Dogs are wonderful creatures and they amaze me on an almost daily basis. A few months ago I was shopping at one of my local pet supply stores when I noticed that someone I used to work with had started working there, like me, having left the corporate world for more rewarding endeavors. We chatted for several minutes about our past life with the “company” and about how much we love where we are now. As I was checking out and paying for my purchases, I was vaguely aware that someone had entered the store with a dog and walked behind me to shop. As we continued chatting and I became aware that some dog was raising a ruckus somewhere behind me. I turned around and jokingly said “excuse me, do I know you?” Only to realize, once I looked at her owner, that I did in fact know this dog. Well, at least I remembered her. She came to me for Puppy Kindergarten 3 years ago and I had not seen her since. As soon as I turned toward her she became uncontrollably happy. Wiggling all over, crying, dragging her owner along with her as she came to greet me. After our happy reunion, her owner insisted that she does not normally behave that way toward just anyone. I joked about the fact that my pockets were full of dog treats and that’s why she had been so persistent about greeting me.
Could she really remember me? Maybe she did. But she had been just a pup and 3 years is a very long time, especially in “dog” years! I have client dogs that I only see once per year and they do seem to remember me. I try to never put human emotions or feelings onto the dogs I work with. I see people do it all the time and so often they are incorrect and it can be damaging to the relationship they have with their dog. Still, for all intents and purposes, it appeared that she remembered me, or at the very least, wanted to get to know me. I have to admit though, I prefer to think the later.