The Meeting Place

Dogs and other hairy creatures

 “Let go,” I yelled. “Let go you stupid dog.”

Dogs are stupid; this one, who has its teeth firmly planted in the flesh of my arse, is especially stupid. What other creature would hurdle a fence at the mere sight of me passing, bark insistently as I ran for cover, yet persistently chase me as if I still posed a threat to its well-being, then latch on to my delicate cheeks in spite of it’s already established success at scaring the shit out of me.

I still,bear the mental and physical scars of that brief encounter with the neighbours canine. Although I’m not reminded of the teeth marks on a daily basis since they are beyond my view, I am constantly reminded of the experience each time a dog of any description enters my field of view; or me it’s.

This dispassionate dislike for dogs of all kinds may seem unreasonable for some of you but this is the way of youth inspired trauma. Generalisations about the cause of pain and fear become fixed in our psych. We associate the truth of one event with possibilities. We affiliate an experience with objects, circumstances and experiences that might or might not have any relation to the initial mind changing event.

I now have a disproportionate dislike for all dogs. It’s not that I hate them. It’s more of a self-preservation thing. As someone once wrote: “Once bitten; twice shy”. Except I’ve extended my shyness to infinity in time, place and dogs in general.

Unfortunately, dogs seem to sense this. So do their owners.

I am reminded of Peter Sellers’ famous scene in The Pink Panther when he asks the hotel attendant if his dog bites.

“Non monsieur, “ the hotelier responded.

Following this reassurance, the dog immediately bit Inspector Clouseau on the had as he learnt down to pat the dog.

“I thought your dog didn’t bite,” the inspector questioned.

“It’s not my dog,” replied the hotelier blandly.

My response to this scene was blatant, sweat-inducing fear, while the remainder of the theatre rolled in the aisles in historical laughter.

My life is filled with such unnerving Clouseau moments. I walk the country paths with a heavy stick. I fear dogs more than I fear snakes, spider, falling branches, precipitous cliffs and Gruffalos. I would never dream of entering a yard without skirting the perimeter for evidence of canine activity. Those who know me and my paranoia shepherd their beasts into safe quarters when I visit, along with small children, of which I have an almost equal dislike. 

But of late I have noticed a distinct change in attitude regarding dog ownership that has increased my anxiety somewhat. Firstly, dog owners have become less conducive to the understanding that not everyone enjoys the company of their pet. They address their dog in a matter fitting an university undergraduate and proceed to explain that Its me, not the pooch at fault her.

“Oh, poor poochie-whoochie. Is the bad man cross with you? It’s OK. I’ll protect you”. 

This gobbled-gook is accompanied with a bitter look from both dog and keeper (a dichotomy I find indistinguishable) that would strip bark from a tree. 

“Could you put your dog on its lead, sir?” I request in a polite but quivering voice.

“What are you? Some sort of dog Nazi? You can’t tell,me what to do. My dog doesn’t need a lead; you do, you moron”, all of which reminds me that referring to Nazis is an instant discussion end, unbeknown to me his dog has been excluded form council bylaws, and he considers his poochie-whoochie more intelligent than I. Not a good start to a resolution. I have become accustomed to bidding farewell to dog and owner and finding another path.

Then there’s the European trend of dogs in restaurants and other eating places. I first came across this abominable practise in France. I was sitting next to a woman in a cafe when I noticed she seemed to be storing food off her plate in a basket by her side. At first I thought she might have brought her own doggy bag until a furry head protruded from said basket and scoffed the morsels from the delicate fingers of its owner. To my utter disgust, the woman then patted the dog and let it lick her fingers. At that point I began to gag. Then she licked her fingers seemingly to finish the job the dog had started, then continued with her meal. At that point my eyes began to water and the partly digested meal I had enjoyed to this point began to move up my oesophagus for rumination and projection. I rushed to the door and made it to the pavement in time to expel peas and carrots onto the shoes of innocent passers. 

In good faith, I’m across guide dogs. Well trained, obedient and fastened to the end of a hefty harness. I’m also aware of hearing dogs. That also sounds reasonable. Not only are these dogs carrying out  a viable service to the owner, it is required that I do not, in any circumstances, disturb the dog at work. On the other hand, there is a fleet of furry misfits that are loosely tagged ‘carer dogs”. Apparently this collection of half-breeds serve the function of providing company, companionship, counselling, therapy and a scratching post for a variety of individuals who have been deemed to need such friendship.

I have no objection to any of this. If a person prefers the company of a dog over a human, all well and good. My great grand daughter prefers the company of a snail over that of her mother. In a solitary moment I’ll watch a goldfish swim in never ending circles. I have a distant cousin who prefers the company of sheep, although his motives are tenuous.

Unfortunately, instead of leaving their devoted psycho-analyst behind when they go shopping, flying, eating, visiting friends, even attending funerals and weddings, they drag the beast along with them, often to the surprise and disgust of the other attendees.

I can understand my grand daughter taking her snail for Show-and -Tell at school every other Tuesday but really! 

I could go on. I could mention poop bags, jackets for cold days, panting and dribbling, mobile wash rooms, the smell of pet food, pissing on my lawn, the smell of wet fur, dog fart, bad breath, ticks, fleas, sleeping with the owner, hair deposits, late night barking, early morning walkies, dog getting, leg humping, shoe chewing, worming, and, worst of all, humping in public.

Such a distasteful display of primitive behaviour can only be matched by the dog owner who is not only will to abide by all this but actually shows delight in the observance of it all. 

Well, excuse me for living in another world, where ‘mans best friend’ is his worst enemy, where freedom to roam is reserved for humans and invertebrates, and nothing wakes me but the chorus of songbirds and my need to have a piss.

 

 

 

14 comments

Generally like dogs and can only speak from personal experience but in the main a bit to quite scared of dogs I’m unfamiliar with, and have always felt this way despite being bitten by a dog whilst a teenager, and usually just slowly warm to them rather than going in holas bolas.

Find dogs interesting, quirky, funny, sort of silly at times, joyful I guess but in no way convinced they are stupid.  As I understand it they have an incredible olfactory system with a sense of smell far superior to humans, a sort knowing the world through their noses. Hearing is superior as well I believe, hence the misery of dogs come New Year’s Eve.

Not completely sold on the picking up of all human moods/emotions etc.notion but some -and feel there is something in their ability to pick up on human fear which in turn makes them afraid triggering a type of defence strategy but no expert and just guessing. Think I’d always be vigilant with dogs around babies and young children.

 Also think both cats and dogs can pick up on body language to a certain extent and have shared houses and yards with cats and dogs and even birds that have behaved a bit unusual, toe-y,  nervous with an impending weather change ie. cyclones etc. Not sure what that is about.

 

 

PS. Meant holus bolus not holas bolas.

One bad sxperience is no reason to dislike all dogs, if you have a bad encounter with people do you shun the rest of us?, animals are like humans, there are good and bad in all of us, look at the rescue dogs, dogs of war, dogs and cats in Nursing Homes  bringing joy to a lot of old folk. I can understand you not trusting dogs you don't know after what happened to you but don't give up on all of them because of one bad one who was probably protecting it's owners property, no excuse though, should have been muzzled or on a lead if vicious.

Hit t he wrong key, should be an e there not an s in the word experience above.

 

LOL I have to laugh at the lead story!  LOL

Yes the French are well known for treating their miniature dogs like that, we were waiting on the Paris underground and a head popped up out of a shopping bag;  but then a lot of our US cousins do something similar when they fly!   

WA is far behind the Eastern States when it comes to doggie manners too.   My big guy [the canine variety] was taught as a puppy to 'go' on command!   he could go when he so felt like it and would walk to the door and look over his shoulder at us, meaning I need to spend a penny.  However, my learning curve when he was a puppy of about six months and as big as a labrador was to squat on the pavement at Bayside shops and do the longest 'tinkle' he had ever done!  LOL   The ladies that morning were very understanding and laughed.  I cringed.  So much so the lady in the antique shop came up and said can I put him in the window!  he attracts customers!  LOL.   He later learned that being an alpha male he lifted a leg!  He was not fully grown till he was 2 and so tall he could rest his chin on the dining room table if allowed!

He was my gentle giant and had us in fits at many of his antics both in Melbourne, the UK and Perth.

 

Never run from a dog. Turn and face it.

Yeah, right. Like, that's going to happen.

LOL, now Ding, if you take my advice about the jungle juice, you wouldn’t be afraid of anything. On the other hand, you can always carry around a lamb shank and if an attack is imminent, throw it to the dog and run for your life!

Yours truly Reag

"the remainder of the theatre rolled in the aisles in historical laughter."

How on earth did they do that?

Nothing about cats?

My son's partner had a huge cat, Rollmop or something they call the breed. She had it for a few years but it was very tempremental, the vet said to have it neutered, which she did. When my son arrived at her house the cat used to snarl and hiss at him. He loved cats and attempted to befriend it, no way could he do that. One day his partner ran up her stairs and the cat chased her and scratched her and bit, she was terrified of it. She eventually surrendered it to a cat's home. The vet said the cat must have been very jealous of my son. Who needs a cat like that?

 

 

Hola in future if your son and partner have another cat;  get a squirt bottle from Big W or K Mart fill it with water and white vinegar, when the cat does something you do not want it to do you have to immediately squirt the cat!  This means you need to understand the mood swing and just watch it, I have had to do this with my two. They sure get the message!   This was explained to me by the Rescue lady.

Cats are very territorial and they have to know their place in the pecking order.  Same with dogs they will try to jump up the pecking order too and try to nip a human adult or child if they are wanting to feel more important.  Not all pups do this, they are usually the alpha male or female that try this on, this means you have to be a trainer with positive treats!  Ignore the negatives.

This nipping needs to be stopped straight away. That is why it is important when getting a puppy to house train it, not only for their toilet, but their manners like a dog should never go through a doorway before a human. If they do they are showing they are higher up the pecking order than the human, which in turn means they have little respect for the human in question.

My big dog was a cute puppy at 9 weeks he was as large as a Jack Russel.  Loved to jump up onto the human for attention.  Of course the human that is not used to this behaviour will start waving their arms about to try and stop the young dog. This is the last thing a person should be doing, they think you are playing with them!   best thing to do is to stand still with arms folded this makes the young dog stop and think, usually they sit.  When they sit, you need to reinforce this with praise and a treat if you have one in your pocket!   If the dog doesn't stop, turn your back to the young animal.

The animals will do the same to their human owner if they are annoyed with them, they come to the owner and sit in front of them with their back to the owner telling them in no uncertain terms they are not a happy little ball of fluff!  LOL 

Sorry I have no experience with Dingos so I cannot comment.

 

And as usual, here are all the 'dog-lovers' dismissing Dingo's very real dislike and proferring their own remedies guaranteed to turn him into a dog lover.

Well it may come as a shock to those stupid dog owners who insist in treating (or rather mistreating) their animal as a human child. IT IS A DOG! Stop abusing the animal and treat it as it deserves to be treated as the dignified animal it is. And have some respect for others.

Not everyone has had a traumatic experience with a dog, yet many are not fans of the intrusion of someone else's animal into their space. I have been bothered by an assortment of Fidos at the beach (incidentally a dog on leash place frequently flouted), in a park (again on-leash only regularly flouted) and even just on the street by Fido on a thirty metre long leash over which the holder has absolutely no control!

Have your dog if you must. But at the very least be a responsible owner, obey council bylaws and do not assume everyone likes your pet anymore than they like your child!

KSS, I contributed to this thread but in no way felt I dismissed  Dingo’s 

‘very real dislike of dogs and proferring their own remedies guaranteed to turn him into a dog lover’

Actually could easily empathise with Dingo’s dog bite scenario and as I said have often felt and I quote ‘a bit to quite scared of dogs I’m unfamiliar with‘

Also dont think I was ‘offering remedies guaranteed to turn him into a dog lover’ and don’t particularly care if he likes or dislikes dogs.

All’s I was saying is that I don’t think dogs are stupid, that they have some - not all - superior physical traits in comparison with humans, and that in the main I like and enjoy their presence on the planet...that’s all.

 

 

 

 

Hi KSS.

I totally agree most of the problems with dog ownership is the dog is totally confused, the owner that treats the canine as a human child is usually asking for trouble.   This treatment of the dog indicates to the dog's mind that they are superior to the human, in other words they are higher up the pecking order than the human.

This doesn't mean the human owner cannot love and cuddle the dog far from it, but please don't treat it like a human baby it confuses the animal.  I am sure there are lots of pets in Rescue because of this.

Hi KSS.

I totally agree most of the problems with dog ownership is the dog is totally confused, the owner that treats the canine as a human child is usually asking for trouble.   This treatment of the dog indicates to the dog's mind that they are superior to the human, in other words they are higher up the pecking order than the human.

This doesn't mean the human owner cannot love and cuddle the dog far from it, but please don't treat it like a human baby it confuses the animal.  I am sure there are lots of pets in Rescue because of this.

I have 2 Rottwielers living next to me. They love me because I occasionally give them cat food over the fence. I always know when a stranger is visiting me as the dogs give a warning bark. My timid cat doesn't seem to be worried about them.

Dingo have had many dogss over the years & sorry to read about your dog attack but it is usually the dog owners fault as dogs are smart & a so called stupid dog would have a stupid owner

 

I have had 2 small rescue dogs for about 4 years, one loves everyone and is quite willing to give them all a kiss if they let him.  If the person backs away or gives the vibes they don't want it then he is told 'NO' and he stops. [gives me a very hurt look as though to say 'why not'.]

My wee lady is a very, very, timid dog, who has had a stroke after being attacked 3 times in 2 days by large dogs roaming the place. She was very traumatised when she first came and was gradually coming round to other dogs until her attack :(  Now she tends to try and bolt if a dog even barks behind a fence.  If she can see them, even across the street, she will turn round and try to go back the way she has just come. 
I would never dream of letting my dogs sleep on my bed - the only time they get near it is if we are woken by a storm [thunder and lightning].  They have their own beds in various places around the house and yes one of them is in the bedroom.

Both my dogs are walked early morning [6am, lovely time of the day] and evening /night - sorry KSS but when we go to the local paddock they are off lead - even though there is an off lead area about 5 minutes away.  BUT it is across a very, very busy road and I am not willing to risk my or their lives trying to cross it.

They both, are usually well behaved while of lead and as it is only in the paddock that they are off then I, personally, have no problem with it.  Nor have any of the council workers we sometimes see said anything. When walking the streets they are always on lead. 

Yes Dingo, you need to take a few things with you when walking :) pooh bags, treat box, dog deterrent spray and, in summer, a water bottle.
Dogs are only aggressive when taught to be by their owners or when they are scared AND, as bandy said, when they have stupid owners who have a dog they can not control!

 

Yes Jaycee!

Not many people realize a pups personality is made within the first 7 months of their life, it is so important to train them positively within that period.  If they have had some misfortune within that space of time they will most likely remember it for their whole life sadly.   I had a female dog that was very nervous, I think she had been flown by the breeder from perth to the East and rejected and then sold to me. She never had the confidence of my male dog, he was so gentle to her and as she matured she gave him hell!  But they loved eachother and were good buddies.

 

“Dogs are stupid; this one, who has its teeth firmly planted in the flesh of my arse, is especially stupid.”

Hmm..use of poetic licence? Point in fact..it is highly unusual for a dog to attack one’s buttocks. Since the writer was actually in flight, then the obvious points of attack would be his extremities. Were he on the ground, it is possible his behind might have been bitten..however..it is usual if the victim is on the ground, the dog goes for the face.

As for “dogs are stupid”..not so. Dogs are as intelligent as a very smart young child. They are also very sensitive creatures..like children, they know when you dislike them. That brings me to an interesting observation.. although the “dingo” is considered a separate breed to the domestic dog, it looks very much like one and even considered quite dangerous, yet you must like it, judging from your username!

I used to have a neighbour who had a rottweiler, she fed it cat food, only trouble was he then developed a love of cats! No cat in the neighbourhood was safe, which wasn't a bad thing. We had a quiet street free from caterwauling LOL

On some clarification I should note that I was just 10 years old when said red cattle dog fixed itself to me through the seat of my trousers. It was a catholic dog. I know this because it’s lowers son went to catholic school. 

Being an atheist myself, I assumed the dog took a dislike to my heathen attitudes. 

I have owned dogs from time to time. Blue healers for cattle control. I wouldn’t havevtrusted any of those dogs with anyone but myself and even then I needed to remind them who was in charge. they did their job well but that’s it. They were still dumb dogs. No table manners, shit where they stood, hated a wash, couldn’t read instructions. Responded to whistles and monosyllabic words. A bit like some teenagers I’ve known. And talk about a sex obcession. We had to cage the females if there was a whiff of hormones in the air. I’ve seen a male dog bite through 18 gauge wire to get to a bitch, or climb a 3 metre fence.

trouble was they couldn’t tell a cow from a chook. Many a time I’d find them hurting thevlaying hens in the yard or rounding up the neighbours kids as they got off the school bus.

the rule was simple: you dog; me human. You get treated like a dog; you treat me as a human.

LOL   that is so funny!

Dogs will protect their owner if they think somebody is going to get too close to touch them. Don't try to pat a dog if it's near its owner or it may bite you. The dog needs to get to know you very well before you risk patting it if it is close to its owner. I made that mistake one day and got a finger bitten as a result of that. I thought the dog and I knew each other fairly well - apparently not in his eyes.  I was very wary of that dog after that. I never attempted to pat him again. He would give me that "don't touch me" look.

Dogs will protect their owner if they think somebody is going to get too close to touch them. Don't try to pat a dog if it's near its owner or it may bite you. The dog needs to get to know you very well before you risk patting it if it is close to its owner. I made that mistake one day and got a finger bitten as a result of that. I thought the dog and I knew each other fairly well - apparently not in his eyes.  I was very wary of that dog after that. I never attempted to pat him again. He would give me that "don't touch me" look.

NO stupid dogs,   just stupid owners,    my late little pooch knew every word i said to her,    BUT,    i can understand being scared if you had been attacked,     some years ago,   my employers got a pit bull,     when i got into work,  they were never out of bed,   and i fed the beast,    one day,  while doing what i thought was the right thing,   and taking some washing of the line,     the dog just lunged at me,   took a bite of my leg,    6 stiches later,     i have had a fear of pit bulls ever since,   and would [and have]    crossed the road to avoid one,    but it hasnt put me off dogs in general,   i love them,,    most dogs are friendly,   and just want a pat and a kind word,   BUT,   stupid they arent,   

 

So true Cats!

My two dogs knew what I was about to say before I said it!  LOL

I am sure they must have been physcologists in their previous life!  Hubby had a Bull terrier when I first met him, one day the police came to the door  [in Karratha] wanting to know if I knew a certain person.

However, they opened the fly door and out she  [the dog] flew down the road to freedom!  I said to the guys I hope you can run fast and get her?  LOL  They did.    She and I became good pals as the years went by.  The poor dog had metal plates in her rear hips as some horrible idiot decided they would run her over on a local beach up north. Hubby had to put her into the back of his wagon and drive all the way down to Karratha to the vet, so she had a unique walk!  When she went to Melbourne with us it was an experience to get her to walk on a leash.   At least I had the pavement to myself as people coming towards me would cross over the road seeing us coming!  LOL  she just loved to pull on the leash, she would not hurt a fly unless she thought I was under threat that is.  One day I was followed home from the Praghan Markets at about 5pm just as it got dark one winters night.   After I was home for about 10 minutes I was getting knocks on the front door, I asked who it was but they would never answered.  The bull terrier did not bark, she stayed silent, this went on for about 30 minutes and in all that time she was 'pointing' meaning her nose was at the gap if I had opened that door she would have had him in a flash!

 

 

 

 

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