Thirteen years ago, a shy little brown dog entered a room full of playing puppies and made a lasting impression. When the kennel owner placed her on the floor, Yalu took a few steps, looked at the two people sitting on two different couches, and chose them. All she had to do was stand out from the other dogs.
The simple act of casually walking to the couch where Lori sat and trying to climb up on her own caught our attention and captured our hearts. What Yalu didn’t know was that she had a major advantage of being the only Golden Retriever in the room—Lori and I have always been suckers for Golden Retrievers thanks to our previous dog, Chelsea. After losing Chelsea to hip dysplasia and going two and a half days without a dog, we weren’t leaving without a puppy! A little smile from Yalu transformed two adults into a couple of five year olds at her beck and call.
It’s good being chosen by your pet. With all the choosing people have to do in life in categories such as what to wear or what’s for dinner, its nice having a dog choose you because they don’t care what you wear or what’s for dinner–just make the dog the center of your world and life is good. Also, being chosen has another advantage. If Yalu ever offered me a strange look when she didn’t get her way, which was rare, my reply would be, “Hey, you chose me.” That would get a tail wagging and a smile.
Looking back over the whole owner/pet relationship, I have wondered if Yalu was my pet or if I was hers. In the end, it didn’t really matter. She had more than enough cute, fuzzy, and brown to share and was more than willing to have multiple people shower love upon her.