Why Our Dog isn't Going Anywhere

Our dog bit me Thursday. He left three puncture wounds on my forearm and it bled. It didn't hurt that bad. He had reasons which I'll get around to later.

Some people have suggested that we need to "get rid of" our dog since this is not the first time he has bitten.

As soon as I hear the words "get rid of" applied to a pet, my opinion of the person uttering those words plummets to a level that it isn't likely to recover from.  I hear it all the time. "We have to get rid of the cat because we're having a baby." "We have to get rid of the dog because we're moving." "We have to get rid of the cat because she is pregnant again." I'd like to get rid of some people that can afford to go out to the bar every week but can't afford to get their pet spayed or neutered.

You get rid of an old worn out sofa. You get rid of outgrown clothes. You get rid of clutter. You do not get rid of living creatures that you have willingly taken responsibility for. When I take in an animal, it has a home for life, no matter what. This is as it should be. My daughter bit me when she was a toddler and we didn't get rid of her. My son also bit me when he was a toddler. We didn't get rid of him either. Oddly enough, no one suggested it.

Most of my pets, including the dog, have already been gotten rid of at least once in their lives. They are all the results of someone not having their pet spayed or neutered. 

Dogbert was found starving at a local park. He had mange and his entire body was covered with pus-filled sores. He was just a huge scab except for his tail. The kids fed him their lunch while I pondered what to do. We couldn't leave him there in that condition. We couldn't take him to the humane society because he was in such bad shape he would have been instantly put down. I didn't want a dog. My husband really didn't want a dog.

So, we took the dog home. Once my husband accepted his fate as an unwilling dog owner, he took the dog to the vet. It took close to two months to get rid of the mange and even longer for the dog to grow his hair back.  

The dog has obviously been abused at some point during his life. He is both very skittish and aggressive at the same time. He's a contradiction.

He hates people wearing hats and coming into my house wearing a hat will get you bit. Period. So don't come into my house wearing a hat. That's easy. I can't believe anyone honestly thinks I should get rid of our dog so that they can come into my house wearing a hat. Didn't their mothers ever teach them not to wear hats indoors? (I noted four hats being worn inside at a restaurant last night.)

He will not tolerate anyone being mean to my kids, including other people's kids. If a visiting child appears to be threatening one of my kids, they will probably get bit. I wish this wasn't so, but it is. The solution seems to be not to have visiting kids that can't or won't follow the rules. It does not seem to me that the solution is to get rid of the dog. I hate having visiting kids anyway and I'm not about to get rid of a perfectly lovely reason not to have them.

I do agree that it isn't a good thing that our dog bit me. I am going to check into getting some training for him. But I think I know why he snapped.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, he was shut up in my bedroom all day while the contractors were here replacing the heating and air system. As far as he knew, these men in hats were stealing our stuff when they hauled off the old units. They were making a lot of noise and tearing his house down. His kids and his cats were threatened and I wouldn't let him do anything about it.

So he had already had enough by Thursday when my ex-brother-in-law showed up to drop off my niece. I don't know why the dog didn't like my BIL. It could have been anything. No one likes him so I'm not about to fault the dog for it. The dog snarled. The dog growled. I grabbed the dog's collar and started hauling him to my bedroom. "Enough, already!", said the dog as he clamped down on my arm.

Big deal. I've lost my temper and lashed out at someone I love before. In fact I do it far more often than the dog does. Maybe my family should get rid of me.

I'm not getting rid of anyone. If an animal is offered a home here, it has a home for life, no matter what. This is as it should be.



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