Friday, September 12, 2008
I have learned the hard way how complacent I become in things. I get used to things being as they are and forget to be cautious or my passion diminishes in other things. It's like now when I clean the bathroom and end up with slight chemical burns on my hands because I was too in a hurry to use protective gloves. This time, though, last Tuesday night, to be exact, I was reminded that my sweet, mild mannered dog of 8 years, Checkers, is still really an animal that has teeth. I have grown used to him doing exactly what I say and expecting nothing but him to faithfully obey. I assumed that we had grown to trust each other. He has been known to growl at me to let me know he is not happy with something and in those situations I back off but remind him that he still has to do what I say. Nail trims have been his most hated thing and I have warned the vet techs to muzzle him just in case. I know his signals but they don't. He has gotten where he growls as he obediently comes to the bathroom for his bath. It's like he's protesting but knows he can do nothing about it. Once he's in the water, he's fine: patiently enduring bath time. Since the nail trim has been the least pleasant experience for him, my parents and I went halves on a Peticure so they also could use it on their dog Meg. Checkers has seemingly not minded it the few times we've used it in the last month. Then, Tuesday night, although he came over and cooperated in getting his first 2 nails trimmed, he apparently snapped to the detriment of my thigh. It's wasn't a warning snap in my general direction. It was a full out assault on "the hand that feeds" him. On the third snap in the direction of my squatted self, he scored when his two canines clamped down on the outer part of my left thigh just above the knee. Fortunately, I had pants on and instead of tearing the skin, I ended up with a nice scrape and a nasty, painful bruise. Needless to say, that very night, I returned home with a muzzle. He may not trust me any more and I can say I don't fully trust him. So there is my reminder that dogs are great pets but really they are still animals with teeth, even if they are really old, dirty teeth.