Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bad Dog

I love my dog child, but he gives me agita sometimes.

On Saturday, he bit the mailman. I can hardly blame him. M was mowing and the noisy stinky machine is one of his most hated objects. He was barking and charging it for what seemed like an eternity. Throw in a couple of neighbor boys chasing each other around the yard and deck with foam bulleted rifles and you have a dog on the edge of a nervous breakdown. The mail carrier was just the last straw. He didn't break the skin, but we're awaiting his second warning letter, and hoping that mail delivery and pick up will continue.

Last night, I arrived home late, in the dark and chill and rain to discover that he'd gotten out somehow. This was not the first time. I pulled on my Point Arena Lighthouse raincoat and opened an umbrella and wandered the neighborhood calling to him. As I trod the asphalt, I wondered if he actually was just back in the garage, lying low til I got home. I wondered if a neighbor had found him and taken him in, never to return him. Would he be happy with his new family? Or would they hurt him? I wondered if he had been picked up and spirited to the local animal shelter. Thanks to M, I wondered if he had squirted through the fence, agitated by the arrival of the mail carrier, and had been captured and hauled away to the pound. I imagined myself stapling posters to telephone poles and stuffing them into front door handles and knocking on neighbors' doors. I felt a great deal of guilt as I imagined how pleasant it would be to plan getaways and vacations that did not involve pet friendly hotels or dog sitting or making arrangements to hand him off to Mom in Boonville, much as another excuse to see Mom would be welcome. I imagined the days ahead, unable to concentrate, wondering what had happened to him.

All this in the space of a few blocks. I headed back to the house thinking I'd check on my theory of him hanging around and laughing at me calling him. Well, not laughing, but feeling reassured and wanted. As I reached the driveway, the soaked little mutt ran up from who know where, curving his wet little body into parentheses of happiness to see me, oblivious to my worry and guilt. I brought him in and dried him off and was glad that he smelled better than he has in weeks, washed by the rain. I wondered where he'd been all this time. And of course he refuses to tell me.


At 2:13 PM, February 25, 2010, Blogger Michelle said...

AS the caretaker of a not always well behaved canine, let me say... I feel your pain and have thought your thoughts. They are complicated things to love sometimes.

At 3:59 PM, February 25, 2010, Blogger Kamala! said...

I, too, have a bad dog. Tucker has attacked several people, and actually bit me, and broke skin, just before the India trip. That was about food, and he doesn't like men with beards. It's very difficult. It's hard to know what to do.

At 12:27 AM, March 02, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 10:10 PM, March 07, 2010, Blogger I LOVE YOU said...

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