I had a visit today with the Established Vet to get my dogs nails done and to have one of the last shots that will enable him to walk amongst every other dog. That is, if he were social enough to walk with other dogs and people for that matter. Charly-dog had to have a muzzle put on for the first time by the Vet Technician, who I noticed, had shaky hands even before we entered the office.
My dog was a little more maintained today and only allotted himself a minute of barking per person. The Vet Technician (VT) explained that:
“Dogs do that when they have experienced trauma either in the home or out ;or heard a loud noise when you’re not home”.
Hearing the word Trauma gave me an upset feeling in my stomach and made me hold my head down in shame racking my brain to try to figure out when and if trauma happened in our house. There’s Drama, which rhymes with trauma, but that’s because I house teenagers.
The only trauma/drama I can think of was when my mother- in- law last visited; but Charly was barely past infancy and I’m sure he has blocked that Holiday from his bobble head. The only trauma this dog has experienced is scoping neighbors passing our property peacefully walking their dogs and he finds himself unable crash through the house like the Kool-Aid pitcher barking “Oh Yeah” and nabbing onto a pant cuff.
I have been spending a lot of time watching dog shows to the point of now being the most confused I have ever been since bringing this puppy home. I have taken Charly-dog places, let him witness other dogs in the hood, and have had guest over all in the vain of getting my dog to a level where I can breath easy in public and stop apologizing to every person we come in contact with.
I actually gave up today on the notion of owning a dog. When I was at the Vet waiting for my dogs toenails to shine, I found myself in a ready position to exit quickly. My checkbook had a pre-written check with the amount due blank. When the Vet Technician delivered my dog to me shaking and suffering from muzzle shock, I tore my check out of the checkbook and ran for the exit.
There were many pets that entered during my puppy’s visit and Charly did not have a nice thing to say to any of them. All I could sense around me were the glares from the dog owners in the waiting room making me feel as though I must have traumatized this dog somehow without knowledge. It was the same feeling I got when my son was two and wouldn’t follow instructions from the pre-pre- school teacher and decided to take all his clothes off during play time and sunbathe on the playground as if he had a VIP card to a nudist colony in Maui. The stares and whispers from the other mothers was just invigorating.
I tried to remain as calm as the Dog Whisperer and keep my head up high and use my “inside voice” to correct Charly’s outbursts, but I yanked his collar until his bark was a spattered choke and exited in silence. I put Charly in the back seat and tethered him to the seat belt that would not allow him within a two foot radius near me. I was seething as I drove him back home and watched as he poked his bobble head out the back window in silence to absorb the ongoing oxygen. I did not want to acknowledge his presence in my car. I did not want to talk to him or look at him. I had horrific thoughts of his escaping through the window at a stop light and me not stopping to get him.
I drove in silence for twenty minutes as Charly RODE in silence. I pulled into my drive and stopped the car and told Charly to get out. I took off his leash and pointed to the vast unknown acreage and yelled at him to get out and leave me alone. At that point I didn’t care if he took off running after a car, or ran after someone screaming his barks in protest. All I wanted to do was retreat to my back yard and tend to my garden amongst my quiet Azalea’s.
I left Charly unaccompanied and on his own in the back yard with out a tethered leash or a fence. I gave him Carte Blanche of the yard without supervision. I went to my garden and took a shovel and dug up last seasons weeds as if I were plotting his grave. I looked up into the sky and watched two vultures circle my area staring down licking their chops in anticipation of grabbing my Chaniel for lunch. I looked up at the predators and glanced back at my puppy perched on the steps watching me. I kept digging and tilling the ground without thought to anything except the possibility of having a peaceful life back and to not turn around if I hear the yelp of my dog as he’s carried off by the treacherous talons of these birds of prey. In that moment of fantasy I saw my dog being carried off into the sunset and my having to explain to my weeping family as to what happened and why is there so much dog fur on the patio.
Instead, I was the one reduced to tears. I stood there wearing oversized gardener’s gloves on my hands looking like Minnie Mouse and crying over disheveled dirt infested with winter worms. I sat in the middle of my garden cultivating my thoughts in hopes of a revelation to inspire me to not offer my pup as a sacrifice to the vulture gods and as I sat there I noticed Charly approach me with a languish grin of satisfaction……….and a few feathers following behind him as he brought me an olive branch that looked like a beak.
I am in dog hell and he has total control. I think I am in need of sticking my bleached head out the window for air……………Muzzle Tov!
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