Friday, April 19, 2024

Only dog in the universe


  In her first few years of life, Charly used to go to dog care, and play with other dogs in the off-leash park.  Her favourite game was chase; she didn’t like wrestling or fetching balls and sticks.  She and I lived in the downtown core of a city in her puppy days, and she became accustomed to all sorts of dogs, noises, and people.  Dogs downtown were aplenty – well-behaved dogs and badly behaved dogs.  Nips and aggressive acts by off-leash dogs towards Charly while she was on leash were not irregular.  She tolerated and submitted to that behaviour as a puppy and young dog.  Until she didn’t.

By around age five, Charly seemed to have had enough.  She would see another dog, and her tail would wag.  It seemed as though we could pass or they could meet without incident.  But out of nowhere, Charly would change her mind – and bark harshly.  We enlisted the help of many trainers, used a halti, but this behaviour would not abate.  It increased in severity with age.  Fortunately, we moved into the suburbs shortly after this onset of developing aggression.  We could easily avoid other canine contact.

 

Now in her golden years, Charly completely dislikes dogs, and we avoid any contact.  If Charly even sees another dog on her walks or something that looks like a dog through her less than average vision, she barks very loudly – even though her deafness prevents her from hearing her own voice.  She has no body or bite to back up her bark…her muscles have atrophied and she has lost a couple teeth.  Regardless, she declares herself to be the only dog in the universe.  It’s hard to tell her otherwise.

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