Monday, September 12, 2011

Reason #2,946,501 of Why I Hate My Dogs

I love animals. I am not an animal hater. I do not wear fur and I have adopted many a street cat in my life. BUT (big but), I hate my dogs. I know, I know, "hate" is a strong word. Strong, and appropriate. I don't want to hurt them or starve them, or anything like that...I just want some sweet old dog lady to take them away from me. Far away. Only a sweet old dog lady could give them what they need. You see, a few years ago the best dog in the world, Virgil, died. He died suddenly and unexpectedly. One day he was running about doing his usual "sheriff" stuff and within two weeks he was dead due to cancer. It was horrific. One of the worst days of my life. He was 14 years old. He enriched our lives and his absence was painful. I think about him on a daily basis.

Fast forward four months...."Let's just go look at some puppies." John suggested. "No buying, just look. It's too soon." Well, any idiot knows that you do not "look" at puppies. We left with not one, but TWO puppies after jumping through some imaginary hoops. There were so many signs that something was seriously wrong, but we were so traumatized that we just did not notice. When we walked into the barn, the puppies ran away and hid. She did not allow you to touch any puppies. You could only touch them once you purchased them. Who does that? Have you ever not been allowed to touch puppies? Also, why were they running and hiding against the back wall and why were some of the puppies laying flat on their bellies? This was not normal behavior. When we asked, she said that these were "therapy dogs" and they are bred not to bite or exhibit any aggressive behavior. Okay.. She needed to "screen" us to see if we could purchase a dog. Seems legit.

Of course we purchased two pups. I took them to the vet and they both had some serious parasite that was present in dogs that live in bad conditions. The vet questioned me heavily and I assured her that the property seemed clean and sanitary. We went through a thorough process to purchase these dogs. This was not a mill (I started to sweat. Did I just purchase puppies from a mill. I felt sick.) I emailed the breeder (to inform her about the parasite. If they had it, all the pups did.) and she responded, "Can't read your email. Blank." So I emailed again. Same response. I called and left a message. No reply.

Quickly, we realized that these pups were not normal. They were terrified of everything. I mean everything. If you simply stood up from a chair, they were traumatized. Yelled that dinner was ready? Pee on the floor. I don't know what happened, but these pups had to have been abused. Fast forward 5 years later...... nothing has changed, in fact, it is worse. They are terrified of cars, horns, other dogs, people, walking too fast across the floor, laughter, sneezing, dropping spoons, raising your arms, the phone ringing, the door chime, bouncing balls, sweeping the floor, popcorn, I can go on..... I cannot take them to a dog park because one will attack any dog and try to run away. The other runs away after playing for a minute.

Which brings me to Reason #2,946,501 - they steal food. If I turn away for a moment, they will snatch things off the table. It is almost impossible to train them because they are terrified of everything. They slink around like they are being punished most of the time. You know that look? I don't have to yell, they punish themselves. It is impossible to train dogs that do not respond to rewards because they are scared to death all the time. Please don't email me trainers and articles about medicating your dogs. We have tried everything. Nothing helps them be less scared. Yesterday was John's birthday. I baked him a red velvet cake and made gnocchi. While I was putting the potatoes through the ricer, I turned around and found this! NOOOOOOOOO! I looked and the dogs where no where to be found. They were hiding. I ran out to the two corner stores and Rite Aid trying to find red food coloring and cake flour. None. I was so consumed I had forgotten about the potatoes. I returned to cold and now unusable potatoes. I started crying. Yes, I cried. Like a baby.

So, we went to L'Oca for dinner (which was delicious) and had half a cake. John was a good sport. Happy Birthday, Love. Anyone interested in two terrified dogs? Please do think me horrible for wanting to give away such tortured creatures. I realize that I cannot tend to them in the way that they need. We live a chaotic life. Honestly, I don't think the kids would allow it. But if we found great homes? Together? They are sweet and if you live is a quiet house...what a match! Anyone?

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