When I got home from work I blew my top and insisted we get rid of the dog immediately. I wouldn't spend :10 seconds missing her but 11-Year Old Daughter had a meltdown and tearfully begged me to keep her. My hard, poisonous hart was melted by the oldest antidote known to man—a daughter's tears—and the dog won a reprieve.
The dog's behavior is inexplicable. She's a friendly, pleasant mutt (albeit, an $850 mutt) who thinks that everyone wants to be her best friend. She'll roll over on her back in a submissive position so people can give her a scratch. She'll go weeks and weeks without any sign of canine insanity and then, out of nowhere and without provocation, growl and snap. It's only happened a couple times and it's usually at night when she's at rest, but it's a pretty impressionable event. It stays with you.
We've taken her to training classes and had a trainer come to our home for one-on-one sessions (at no small expense, I might add). The trainer's diagnoses is that she has occasional "resource guarding and body handling issues." He assures us that it's not the result of anything we've done. Well, thank God for that. I'd hate to think we've hurt her feelings. He assured us that if Coco really wanted to hurt someone, she would've taken a finger off with little effort. He's coming back and is having mercy on me by not charging for subsequent visits.
I've never like dogs and this isn't helping the cause. It's as if God gave them the most unattractive aspects of human nature. I am annoyed by their bottomless reservoir of need and their unending demands for attention. I find their inability (or is it an unwillingness?) to keep themselves clean off-putting, and the incessant barking is grating. They're not discriminating with what they eat or are mindful of quantity. It doesn't necessarily have to be food. Even shit is a gourmet treat. (Sorry, Daisyfae. That's just how I feel. Especially this morning.)
If she ever seriously bites one of my little girls or my bride, not only will I not have any compunction or residual guilt about having her euthanized, I will take uncharacteristic dark pleasure in pushing the plunger myself. We have done nothing but give her a loving home and treated her with kindness. She's got a pretty great gig here but if she doesn't mind her manners she's going to meet a bad end. Tears or no tears.
I wanted a cat but was outvoted 3-1. I'm not very good with the written word but do you know who is? Charles Bukowski.
the strays keep arriving: now we have 5
cats and they are smart, spontaneous, self-
absorbed, naturally poised and awesomely
one of the finest things about cats is
that when you’re feeling down, very down,
if you just look at the cat at rest,
at the way they sit or lie and wait,
it’s a grand lesson in preserving
if you watch 5 cats at once that’s 5
no matter the extra demands they make
no matter the heavy sacks of food
no matter the dozens of cans of tuna
from the supermarket: it’s all just fuel for their
amazing dignity and their
affirmation of a vital
we humans can
only envy and
* * *
Friday, January 18, 7:50 p.m. in the old man bar in Red Bank, NJ.