My first dog was a female lab mix who topped out at a mere 48 pounds- not really a small dog, but nowhere near my idea of a big dog. We often referred to her as the “apartment-sized Lab” or the “urban lab.” I appreciated that she wasn’t too big, but I felt a little bit self-conscious – I was a big dog person, with a smaller than big dog.
And then, one by one, some small dogs came into my life and my prejudice started to change. My friends got 2 Jack Russell mixes that wiggled their way into my heart, and I started seeing how easy it was to get small dogs into the car, and how cute they were when sitting on a lap. And then, almost without thinking, I adopted Roxie, a terrier mix rescued from a shelter in Arkansas. Suddenly, I was mom to a 22 pound pup and I couldn’t believe I had ever been a doubter!
In an informal poll around the office, some folks still have strong feelings one way or another. Those who love big dogs feel that big dogs are more “dog-like,” are a better match to an outdoorsy lifestyle, and provide more in the way of security. The little dog lovers think they are more cuddly, fit better on the bed or on the couch, eat less food and are easier to travel with.
We have all known the Rottweiler who thinks he is a lapdog, and the Yorkie who would scare away any intruder. As I realize now, it is not the size of the dog that matters, but the love you feel when you look into its eyes, and the size of what’s in their hearts that makes us as loyal to them as they are to us.
Are you a big dog person or a small dog person? Have you changed your tune over the years based on dogs you have loved?