My Dog

My dog is nice. Well, usually. He is big, and foreboding looking, with the added reputation of “chow” emblazened on his DNA, but he is nice. Most of the time. So as I meet people walking their dogs I call out “he is friendly!” to calm their fears as I watch their eyes dart to the left and right to plan an escape route with their pet. My announcement usually suffices and I receive a warm, friendly smile out of them as doggie greetings ensue.
Yesterday my dog made me into a liar. “He’s friendly!” I called out. Warm smile, doggie greetings… then the unthinkable. He decided, (for WHAT reason exactly??) That this new dog, a female, gentle and submissive by all outward appearances, was someone who needed to know that my dog was the toughest, scariest creature she had ever encountered. WHY?! He lunged and growled, and made snarly lion sounds at the poor, frightened thing, as I found myself repeating “I’m sorry! I’m so so sorry!” as I yanked him away. The woman smiled through a look that I read like a book “yeah, sure, lady, nice dog…liar”.
I was unhappy with my dog. My dog was oblivious. He smiled his big ‘dontcha’ just love me?’ smile at me and wagged his tail as though he’d done just the right thing and expected me to be proud. We had a clear case of miscommuniation going. “No! That was a ‘NO!’ that was BAD!” Big dorky smile, tail wagging “Yeah, I know – I’m a good dog aren’t I!”
I pondered this all the way home, trying to make some kind of sense of what had set my usually friendly dog off like that. He is well socialized. He plays well with others. He gets plenty of exersize. He is on a healthy diet. He lives a nicely structured life where he knows what to expect and what is expected of him. I have watched every Caesar Milan video aired. I came up with nothing.
My other dog, also a chow, is the most happy go lucky dog you could ask for. She loves everybody. She is gentle with children. She is just plain good natured. Never had a problem with that one. They were both raised the same. I’m confused.
Still, dogs are easier than children.
Dogs; you adopt them, you potty train them, you teach them their basic commands, you feed them and excercise them, and pretty much, they just love you in return and most of the things they do makes some kind of sense to you. But perhaps most importantly, you never need to doubt their love and loyalty. Dogs are the most loyal creatures on earth.
Children, on the other hand; you bear them torturously out of your own body, you raise them, you adore them above your own life, you stay up nights with them when they’re sick, you keep going when you simply can’t go any more to make sure that all of their needs are met. You confront the teachers who aren’t ‘fair’ to them, you talk to the mothers of the children who are mean to them, you worry about them and their development; physical, emotional, spiritual, educational. You do all this and much much more with the limited supply of wisdom you are equipped with in your twenties and thirties, and you hope against hope and pray hard that you’re doing it right. Then if you’re particularly unlucky, one day, they will become convinced by some new acquaintance that whatever you did wasn’t what you should have done at all, and additionally, anything that you ever did right is considered null and void, never to be brought up again (because it causes them to doubt their own conclusions I’m sure). Nevermind who you are today. Nevermind that you would still lay down your life for them. You ‘failed’ them back when… and that is all that matters.
Well, now that I put it that way, I think I’ll just write off my dog’s bad behavior to an ‘off’ day and be done with it.
Dogs are the best, aren’t they?

1 thought on “My Dog”

  1. I’m enormously joyful that God has answered our prayers for your total recovery so you could enrich and enlighten us with your glorious testimony on obedience. I praise God for all the miracles He has granted you at each juncture. I praise Him for your testimony and pray that others will be as inspired and enriched as I have been through your words. You have given us a whole new perspective on prayer!
    We continue to stand with you in prayer and support as you recover.

Leave a Comment