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Friday, September 09, 2005



Picture a vast expanse of green grass. Picture on it, a mass of snarling black and white, yin and yang, teeth bared, claws desperately trying to get a grasp on the neck of its former doggie friend turned vicious enemy. I stood frozen, dropping the handle of the red wagon I was pulling two toddlers in. My mind turned to slow motion. "OOOHHHH NNNNOOOOO. NNNOOOOTTTT AAGGAAIINNNNNNN...... They are friends, Rainier and Lucy. They have been pals since they were puppies. If I just sit here they will stop trying to kill eachother. I just know it. It will be fine".

I stood and stared in horror. They didn't stop trying to kill eachother. The snarling gave way to shrill pained yelping. Our good friend intervened just as Jim erupted from inside the house. White dog was pulled away to safety and then black dog was jerked up into the air by the scruff of his neck.

White dog started shaking and belly crawling. NOT GOOD. Something was wrong. The pizza arrived and sat, getting cold on the table as white dogs injuries were inspected. He did it again. Our dog maimed once again. White dog's owner had to take her to the emergency vet for stitches on a puncture wound on her neck and to find the source of the sudden inability to walk normally. Our fucking asshole dog did it AGAIN.

I went to a spacey place far far away. I apologized profusely. Jim started talking about how we might have to think about "putting him down" and instead of protesting I weakly said "We are not deciding anything tonight. He has never been aggressive towards a person."

Why Raininer? Why can't you just get along with other dogs? We can no longer take you to the cabin with other dogs. We can no longer invite friends over with their dogs. We can no longer leave you with our dog owning relatives when we go out of town. You just try to kill every dog that's not your sister Harriet. I worry some day we will find her in a bloody pile on the ground. You are so sweet to me, to Jim, to Maggie, and then turn into a full fledged demonic Hound of Hell as soon as any dog shows any attitude whatsoever. I want to keep you because I love you and when you decide to become a pet owner, you need to be prepared for problems. But WHY CAN'T YOU JUST GET ALONG? I love you black dog. I don't understand why you do this shit. I also don't see this getting any better. Ever.

White dog came back from the vet with stitches and THANK GOD walking normally again. I was so happy she was okay I could have cried had I not been in complete shock. I was floating miles above my true emotions looking down on them. Small and fuzzy and indiscernible. "Oh. THAT'S what dread and sadness and uncertainty look like from a mile up....hmm...."

Black dog. I love you. I just don't know what to do with you.


Blogger EverydaySuperGoddess said...

Oh, dear. I'm glad Lucy is okay, and I'm very sorry that happened, Meg.

6:48 AM  
Blogger JB said...

Okay, Meghan, I can honestly say that I know exactly what you’re going through. My wiener dog, Pickle, is the sweetest dog, the most affectionate thing with children and my husband and I, but when I’m taking her for a walk and we pass another dog she will, 9 times out of 10, viciously lunge at the dog’s throat, even if that dog is four times her size.

What gives?

Maybe they’re just trying to protect their wolf pack (their family) from invaders, or maybe they just hate their own kind. But whatever the problem my husband and I can no longer take our dog to family events because she will tear my sister-in-law’s little terrier to shreds given half the chance.

I feel for you--I really do!

9:34 AM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

Meghan, I'm sorry. I agree with you 100% on the responsibilities of pet ownership, which is one of the many reasons why I'm not in a hurry to get another one myself. I don't envy your difficult position one bit.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Lin said...

I don't think you'll like my answer, Meghan, and I'm just going to whisper it, but...you have said you live in the burbs and I'm sure there are loads of other dogs in the area. Your dog should either live on a farm where he is the alpha dog and the only dog or go to reform school for doggies and get retrained in socialization skills. Or...and this is the toughest, you should get rid of him. Even though he has been gentle with people thus far, his unpredictability should be unacceptable when there's a child in the house. Bottom line, he's an animal and if certain behaviors are part of his make-up, then a tough decision has to be made.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Oh, Meghan! I'm so sorry that happened. I'm all teary just thinking about it.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

Do you know about the dog whisperer ? Not to offer assvice or something you may already know about - but when our Chessie lost her sight and became aggresssive it really helped us out.

I hope things get better.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't have to put your dog down. You just have to keep him leashed or fenced and away from other dogs for the rest of his life. If that doesn't work for your family, then you should put him down and not feel bad about it.

I have a dog-aggressive dog too, and have for many years. There is absolutely no connection between dog-aggression and people-aggression. It still totally sucks, especially since dogs really dig meeting other dogs, but my guy has not and will not ever again. But he's 100 lbs with canine teeth the size of small daggers, and I still let my toddler jump all over him.

Fortunately, my dog is old and near the end of his life. We will definitely get a dog-friendly dog next time, so we can have friends over, take him to soccer games and to the dog park.

Good luck.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Lin said...

I can appreciate that it's hard to understand that a dog-aggressive animal can become people-aggressive. The fact that it has never happened is just luck. It's the unpredictability factor in certain animals that is worrisome. We've all heard it before...He always loved people, I just don't know why he suddenly turned. I would not let any animal that has shown strong aggression, (not just growling, get the hell away from me stuff) around a young child. Bottom line: it's a dog.

1:11 PM  

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