Something that became instantly clear when we got our new dog is that he has a past.
He knows how to walk on a loose leash. He thinks he's supposed to sleep on the bed. He'd obviously never met a flag pole before. He has a general idea of what the word sit means. He knows drop, not out, for letting go of the ball. Nobody ever flushed a toilet in front of him before. He has a plan for getting attention when people turn their backs to him (bit them in the butt). He's comfortable with kids, women, men and cats. He's had lots of time playing with balls of all sizes.
Our kids ask a lot about his previous life. When did the other people get him? When is his birthday? Did they take him to doggie school? How sad might they be that he's gone? What sort of food did he eat before? How did he get lost?
Some people seem to want us to pretend like we're it for him. Act and think like everything he knows and does reflects his relationship and time with us, like his life began in Port Orchard that day we met him. Maybe because we just don't know anything about his past. Maybe because it hurts everyone's hearts to imagine a family out there missing him everyday as much as we are enjoying him everyday. And yet on a daily basis, he shows us otherwise with some practiced command we discover or obviously perfected trick he has.
He is so clearly a dog with a past that formed him to the pooch he is today. The more we stretch to find those old commands and habits and invite them into our current lives, the easier life is for everyone and more relaxed he becomes.
So here's my big question. If it is so deeply clear that my one year old dog comes with a past that needs to be discovered and honored, how can people possibly miss this need for their adopted children? How?