I easily came up with the three top things I love about my reactive girl, Rita.
1. A Reactive Dog is the Perfect Dog for an Introvert
Our first dog, a beagle, was not super interested in strangers when out on a walk (unless she could sniff them). She just wanted to sniff and do her own thing, so we rarely interacted with our neighbors. Which was perfect for introverted me.
Then we got Abby, who loved everything and everybody in the world and wanted to say HI! Not good for introverted me, forced to finally interact with all those neighbors.
Luckily, now I have Reactive Rita.
I'm so busy watching her and praising her when she calmly passes other people (or holding her back when she doesn't...) that there's no more time for interacting. Once in a while I'll have time for a quick smile and a hello. But mostly I can happily not speak to the other folks out walking in the 'hood.
This makes me happy.
2. A Reactive Dog Gives You an "Out" with Pesky Door-to-Door Solicitors
When a stranger comes to our door, all I have to do is crack the door open 2 inches, and act like I can barely hold the Barking Beast back. I enjoy watching them take a big step backwards. If they try to bravely carry on with their pitch, I mime holding a hand to my ear and say "I can't hear you! Sorry!" while closing the door.
I'm never actually sorry. I'm happy.
3. Reactive Dogs Make Great Watch Dogs!
Every once in a great while the hubs travels for business. I used to hate it, because I could never sleep when he was away. The problem is that I am addicted to earplugs. (And also a giant chicken. Baaawwwwk.)
When he's away, I always feel like I need to sleep without my earplugs in, in case something happens (like an urgent phone call, or the fire alarm goes off). And then I'd lay there listening to every little sound (that I usually never heard) going, "WHAT is THAT???!"
But, now, with Rita, Defender of the Realm, I know she's got me covered. She will take care of anything or anyone that dares to try to enter. So, I just happily go to sleep while she's on duty.
I get to sleep when the hubs is away. And that makes me happy.
If you, too, are an introverted, solicitor-hating, sleep-loving chicken, a reactive dog might be just the thing you need!