44/365 – Meditation Games #44 – First Dog Days

Developer: Karina Pop

Launcher Quote: “I adopted my dog, Maggie, on February 13th, 2016. We met when she was 3-years-old, a mother to several pups, and nervous around humans. She was, without a doubt, the most awkward dog I’d ever met. I loved her immediately. She wasn’t too keen on leaving the adoption center, though. Learning to communicate with her took time and research into how dogs convey their feelings. Often her yawning, while endearing, meant she was anxious. A tentative sniff and glance may have seemed pitiful to me, but to her it was a safe way to get to know me. Building a healthy relationship with anyone takes effort. When making this game, I was thinking about the first stumbling, confusing steps to earning Maggie’s trust on that day and beyond.”

Pets are family, and today’s entry from Karina Pop shows the first steps in welcoming a pet into your home and your family. As someone who is a pet owner, and who regularly has a weakness for cute pets, Karina’s realistic looking contribution for a first few meetings with an adopted dog definitely had an impact on me. I’m reminded of a lot of times when I had to get to know new pets, and they got to know me, as we settled in to a new life together, one much better than being in a shelter or out on the street.

It’s important to note that the process for getting the on-screen dog to understand and know that you’re friendly is not a short process. There’s no magic cue that you follow to get to the objective faster because at times that is not how getting to know a pet and working with them operates. You can suffer setbacks, tentative encounters, and a few lessons learned about the way your new pet understands you and communicates with you. It’s a bit of a drawn out and patient process that reflects the right way that you get a chance to establish a rapport with them.

It was nice to see the closing shot of the game, which shows the reward of your efforts – a nice little family shot with the dog happily being a part of things, understanding at last that they’ve found their forever home. These are the kinds of things that make pets worthwhile to have, even when they do end up causing you trouble or potentially driving you up the wall crazy.  The memories they give you are timeless, and make all of that first set of meetings, difficult as they may seem, all the more important.


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