Lest you think The Dog Snobs are perfect, we will occasionally be confessing sad truths about our own dogs. In today’s first installment, we tackle the touchy subject of dog abuse…as in, how our own dogs abuse us.
In the four years that I’ve had Mr. T, not one, but two physicians have asked me in all seriousness during an exam if there is anything I needed to tell them about the bruises and cuts on my legs and arms. At first I was confused by their questioning, but upon seeing their concerned expressions, I quickly realized they thought I was either self-harming myself or being abused. When I laughed and told the first doctor that I just have a large exuberant dog who likes to be on top of me at all times, she smiled and said she that she had a Great Dane and totally understood. The second doctor however, was not convinced. He assured me that if I needed to talk, he was there for me. Clearly this man was a) either not a dog owner or b) owned civilized dogs.
If anyone has ever owned a bully breed, you know exactly what I mean when I say these goofy, big-headed beasts love with exuberance. Mr. T approaches everything in life with gusto, and loving me is no different. Between flying leaps (with running starts, of course) onto my lap when I am on the couch, trying to sleep on top of me, crawling into my lap at every possible moment, and generally just being a bull in a china shop, it’s no wonder that my body bears constant reminders of his affection. In addition to countless bruises and scrapes, Mr. T has concussed me at least once (that’s been confirmed), given me a bloody nose several times, and knocked me silly on multiple other occasions. When you have a 75 pound dog who thinks he is a lap dog and throws his GIGANTIC head around in unbridled glee, bad things are bound to happen. But honestly, I don’t think I would change it. His enthusiastic affection is part of his charm, and after four years of living with Mr. T, I’ve accepted that sometimes love is pain.
Dog ownership isn’t always cupcakes and rainbows. When you own a dog that acts before he thinks… bleeding is just part of the job description. Before I came into my life, not once had I ever been made to bleed by one of my dogs. L isn’t mouthy at all and my cattle dog mix before her would never lay teeth on a human (dogs were a whole other story, of course.) When I brought I home at a year old, I sort of knew what I was getting in to. I had seen his grandmother and mother run in agility and I had seen both of them jump up to bite his breeder’s hands at the end of their runs. Since I’ve had I, he has broken my thumb, left several puncture wounds and I can’t even begin to count the bruises. He isn’t aggressive, of course. His bites are never ill intentioned, really they can’t even be called bites. He just dances around with his mouth wide open, swinging his teeth and usually catching flesh. It isn’t just the mouth you have to watch though, he also enjoys using me as a springboard. You really can’t fault his enthusiasm, but I do wish there was a little less damage done by it. His enthusiasm isn’t just limited to play though, he honestly can’t go anywhere at a walk. He dashes about, paying no attention to what he is doing. He has knocked me down our front steps, not once but twice. He’s that dog everyone hates, bouncing off knees like a pinball . Of course, training him out of it is an option and I have settled him down quite a bit. He no longer takes flying leaps at my face, for instance. Really though, the flying around with his mouth open is just part of his personality. I just ask that he does it with at least three feet between us.
Fang (Unacceptably delayed but still awesome): I have bitey dogs. You can call it what you like–mouthy, nippy, whatever, but they view the world through their usually open mouths and they interact with everything teeth first. Both M and Z‘s favorite activites are extremely physical and involve a lot of flying incisors. Luckily, I’ve avoided major damage beyond some pinches in the midst of play and a long puncture wound from a “Don’t eat that!” hand reach into a mouth. My dogs however aren’t prone to being as careful with my own friends, who incidentally have to be careful playing tug in their placement or they get what could only be described as a ‘purple nurple’.
Do any of you want to confess as well? Be sure to leave a comment!