Keeping the Dog Alive

We don’t have kids, but we have a dog.  A dog who, for all her many charms (loudly licking her crotch in front of guests for one), can be difficult to keep out of trouble.

Take the last incident, for example.  Our house is adjacent to a network of trails in a meadow that I take the dog trail running, biking and cross-country skiing on.  We’ve been playing there for years, and while there are some barbed wire fences near certain trails, it’s never been a worry, as Soleil’s been good about staying close to me.  There’s always a first however, and in early December she ran away from me when three dogs came running towards us.  While the dogs may have been friendly (and the owners stupid and irresponsible, but that’s another story), Soleil’s very timid around what she sees as packs, so she bolted.  I ended up backtracking trying to locate her, and in her haste to get back to me, she decided to run through one of those barbed wire fences instead of over/around/under.  The result was a one-inch gash in her right ear, requiring 20 some odd stitches and an e-collar for two weeks.  After surgery, I got to play nursemaid and feed her pills, keeping her doped up for close to a week.  And for all that, I got the closest thing to doggie resentment, with her just staring dolefully at me whenever she wasn’t passed out.

Since the stitches came out, her neediness has increased exponentially. When I’m working at home, she follows me around the house, into the bathroom, around the kitchen, and when I’m sitting at the computer, she uses the strength of her 65 pound body to paw my forearm and drag it down to scratch her chest and belly.

I’m still not convinced she’s as stupid as she comes across most of the time.

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