Let it be said that I, among millions, have a dog as a result of my adorable children begging me for one. Yes, I love my dog. Yes, yes, I also wanted a dog, as did my husband. Yet the whining, begging and wide-eyed innocence of the darling children pushed us over the edge and caused us, quickly, to adopt a rescue chocolate Labrador retriever almost three years ago.
We love our dog, he has our hearts in his hot little paws. He chews our socks and we don’t mind; we laugh. He gets us up at 3:30 in the morning and, pishaw, what harm, really, has been done?
As of late, however, my dog’s antics have ceased to arouse the playful “aww, Bear!!” from my soul. Rather, I have been fairly mortified with embarrassment as he has broken off the leash, chased down grown people, children, cars and other dogs with the expression of a crazed, rabid lunatic. He has frightened and terrified people. He once, three years ago, when he was brand new to us, chewed the ear of an older dog till it bled but we were so in love, we figured it was WAY out of character and the poor thing was scared.
Nowadays, though he hasn’t hurt anyone human or canine since the ear incident, I hold his leash with an iron grip of death so afraid of his maniacal wrath that I just barely make it around the block and home before I realize I’m practically having an anxiety attack.
If someone else’s dog did me to what my dog has done recently, running up and barking and doing all manner of leaping about and jumping, I would be beset with outrage and would take great offense.
I’m afraid it’s back to doggie obedience school for us, as I trudge through the thousands of hours, it feels of walking my children’s dog. Not only do they never want to walk him but now, quite realistically, they can’t. He is sweet and gentle and cuddly as he is in the living room, as equally wild, racous and obnoxious he is on the leash. He once dragged my younger son, then all of seven years old, and skinny, all the from one side of the street to the other just to chase a piece of paper he caught wind of.