I was out this beautiful sunny morning, walking with one of my dog friends , she’s a beautiful black lab and such a love. This morning we were heading toward the park and bumped into another black lab in our area who is her buddy. It was so much fun to watch the two cavort in the snow, jumping all over one another, tails wagging. It is interesting that this particular dog that was so happy and exuberant to see her, is the same dog that barks and raises his hair when he sees a lot of my other clients. Just like we like to pick and choose our friends, so too do our Canine friends. I just wish sometimes I could get the inside scoop and ask my canine companions why do you like this dog, but not that one? My four legged girl friend this morning, is also very discerning about who she likes to play with and who she can’t be bothered with, she is not only this way with other dogs, but also with the people she encounters. She is so beautiful that people often approach us and want to pet her and say hello and I have to ask them not to as she recoils and will start to bark. It’s not that she doesn’t want to know new people, she just needs time to process and take them in on her own terms. What struck me the most this morning is that often people assume, all Labs are friendly and that dogs like one of my clients that is an American Bull dog, are the reverse, scary and aggressive towards other dogs and people. Big dogs, small dogs, and regardless of breed, we have to learn to not make assumptions and accept that we must put our biases aside and allow our canine friends the space and optimal situations to get know the people and other animals they encounter out in the world they interact with. And to not admonish them if they aren’t friends with everyone they meet, they too should be allowed to decide whom they are compatible with.