy lust... how it just continues to never go away... LOL
Oooh, SO CUTE! I'll get to meet some mudis at the big Portland show in a couple weeks, we'll see if they speak to me at all ...
It seems like for me the right dogs just seem to find there way to me one way or another. And of course they are all perfect:-)
When I saw Speck's pictures when he was very little, about when he was opening his eyes, I knew that's the dog I wanted. We were getting a male, and there were 2 in that litter, but the other male didn't speak to me. Speck did. Of course, Diana chose him for me and it was him. And I forever grateful.

Same thing with Emma, saw her picture on the web and *knew* she was it.

Are they perfect? I guess if you define them as "the dog that speaks to you", then yes.
Yeah, Bruce fell in love with Brisbee over the internet from Missouri!. And he is not really a dog person - go figure! Now Brisbee is certainly absolutely perfect in Bruce's eyes, that's for sure.
When it's right there's no denying it. I see a lot of people creating unnecessary for themselves by going for dogs that they didn't feel right about in the first place. I've never met anyone who had that special feeling when they first met their dog, resent their dog, quirks and all. :-)
When I first saw Elmo's photos, I knew I wanted him. His personality turned out to not have shown well in the pictures, but I liked it.

Tully I sort of took because she was there, I didn't have any special feelings for her. I was second-guessing myself for awhile after I got her, but eventually realized that I loved her. Her personality isn't what I'd have said I wanted, but I love her more every day. That's how Tully is, she grows on you over time.
Oh yes, been there! London grew on me though, once I saw London for London instead of expecting him to be something he wasn't. I certainly learned a lot from the experience.
Brin is my first dog-from-a-puppy in about 30 years. I picked the breeder and litter. I picked a breeder I totally trusted and who knew me, my partner and Colton and let her pick the puppy that was the best fit for us. Of the three boys in the litter, I KNOW I got the right one. He is a lot of dog, but that's why he was going to stay at the breeder's house...she didn't have the right home for him until I got laid of (when they were 4 weeks old). So this next time, I'm going to let her pick again. I hope it turns out equally well. I can't imagine not having a beardie in the house but I know how you feel about the grooming :-p
It's funny how I got my last couple of dogs. I bred Gale and knew she was the one for me at about Day 2. I also bred Sizzle and from the second she was born (literally) she was *supposed* to go to one of my best friends. I had picked out another black girl that I could just never name (if you look on my website, her name changes weekly.) Due to unforeseen *life issues* my friend couldn't take Siz. There I was, stuck at 8 weeks with the two pick bitches from my litter. When it ended up that I was keeping Siz Mia said "Oh thank God. I could not understand why you were giving away the best pup in the litter!" Funny that I had picked her out immediately for my friend :-) Kat was MUCH tougher. She is the first dog in over 8 years I have gotten that I haven't bred. She was up in Canada so I couldn't even go visit more than once at 6 weeks to pick her out. I had a horrible time - on the phone for HOURS with people (my cell bill was appalling.) I adore Kat but I do wonder what the other one (Jinx) I was hemming and hawing over turned out like!
Marcar up in Victoria, BC

www.marcar.ca

Irony - Mia turned me onto this kennel YEARS ago because they had "red dogs." (NOT my favorite - it's hers.)
Oh, for me, this is SO much like art:

"I don't know much about dogs, but I know what I like." After 6 dogs, all different (see this post with photos), all coming to me in different ways for different reasons, all I can tell you about my selection process is that, someday, I'll probably get another dog.

-ellen