You get the dog you need, not the dog you want

Written on June 28th, 2017

I recently stumbled upon the “novel” I wrote as a nine-year-old back in the fourth grade. It’s nearly 300 pages long and is all about a lost Siberian Husky named Cyber finding his way home (after his dog-hating neighbor dumps him miles away in the woods). Plausible, right? 😉

But what my book lacked in logic it made up for in passion. I was absolutely obsessed with my title character and his adventure, and for years I dreamed about getting a dog that looked just like him: a classic black-and-white male Siberian Husky with one blue eye and one brown.

My love for huskies started at an extremely young age, and Cyber was the manifestation of all of my dreams. As far as I was concerned, he was the perfect specimen of the breed… I could acknowledge that other dogs were wonderful too, but nothing compared to how badly I wanted one just like him. I was simply convinced that my life wouldn’t be complete until I had my very own “Cyber dog”.

But then I met Snort, and my heart has never been so full.

Snort is nothing like Cyber, except for the fact that they are both huskies. Cyber was big and fluffy and boisterous… Snort is small and slim and shy. Their coloring is completely different. Their personalities are far from the same. When my nine-year-old self designed her perfect dog ten years ago, Snort just wasn’t the image she created.

But if you asked me now, I’d tell you in a heartbeat that there is no dog more perfect than Snort.

When I brought Snort back to visit the humane society a few months after adopting her, the executive director and I talked for a while about all things dog related. She said that she could tell Snort is “the dog” for me, and she told me about her own “the dog” — the dog you connect with like no other, the one who has your whole heart, the one you never forget for as long as you live.

All of my pets are precious and I love them all dearly, but it would be remiss to act as though Snort isn’t something special to me.

She is the realization of my dream of owning a husky. She is the first pet I’ve gotten at an old enough age to really take responsibility for her care from day one. She is an inspiration, a sweetheart, a comfort to my soul.

She is a best friend.

Snort has fulfilled my desire to become a husky parent while simultaneously shaking up the ideas in my head of what I want. She has changed me so much already — all for the better. I am more motivated, more empathetic, more rational, more steady. Quite frankly, I am simply more than I used to be.

I will never be able to thank my parents enough for taking on this responsibility with me, HSMC for connecting us with Snort in the first place, and every friend who has cared about me and Snort (and tolerated the constant pictures). 😛

Mostly, I will never be able to thank Snort enough for being what she has been for me. Oh yes, there are times where I get frustrated, times where she fights her drops, times where I wish she was an “easier” pet to have or that the timing had been different… but at the end of the day, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you get the dog you need… not the dog you want.

And lucky me: Snort is both.