Wednesday, March 31, 2010
3 months old
i am not a dog person and yet i own a dog now. dolores is now 3 months old, we are thankfully through the house training stage of her life, and well, i'm trying to make my way though how to be a "pack leader" as cesar milan says. this is my first real dog, since i had no hand in raising or maintaining my family dog growing up. my mom was viciously attacked by a dog as a kid and not that she told me to be afraid of dogs but it was just something i was probably more aware of than i wanted to be. pre-dolores i couldn't let a dog get near my face. not ever. not any dog. if a dog of any size jumps up on me or gets near my face i would freak the heck out. it's not that i thought every dog was bad but i couldn't escape the fear that they could attack me.
since the break-in i really wanted a dog and i'm so glad we did. it's mostly psychological of course because dolores is a wee puppy but i feel safer. i've been training her myself, and i've grown a lot of confidence in feeling safe and in charge. i wouldn't say my fear of dogs has abated fully but i don't feel like cowering at the drop of a hat. however two things happened lately that reminded me of where i stand.
1. the kids and i were taking a walk with dolores. we were maybe 1/2 mile from the house and we came around a corner and there was a dog, not on a lease, with no owner. it was a medium size dog and seemed friendly but really excitable as we approached. this dog started jumping up on the kids and i, at one point it even knocked olive over. then it started trying to stand on top of dolores, in a playful way but one neither dolores or i was used to and after a few minutes dolores started shaking. the dog continued to jump on all of us and no matter what i would do it wouldn't leave us alone. it followed us nearly the entire 1/2 mile home knocking olive around, freaking us all out. i went inside and burst into tears i was shaking so much.
2. i was taking dolores on a walk by myself, another owner and dog approached. i'm fine with dolores interacting with dogs and "saying hi" so i slackened the leash to allow them to sniff each other. after a few seconds the dog lunged at dolores and bit her around the neck. the dog's owner took immediate control of the situation and i don't know what you'd call it, but she made the dog lay down and made it submissive. i on the other hand just froze in terror and started shaking like a leaf. i'm so glad she was a responsible owner and took control. dolores was unhurt, just a little jittery.
at least once a day i look at dolores and exclaim "DANG IT YOU ARE FREAKING AWESOME DOG" ir sine equivalent. she is such a good temperament. she can tell the difference between david and i's style which i'm loving. she lays next to me quietly (well as much as a puppy can) and knows that he is much more readily available to romp and stomp around in horseplay.