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Category Archives: dog bites

Are You Questioning My Authority? You Are? Damn!

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When you take care of pets professionally, one thing you begin to recognize is the power struggle that exists between the pet and you. As the hired caretaker, their perception of your place in the hierarchy of their household requires some scrutiny. I often used to joke that some pets thought of it like this: 1) themselves 2) their owner 3) the other pets/toys 4) the plants 5) me. Of course this wasn’t always true, but dealing with the pampered pets that I have, I ran into it quite often. Enough to dedicate a blog to it at any rate.
One of my first clients was an elderly woman’s extremely spoiled cocker spaniel. When this dog wanted something, she wanted it NOW. I’d taken her out for a walk before a Packer’s/Vikings game, wanting to make sure I had no distractions. Barely the first quarter had gone by and she wanted to go out again. Since she’d already done her business, I told her to wait until halftime (yes, she understood me, of this I am certain). When I wouldn’t make with the walk she jumped up on the couch, looked me in the eye, squatted, and took a piss. It was a white couch.
Another dog I cared for on a regular basis demanded a certain amount of playtime per day and, if it wasn’t met, would get quite surly. The amount of time he wanted to play? Every waking minute. While I was in his house nothing would do but that I constantly throw a toy or ball for him. The owners would tell me later that he slept for three days straight after I’d taken care of him.
Not all of them were so funny. One dog actually got violent with me if I wouldn’t let her have her way. When I walked her she would get agitated when she saw other dogs, and when I wouldn’t allow her to chase after them she would bite me instead. Fortunately she was a little dog, but the bites still hurt. On one occasion she wanted to go outside and bark at something (squirrels, birds, leaves blowing by) and when I didn’t let her she crept up on me stealthy as a fox (are foxes really that stealthy? For the purposes of this blog let’s say they are) where I was lying on the couch. She jumped on my chest and stood over me, her face in mine. I froze, watching her carefully. Before I could say ‘nice little doggy doggy’ she took my lips in her teeth and bit me so hard I thought I was going to require a visit to the emergency room. Pulling her off must have been a hilarious sight; it’s too bad I don’t have video to post on youtube. To this day I have a small, white, crescent shaped scar on my top lip you can see clearly when I smile.
Yes, the question of authority has been raised by many of my furry friends, and my job first and foremost has always been to let them have their way as much as possible, just so I don’t get hurt.

 

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