My mum said something a few weeks ago that I've been thinking about a lot - what if I'd never gotten Lola, and the woman who had originally paid for her (and ended up with her brother) had gotten her instead?
I often feel guilty that I'm letting her down, that I didn't socialise her enough. She was shy with people to begin with, so I tried not to push her too hard... and I think I didn't push her enough. She used to be great with kids, so I let them pet her when we were out, and then one day she decided she didn't like them. She used to be great with other dogs, too, and now she will at best ignore strange dogs and at worst be aggressive with them.
Would a hypothetical other owner have done better by her? Maybe she would have better suited a busy household - we don't get many visitors, so it upsets Lola when we do.
Or maybe the other owner would use punishment with her to suppress her more obnoxious behaviours. I'm coming to the conclusion that she isn't a medium energy JRT, but high energy. Would the 'average' owner be able to keep up with that, or would the other woman have forcibly stopped it with leash pops, physical corrections, etc, that would quickly shut down my sensitive girl?
I go between being glad that Lola is mine (using positive methods, exercising her a lot - and trying to understand and get to grips with who she is) and wondering if she wouldn't have been better off being raised by someone else. I would obviously never get rid of her--even if I somehow could, I know she wouldn't pass the shelter temperament tests--but I do wonder if I do right by her, or if I've just made a poor situation worse.