torsdag, december 11, 2008

My place in the pack

Ten years ago or so, I bought a dog, or should I say -I was sold a pup! She was six months old and seemed adorable. And normal. Maybe it was a bit dark in that parking lot (ha ha) for it turned out she was not NEAR well in the mental department.
The dog was (is!) a bundle of nerves and irrational fears. Is she a genetically modified product of puppy farming? I shall never know. Two professional dog trainers and an animal behaviourist and my own efforts have failed to change her highly strung nature.
She is an intelligent dog however and with small rewards and encouragement she can learn...anything! (The "small rewards" have made her put on a little weight.)
But she is often ill with stress related ailments which means we often go to the vet.

Here is one such visit:
Vet-"Could you lift your dog up on the table"
Me-"Eh..she is a bit heavy and I have a bad back...?"
Vet-"I would like to have her on the table"
I lift the struggling and howling dog on to the table. She has to be muzzled.
Vet-"Now LOOK at the dog"
Me- "eh..? Yeah..?"
Vet- "Tell me what you see! Would you say she is overweight?"
Me- "No...only a tiny bit"
Vet-"HOW do you expect your dog to carry that weight on those thin legs?"

The vet has a Socratic questioning style. I don't like it! My dog is very slightly overweight for a good cause which is to put manners on her by rewarding good behaviour. And anyway my dog's weight is supported by FOUR legs!
I say nothing to the vet because I respect authority and a white coat.
Unlike my dog I know my place in the pack.