On Imperfection

I’m a first time dog owner, with a very, very imperfect dog. 

Silas is a sweet little guy. He’s just over a year old. The light of my life, etc. When he’s at home. When everything is going his way. 

The outside world is very hard for him. He is pathologically, genetically fearful, and as first-time dog owners we maybe didn’t take that seriously enough early enough. Who knows, it might not have helped anyway. We did what is generally considered puppy due-dilligence in terms of socialization classes and so on. Unfortunately, he’s on the fear-aggressive end of the spectrum. While he does his fair share of cowering, he’s more likely to bark hysterically.

I love the grammatical definition of imperfect in the context of dog training. This is the verb tense in a sentence like, “I was washing the dishes when the phone rang.” “A continuing state or an incomplete action”(1) or “incomplete, continuous, habitual” action (2). “Imperfect” is derived from the Latin “imperfectus,” which does not mean flawed as much as it means “unfinished.”  

My plan in this blog is to keep myself accountable to my training plans and to document some successes/failures/funny moments. I also spent a lot of time as a new dog owner feeling bad that my dog wasn’t “perfect.” I think the world could use more transparency about the fact that owning a good dog (not a perfect dog!) is part luck but mostly serious, very worthwhile work. 

2 thoughts on “On Imperfection

    1. Haha! The title is meant to be a little tongue in cheek like that–there being no such thing as a perfect dog, or a perfect owner. I’ll settle for “improving.”


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