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I want a tall man with dark hair and hazel eyes

That was my dream guy however not who I ultimately married. I find it humorous when an applicant states they want a very specific look of a dog. In their mind, they have this particular dog and they look quite enviously cool walking down the street with it. I have had applicants describe in great detail what they are willing to adopt; must be black and tan, saddleback, erect ears, dark eyes, over 80 pounds, under one year of age, medium coat, tail must touch floor.

Receiving an application for a shepherd that clearly won’t work in a home is an obvious clue the person applied solely based on appearance. I suppose that is the way of this world; to want the most attractive, have the most expensive. The dearest shepherds haven’t been the most beautiful. It’s been those who had blindness, broken tails, fly-bitten ears, discoloration, and smaller than average body size who have left the biggest of imprints on my heart.

One particular senior, named Jojo, gives me my first laugh each day simply by watching her little body trot down the long aisle to the outdoor runs to join the other giant shepherds. She has no fear as she passes the barking dogs that are still waiting to go outside. Jojo is quite content to lounge all day. Don’t mind her, she’ll just hang out and not require a thing. She falls onto my hands when I pet her. I understand it as her way of asking me to say a bit longer. I lovingly call her my “little elf”.

Finding your soul mate will require you to see beyond the surface. It requires an adopter to be open to seeing how each dog makes them feel versus how a dog will make them look. This by the way, is exactly the way dogs evaluate us. We could learn a lot from a dog.

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