Angry actions only fuel angry reactions
September 14, 2001
Three weeks ago I got a little brown dog. Her name is Lou and we have
developed quite a relationship. We take walks and are around each other
for many hours each day so I have grown to know her well. Yet being the
authority figure in her world I don't always know what to do.
Some aspects of caring I am not so sure of, like discipline and patience
the more we are around each other, I believe that I am beginning to know
her better although lately things haven't been so great.
Lou is a Jack Russell terrier-German shepard mix and can be feisty at
times. One day, in fact, she bit me. Not, I believe, in any way that would
cause alarm. I bled for while and I bandaged the wound and dismissed it.
When people asked about the wound I said, "Oh it was nothing,"
and the answer sufficed.
Later that week, Lou, being her typical old self, once again bit me.
This time I felt anger and immediately retaliated. I grabbed Lou by the
neck told her what a bad little dog she was and placed her in the kennel
for the evening. She whined a little but did not do much of anything else.
I felt content with my decision and was sure my actions would rectify
the situation. The next morning she walked out of those four plastic walls
and cheap metal cage a timid dog.
As the day progressed she regained her spunk and spontaneity once again,
becoming the free dog she once was. Only this time she was a little different.
I don't know what it was but she looked at me funny, in a way that was not
trusting. Oh well, I thought, I will deal with her later to regain that
I felt like I had accomplished the task at hand. Lou had misbehaved
I had been the just-yet-fair disciplinarian. She knew now who was boss and
she would not mess with me again.
Ultimately something inside did not care about our relationship or if
she even respected me but that she did not act out.
Well if you didn't see it coming, Lou, just three days later, walked
over to me as I lay on the ground, hooked her bottom jaw below my eyebrow
and jerked up, opening an inch gash right above my eyeball.
"Lou!", I screamed, as I put my hand over my eye to feel it
moist with blood.
I quickly ran to the bathroom, grabbing some tissue and a Band-Aid,
tended to my eye, and went to find this evil culprit. I found Lou alright,
hiding under my coffee table. That little coward. I grabbed her paw, shook
that frail frame and then whacked her right on her mouth causing a large
yelp in response. As soon as I loosened my grip, she ran.
I felt bad in a way but had enacted justice for such terrible behavior
on her part and I knew that I had taught her a lesson. Or did I?
Lou doesn't wander too close at my side anymore. She doesn't run to
me when I get home and every time I raise my hand she shuns. And every chance
she has she nips my heal or turns over her water dish, quite annoying. And
to boot my eye became infected. In my blind vengeful rage I lost total sight
of my own well being to pursue retribution, but let me tell you it felt
great to hit that dog.
Well it felt good at the time. I feel rather empty now and I'm pretty
sure my dog hates me.
With the good intentions I felt, I acted with hatred and anger.
If you have any advice on how to deal with Lou please write your local
Jason Cooper, a senior photojournalism major, is photography editor
of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.