My dog is weird. Ed has plenty of strange quirks that have revealed themselves over the six years he’s been with us. He has a bb lodged in the top of his head, so that tells you that 1. he had a tough life before he got to us and 2. he possibly has brain damage (only half-kidding on that one).
He doesn’t like popping sounds – fireworks, spontaneous hand claps, etc. Totally understandable. He also doesn’t like storm drains and is a bit of a pain in the ass on walks (walks he goes on because we spent a long time teaching him to walk on a leash, which he hated at first). That doesn’t have anything to do with the bb, I’m just expanding on my proof of his being weird.
I could go on, and I know it sounds like we just aren’t training him. To that I say: yeah, that’s kind of true. But, on the other hand, dog ownership is just as much an adjustment of what you will tolerate as it is trying to get the perfect pet. He is neurotic and weird, but so am I, so I kind of get him, and we don’t really have many issues – his quirks fit in fine with our life.
Earlier today, about an hour ago, being the graceful, perfectly organized person I am, I set a completely full mug of hot tea down on the coffee table, a pile of mail, and the corner of a wallet. Physics was like, “bitch please,” and so the whole mug emptied out onto the table, several magazines, my pants, and the carpet. It was a grand ol’ time.
The coffee table is wood with a glass top. I had to take everything off the table and move the glass so I could clean between the layers. While I was wiping the glass of with the paper towel, it was making that sound – you know the sound. “EEEEEEEEEEEE!” The sound of squeaking from glass, liquid and towel. Apparently, this sound is like The Manchurian Candidate’s Queen of Diamonds and it activated Ed.
He jumped down from the couch, trotted over, and bit me. He bit through my jeans and caused and ugly small shallow skin puncture and bruise. I don’t know if he was playing – he hopped to get up to my knee and maybe literally bit off more than he could chew – or if the noise made him snap, but it was a shock. He’s never, ever bitten me or even entertained the thought (uh, that I know of).
It was quick and simple – he hopped up, bit my knee, I yelled, “ED WHAT THE FUCK!?” And then he looked at me like “What? Oh, snap, you didn’t like that?” He seemed genuinely confused, then got submissive with the ears back and the tiny tail wags.
Here’s the things with dogs – it’s all about the moment, and it’s all about context. I don’t know why Ed bit me, or even if he meant to. He could have been asleep, and the sound could have triggered him, waking him and setting him into action before he actually knew what he was doing. He could have done it to get me to stop that awful fucking noise (he genuinely dislikes it, I now know). Or, like I said, he could have been trying to play. I just don’t know. Since he’s never bitten me before, and he was in my peripheral vision, I can’t assume what happened exactly.
Other than being on the lookout for any additional strange behavior, having his eyesight and blood work looked at during his next check-up, and making a mental note to not clean glass within earshot of Ed, there’s nothing else to do about the bite. Dogs aren’t people, something I’m thankful for 90% of the time. Every once in a while, though, they remind you that your ancestors domesticated and developed them from their ancestors (wild wilderness animals) – and sometimes, that means yelling “what the fuck” at them after they give you a little bite for an unknown mysterious reason.
He can’t speak English (if he did I’d be in my castle eating gold or whatever super rich people do), but he can speak dog, and I have sense enough to know that he’s told me, “sorry about that – can you see my ears are pinned against my head and I have a sad tucked wagging tail?” And for now, you little weirdo, that’s good enough.
By the way, please nobody tell my mom about the spilled tea.