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My Dog, My Nemesis

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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.

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Thank you so much for your concern but I suppose our not knowing one another makes it difficult for you to take my piece in the right spirit.
My dog is INTENSELY loved. We are all about his needs and have trained him. However, we realize this is an ongoing process and different times of day, different times of year, different weather and etc. affect him greatly. I am a writer and my purpose is to give folks a window into the frustrations and challenges of some of the things I live with in an honest and up front way because I feel so often we are not comfortable sharing or being honest about difficult things. As a dog owner, I know many, many other dog owners who train their dogs well and love their dogs strongly, and still struggle regularly with certain issues - these are animals, not dolls - they are not robots, they can't behave the same way every single moment.
I appreciate your concern, but I really hope you can expand your understanding to realize that if I were honestly neglecting my dog I probably wouldn't write about it.
We have the sweetest dog imaginable, but he happens to be a very energetic guy and we work tirelessly to give him everything he needs, including extra walks, extra training, internet and verbal advice, and so on.

Also your negativity in the comment section of my article is really uncalled for and totally obnoxious.

March 24, 2011 - 6:07pm

It is incredible to me that people are as cruel to dogs as Aimee Boyle. Unfortunately her dog has been the victim of negligence. This dog (all dogs) can be trained to be obedient, loving and pleasant to have around. Aimee is the dog's nemesis. This dog needs a loving owner who will immediately give him the time and attention that a dog requires in order to be healthy, happy and safe. Aimee seems totally ignorant of the needs of a dog. There is so much info on the Internet that I cannot understand this. My sympathy is with the dog. I pray that he is saved from this situation soon.

March 14, 2011 - 6:01am
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