Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Worst

Don't let his excessive cuteness fool you.
The Vicar's Dog - Fall 2013

My dog is consistently the worst dog at the dog park.

This is true for a variety of reasons: he's possessive, he's territorial, he's aggressive towards bigger dogs, he tries to dominate same-sized or smaller dogs, he's not particularly interested in being social, and he doesn't understand when other dogs are trying to play with him. He doesn't chase or wrestle, he just stares at them. I figured out that he was going to be a handful when at four months and maybe fifteen pounds we went to a nearby dog park and he took a chunk of fur out of a full-grown husky's neck. With this sort of bravery/idiocy, I fully expect this dog to go out in a blaze of glory, saving us from a bear or a cougar on a camping trip. Or not even saving us, really, probably just feeling like that bear was in his personal space.

My dog is consistently the worst dog on the block.

He always wants to urinate at exactly the wrong time and at the wrong places, even as we're pulling him away from the "please curb your dog" signs. We can't let kids pet him, or dogs larger than him sniff him, because he's unpredictable. He barks every single time a FedEx or UPS truck pulls up, which is several times a day. He goes nuts when the mail carrier comes up our street, and he goes absolutely bananas when the mail goes in the slot. Part of the problem here is that he is so over-excited about guarding our house from mail that he gets hit in the face with the mail everyday, which probably feeds the cycle of him hating the mail and then barking aggressive at the mail slot. And then he barks at the mail carrier for another five minutes when he sees her across the street. 

He's just the worst. 

I don't want it to sound like he has zero redeeming qualities, but living in a neighborhood is more difficult for us because of this unfriendly dog. Part of the problem is that it can be hard to get a conversation going because he's going nuts at the end of his leash, which kind of deadens the mood. I know he must be obnoxious as our neighbors walk by the house. We have to lock him in the bedroom when people come over.  We leave the dog park as soon as he becomes problematic, which can be less than ten minutes, depending on his level of anxiety that day.

There's only one good thing in all of this, and that is I get to see little pieces of grace strewn around. Every day, this dog, despite our best efforts, somehow or someway causes us to transgress via noise or other dog insanity against our neighbors. And we are indebted to them to forgive us our dog trespasses. For the most part, and I find this to be continually miraculous, they do. I'm very grateful. 

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