This is Buca (the name is short for Sambuca, an Italian after-dinner drink). She's a 10 year old Boxer. We got her as a puppy and at 6 years old we gave her to my sister who doesn't have children and provides Buca with an adventure-filled life complete with plenty of attention and exercise. They tell us that we are attracted to animals who exhibit personality traits that are similar to our own. I think if I were an an animal, I would probably be a Boxer.
Boxers in my opinion are a special kind of breed. Part clown, part protector, and a bundle of unbridled enthusiasm, Boxers were bred as both working + companion dogs vs. sporting dogs which means that while they can appreciate a good game of fetch, they basically don't care what they are doing as long as it's with you. Buca is the classic Boxer in this sense--she will follow you from room to room as you move around the house and she hates to be alone. If you want an independent pet who treats you with indifference, never get a Boxer. They bond espcially tight to their owners and want to be with them at all times.
Upon researching Boxers and dogs in general, I discovered that canines, more specifically working dogs can be classified in two groups. "sharp" and "dull". German Shepards are considered "sharp" which essentially means that when they are trained, their response time is nearly immediate--the time from thought to action happends in milliseconds. Working dogs by and large are considered to have high intelligence levels--whether it's guarding or herding, their "jobs" require certain competancies. "Dull" dogs, like their sharp counterparts are also very bright, but less reactive. They tend to take a little more time processing things before acting. You can see this in Boxers (Who are considered to be in the dull catagory). Their expressive eyes, head tilts, and wrinkled brows tell the story. They will sometimes pause and look at you as if to figure out what you are thinking. I swear, there are times when I can actually see Buca's little gears turning. "Dull" dogs are also responsive, but come at things a little differently.
You're probably wondering why I'm writing about this. I'm not really sure. One reason could be the gray hairs you can just make out on Buca's fawn and white coat. She's nearing the end of her life and though she doesn't act like it, probably won't live for too much longer. Boxers don't have a very long life expectancy--12 years is considered long by most accounts and Buca is already 10. But another thing about her which is also a classic Boxer trait is that she still acts like a puppy. At 10 years old, Buca will curl up her body and do a wiggly kind of dance whenever she sees you for the first time. Her little stub of a tail will vibrate so fast, it becomes a fuzzy blur. And she "growls" when happy. It's really something to see. She's a great dog--fun, awesome with kids and entertaining. While I do think I would be a Boxer if I were an animal, I also know that some of this is aspirational. Fact is, that while I pride myself on being spontaineous and fun loving, I'm probably a bit more serious than I used to be--a side effect to becoming a "professional". If I were really like a Boxer, I might process things for a bit, but not think twice about having a good roll in the grass when the opportunity presents itself. There is something to learn from this.
Well, I'm off to the beach. Maybe you can think about what animal you might be? What qualities about that animal draws you to this conclusion? Is any of it aspirational? And do you consider yourself "sharp" or "dull"?