Windows to the Soul

February 12, 2013

Windows to the Soul

February 12, 2013
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 3 minutes

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Way back when I first adopted Loki and I knew so little about high-drive, intense working dogs, and was still getting to know who he was, a woman at a dog park said what I now deem the most asinine thing anyone can ever say about a dog. She took one look at Loki happily playing with another dog and asked me if he was my dog. When I said yes, she told me, "I would never trust a dog like that. I can tell by just looking at his eyes.  A dog like that once reached up from the back seat of the car and bit my mother in the neck. I can tell by looking in his eyes that you cannot trust a dog like that." She either had excellent vision to be able to see way down into Loki's heart and mental motivation from 200 feet away, while he was moving at 30 miles per hour, or that had to be the dumbest thing anyone ever said to me about any dog.

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It made me sick to my stomach. I was so upset, I had to leave. Not because she didn't like the look of my dog. And not because I suddenly believed her. (Although, I have to admit, back then, he did intimidate me.) But the thought that went through my mind and still haunts me 5 years later is: what if I was someone else, foolish enough to believe her, take a dog like Loki back to a shelter, dismiss him because I believed superstition rather than taking the time to understand basic dog behavior, motivations and drives?   I can't imagine what Loki's life would be like today if I had believed such idiocracy. That is, if he were to survive at all, especially if luck landed him with a dimwit like that.

Even in the age of Google searching and YouTube videos from excellent trainers, there are so many myths perpetuated by foolish people. "Don't teach an aggressive dog to tug because it makes them more aggressive" or "Don't feed a dog raw food because it makes them aggressive." My favorite: "You must win at tug to teach you are the dominant alpha." None of them founded in anything other than superstition. It's easier to believe superstition than to think about behavior and motivation.

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Loki's eyes do say something. They say he's an amazing dog. Too amazing for stupid people.

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9 comments on “Windows to the Soul”

  1. Loki has beautiful eyes. No surprise here - he reminds me very much of his cracker soulmate, Phoenix. Oh, to gaze into those eyes and realize how absolutely BLESSED I am to have this dog in my life. You know what I'm talking about.

  2. Yes, there are many people too stupid to down intelligent dogs! A white husky just got returned to the OC shelter for playfully nipping a child and an observer posted the video of the family returning her. Their extremely wild child was terrorizing that poor dog! It's like people don't know how to use google and search for solutions to their issues, or research prior to getting a dog to see what they're like! Idiocracy, indeed!

  3. Loki is lucky to have found you. Every dog is different. That's something so many trainers don't even admit. And so many dogs will be wonderful with some owners and lost with others. I don't know what I see objectively when I look at him because I know him though your writing. A high drive cracker who loves his home.

    Mango Momma

  4. "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye."
    ~the Little Prince

    Loki has extremely expressive eyes - you can see his emotions - love, joy, sometimes fear, and trust, in those deep, soulful eyes. Idiots abound in the world. Its our obligation to ignore them.

    ~Mama Pat

  5. I think his eyes are beautiful and soulful- just like my McIver! They are full of mischief and fun and silliness! Maybe that dog bit her mom in the neck bc she was a bitch just like her daughter! LOL I have run into the dumbest most dog hateful people at the dog park. We don't go anymore.

    Hugs to Loki!

    Mamma Heartbeat

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