humanity, we have a problem

Today, ‘Zzini and I embarked on a walking adventure to the other Mister Convenience on Parkhill – cheating, I KNOW, but I have a hankerin’ for a jasmine plant and they’re the only place I know that has jasmine plants on the reg. I should have known that they’d be closed for church as my Mister Convenience owner neighbours (to whom I am VERY VERY LOYAL BUT THEY DON’T HAVE JASMINE PLANTS) are their kin and also close for church on Sundays.

That’s cool. A pretty nice walk was had even if it didn’t result in a fresh pack of smokes and a hot little jasmine plant.

On the way back, we ran into two big, un-neutered and off-leash male dogs who went off of their own property to check ‘Zzini out. “They won’t hurt him!” hollered the other dogs’ person and I replied with my customary “It’s not them I’m worried about, it’s my dog.” to which the other dogs’ owner laughed and laughed and I fumed. So, I launched into the story I’ve told 187 million times about how ‘Zzini is being re-socialized to other (specifically larger, un-neutered, male, off-leash) dogs after having been attacked thrice in one season while on-leash by…you guessed it: larger, un-neutered male dogs who were off-leash and how we would all be really, really sad if our canine friends ended up hurting each other over a territory dispute because, let’s face it, DOGS ARE TERRITORIAL BY NATURE AND THAT’S BEEN A MASSIVE MOTIVATION FOR HUMANITY TO KEEP THEM AROUND. Ahem. And the other dogs’ owner laughed again and I fumed again. Also, “oh, they just don’t listen” was muttered and we were on one of the busiest streets in this end of town. And I fumed some more.

Those incidents of attack took place two years ago and ‘Zzini is coming along like a bloody champ, but Christ almighty, if it doesn’t send chills down my spine and make me clench my jaw each and every time we have an encounter with off-leash dogs because, even though he’s the size of a toaster, he has sharp little teeth and a wholotta attitude and will defend himself for reasons no one can imag – OH! HE’LL DEFEND HIMSELF BECAUSE HE HAS A SENSE OF FUCKING SELF-PRESERVATION!!! HE WILL CUT A BITCH WHEN HIS WELL-BEING OR THE WELL-BEING OF HIS HUMANS IS COMPROMISED BECAUSE HE HAS ALL OF THREE WAYS OF TELLING A BEING THAT THEY’VE CROSSED THE LINE AND THE THIRD INVOLVES THE SHARP POINTY TEETH THAT RESIDE IN HIS TOASTER-SIZED BODY.

You guys, my dog is an asshole. Straight up. He gets it from me. But he’s not an Asshole asshole. His assholery comes in the form of shitting on the bed when he’s pissy with me for locking him out of the bedroom so I can get it on with my adorable lover or chasing kitties upstairs because he doesn’t know that all kitties can be upstairs AND downstairs kitties or chewing my adorable lover’s backpack because he just wants a piece of the man he loves inside him (alright, he’s a twisted asshole). ¬†Ultimately, he is a lover (and he loves HARD) and not a fighter. All of the shite things he goes out of his way to do, he does out of love. He’s just a poorly trained dog (my fault) trying to make his way in the world and is subjected to all of the same shit we all are and is doing the best he can with the tools at his disposal to be a decent being in spite of life on the wrong side of the tracks. MY DOG IS A FUCKING COUNTRY SONG, but he REALLY REALLY WANTS to love EVERYONE and his life should not be made harder because people think loving their “best friends” is allowing them to play in traffic and subsequently terrifying every person with a heartbeat around them as well as putting other dogs on guard. Ultimately, though, all of the pups just said “hey” in the form of butt-sniffings and all was well with the world.

Before we left for our walk, a stranger-neighbour (I don’t know her name, but I know she goes everywhere on foot and her man-friend is a drug dealer and she seems like a rather lovely small person) made a point of stopping by and informing me that, of all of the people she passes by in the ‘hood, I’m the only one who says “hey” and how much she appreciated it. While that made me feel like a pretty fucking good me, it hurt my heart because, like my dog, I’m a lover too. We both wear rose-coloured glasses and don our psyches in pretty, pretty Pollyanna-style dresses and assume the best of everyone because people (and dogs) deserve that, but also have teeth and it sucks to have to use them simply because people go out of their way to make life hard.

The juxtaposition of the last couple of hours is a brain-bender. I’m all for leashing our assholery when it doesn’t need to be let out. There truly is a time and a place for unleashing our inner assholes and it’s not necessarily on a therapist’s couch because emotions are real things and sometimes you gotta let another person know that they’re being lame. That said, stretching the leash to welcome and explore the neursoses of others seems to be so far out of practice. Why for, humanity? Why for?

 

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