Since I am the primary caregiver of my dog, Daisy, I have been working on bonding with her more. Sometimes, however, I have to do things for her own good that she does not especially like. Today and last night are good examples.
Daisy has a problem with men. She has since we got her. All the rescued Pekes in her group have had similar issues with the man of the house. Daisy used to bark at me constantly. Now she sleeps at my feet or beside the bed. She licks my bare feet and begs for treats. She still will not let me take her for a walk, but I have been forcing the issue a bit on putting in her eye ointment medication and on taking a bath.
Daisy has been needing a bath for about two months now. I planned on it last night, but held off until today. I did some errands earlier, but finally decided to break down and make my doggy soggy. The picture in this post is from her last bath, which was much too long ago.
Each time I have tried to pick up my dog, she has literally squeezed a turd on my floor. Last night, she dropped a chalupa when I was going to put in her eye medication. This evening, she kept running away from me until I got her cornered. She knew something was up when she saw me drawing bath water in the tub. When I tried to grab her, you would think that I was committing bloody murder. She tried biting, but never got her teeth in to my flesh, just a mouth on my hand. She squirmed like a worm going into a bottle of alcohol. She let go of her bowels and bladder all over my floor in two rooms.
As soon as I carried her into the bathroom and put her down into the bath water, she was instantly calm. That was bizarre. She had a lot of fecal matter in her fur, which made the water pretty brown, but I managed to soap her up and rinse her off. It was not the most thorough bath in the world, but she did not struggle real bad at all. The last time she had a bath, she struggled more.
The wet pet is hiding from me right now, and I have tried to reassure her gently with praise and treats. She will be fine.
There is a huge parallel in this to another creature to whom I have been the primary provider for 13 years. She, too, was abused in her earlier years. There came a time when actions had to be taken for her own good, too. I got crapped on and pissed all over, but it was the right thing to do. The struggle against the care was made to be much worse and messier than the actual gentle care, which if allowed to be administered, would have resulted in a tender, loving experience. Daisy enjoyed the attention in the tub, her fur being stroked, her ears being scratched, and the cleaning up. She hated being corralled and fought it the whole way. She felt better after being put in the clean up mode.
Sometimes dogs will only attack and bite when this care is being administered. Some can be rehabilitated with care and patience. In my case, 13 years of patience. Dogs that continue to bite are eventually put down or discarded, since they will not change their nature.
Which are you?