Strangers.

I got up earlier than I needed to. I’ve been sick since yesterday, but I did a full day at work anyway. It’s funny that I finally get more hours like I wanted when I least want them. We got a new dog, or rather, I did, and I am at work all day and haven’t been around him as much as I should be.

He’s not quite right, this dog. He’s disturbingly smart, and learns things from simply watching us. He was supposedly a stray, but he knows all sorts of commands, and every time I tell him to do something he seems to know what I want. He follows me and stands nearby, just watching, always watching. He hasn’t gone to the bathroom in the house once. He lays on the floor pretending to sleep, but I see his ears twitch when I walk around the room, pacing. occasionally one of his animal eyes opens just a sliver.

I’ve had him three days, and for various reasons have already deeply considered returning him to the humane society even though he has been a more or less model dog. He doesn’t bark, he doesn’t bother. He’s obedient and intelligent. He sleeps through the night and scratches at the door when he needs to go out. He’s even loving and gets extremely excited when I come home.

He’s thought about biting me twice (the same occasion) and growled at me once. I’ve learned to leave him alone when he’s tired because he gets irritated. I know it was mostly my fault all of those time, but he’s a 125 pound dog with a massive head and a set of teeth to match. He may act placid, but he’s got a mind of his own and if I do something he doesn’t like he could seriously injure me. And it’s not even me I’m concerned about, it’s my pets. 

The vet already said he is possibly a wolf hybrid. Wolf hybrids are legal in this state (I’ve even seen ads for them in local newspapers), though there are certain regulations regarding their vaccinations and what is to be done to them if they attack something. I didn’t enter into this with that on my mind; I assumed he was just a Malamute and there wasn’t much to be worried about. But all the things the vet told me are beginning to bother me. At first, when he told me, I completely denied it in my mind. I figured he was just a little odd looking. But now I see the way his tail hangs limply to his legs instead of curled over his back, how his eyes are set a little too close together, how the pattern on his coat is a little irregular, how his skeletal structure is kind of wrong, with his withers and shoulders nearly even instead of sloped. He could just be a ‘pet standard’ and be a little wonky in build from bad breeding. Or he might have another breed of dog in a little more distant heritage that altered his structure a bit. Even if he did have wolf in him, I would be willing to bet that it was a couple of generations back.

His behavior is not wolfish. He’s not shy or aggressive. He doesn’t hide. At the same time, even the vet commented how odd he was, how he didn’t act at all like any of the Malamutes he’s dealt with. He even tolerates my mother’s four pound chihuahua and appears to be friendly toward cats. Again, not very Malamute of him or very wolf. 

Yesterday, however, I almost took him back. I am that convinced. Even if he isn’t and he is just a dog, I’m worried that his just acting how I want him to act, and that sooner or later he is going to do something I never saw coming. He’s got something sinister about him that I don’t quite like, and I’m not sure if the vet visit just made me paranoid or it was the other day when he grabbed my hand with his mouth. Twice. He didn’t even bite me, and his touch was so light that he didn’t even get saliva on my hand. But it was a clear warning of ‘don’t touch me’ and I didn’t like it. 

The reason I didn’t return him is because he is an animal. I respect animals. I respect them above all else. He is not here to do everything I tell him, and he is not here to be a predictable, sweet yellow lab. I can’t expect him to be perfect, or to not get agitated about certain things. And I know that if I do something he believes to be threatening…I have no doubt in my mind now that he may hurt me intentionally. But I know that if he did something to even suggest that he was going to hurt me or one of my other animals, I would not hesitate to shoot him. That’s how it works. We’re on the same page in that respect, and I think that’s something we can work on. He appears to have similar concerns about me, though we play it like we’re already friends.

He gets skittish when I move too quickly. I saw the look in his eyes when I picked something off of the table a little too fast, the way he stiffened and his ears went back, like he assumed I might hit him with it. I’m cautious when I bend down to pet him, even though at times he will rub against me and sigh, wagging his giant tail. When I get home, he leans his whole body against my legs so I’ll pet him. I really don’t have all that much reason to be suspicious of him. He acts like any dog would act. I don’t know, maybe I’ve just been too long without a dog to know anymore.

       

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Satan’s dog is…a border collie???

Today seemed to be dog day; I ran into dogs EVERYWHERE.

So there’s this dog…. I think it’s a he, though I have no proof, as his coat is too long for me to make any…certain conclusion. For the sake of easiness and less confusion, I’m just going to call it a “he”. Anyway, like the title says, he’s a border collie. A strange border collie. I’ve met a few border collies here and there, and have found them to be some of the most obnoxious and irritating dogs, likely because all the one’s I’ve known have been owned by people who didn’t seem to understand that this specific breed of dog needs A LOT of exercise, or else you’ll end up with a psychotic, chewing, excitable mess. It’s a working dog, not a couch potato.

He pretty much stays locked up in a pen all day. It’s basically a chain-link fence with some weeds and a small dog house. But this dog…he never barks. I walk by and his head just follows me, but he doesn’t get up and he doesn’t show any sort of concern. Weird, considering dogs generally don’t like me and come after me if I so much as glance in their direction (gee…I wonder why?). But he never does anything, he just watches. I’ve tried in vain a couple of times to get him annoyed, and have only succeeded once in getting him to bark rather boredly, then lay back down.

For a long time I just thought he was non-confrontational or something, or that he just wasn’t interested in people. Today…kinda changed that. I had to sit back and ask myself, “is this dog human?” We’ll get into that later…. The point is, I’ve always thought he was a bit…off, which is probably why I’ve always had an interest in him when I have a tendency to indescriminately hate all dogs. Cat in a past life, maybe? Well whatever it is, this dog is…different. He stares like a person does, like he’s thinking about something, sizing you up maybe…. Quite frankly, the way he looks at people is just fucking weird…. Not dog-like in the least.

Today I get back from my walk late, and just had a bit of a scare when I saw a car nearly run over a black cat (my cat can’t get run over; he’s indoors, but I still have a soft spot for all the black kitties out there…), when I’m making my way toward the house that that dog lives at. I have my sunglasses on still even though it’s dark, so it’s hard to make things out well from a distance when the world around is shutting down into night. But I definitely see something.

The collie comes up to the fence when he sees me (odd behavior right there for this particular dog), and I can see he has something in his mouth, though I can’t tell what. I walk a bit closer, trying to see what the hell it is, because I could have sworn it wiggled. I had originally thought it was a dog toy, but most of those don’t move like a living thing. He drops it when he gets closer to me, and I approach the fence. I still can’t tell what it is; it looks like a little furry blob of something (I’m still thinking dog toy), then it moves. His paw goes out and steps on something, I realize, a tail.

The squirrel is trying desperately to get away, but the collie has it pinned with one foot and is just looking at me with the strangest blank expression. Normally I have no pitty for squirrels; I hate the little fuckers and use them for target practice when they piss me off. Not just that, but I enjoy watching other animals hunt, I think it’s fascinating. But for some reason this squirrel strikes me as an underdog, and I have a thing for underdogs, perhaps because I’ve always been one, the weaker, unlikely thing that claws its way along in life. It’s really struggling to get away, even though from what I can see it’s totally mangled. I say to the dog, “Hey!”. He sidesteps, still watching me with his odd non-dog expression, and the squirrel is freed. It limps pathetically away, and I can see that its tail is bent like a piece of wire, completely snapped. The border collie looks at the squirrel then back at me. He whines that funny whine, its a mix between playful and annoyed. The squirrel isn’t getting very far; he’s done for as far as I see it, though I give him brownie points for trying so hard. And the collie makes that weird noise again, watching me, and turning his head as though to ask me if he can just get down to business and eat the squirrel I’d so rudely told him he couldn’t have.

I walk away from the fence and decide to just let him have his fun. I’m fairly sure the squirrel was in the pen still, because he sure wasn’t moving fast. That dog is probably gnawing him all to hell now…haha. Now that I think of it, I probably shouldn’t have interrupted him at all. Chances are he must have caught that squirrel…and I say if you can catch it, you can have it…. Squirrels are quick as hell, you have to be fucking good to be able to get one of those. Either way though, there is something not quite normal or right about that dog…. If he was a dog at a shelter, I’d take him home for sure, and that’s saying something coming from a cat-loving-dog-hater.

Left out, and walking the insane dog.

Yesterday was an…interesting day. I had avoided—yet again—going on one of the shooting excursions with my dad and godfather. Let’s just say that every time I do go with them, I don’t really enjoy myself…at all. They’ve been friends since highschool, so obviously my few flimsy years of contact don’t compare in the least to that sort of relationship. I realize now that going to the shooting range with my dad and godfather is similar to me draging my dad along on one of my trips to the mall that I used to make with my friends centuries ago. Basically it equals a lot of awkward silences, boredom, and the inevitable alienation of the one who doesn’t belong from the rest of the herd. Even if the outsider does have interest in the activities, it makes little difference, as the relationships between the rest of the people are too well-worked and comfortable to accomodate the awkwardness of the newcomer.

I have a very strong interest in guns, and I love shooting, but generally what ends up happening is I sit there bored out of my mind, while they don’t include me in the conversation. I realize they aren’t doing it to be mean, but one can help but feel a bit disheartened when they ask a question and the other people look over then keep talking and laughing about whatever esoteric things pass between friends. And, the other problem is that I never get to shoot, which clearly is the entire point of the activity for someone who isn’t as exprienced with guns. The only way I do get to try things out is if I bother until somebody gives in, which makes me feel like a pest, and all in all a complete moron who doesn’t belong.

Last time we went shooting, my dad packed all of his guns and ammo, but failed to pack any of mine. He always is the one to get all of the gun-related items, while I get everything else. It was at that point, right after he sighed in irritation from me asking if he packed the .38s, that I decided that would be my last trip with them. It made me angry, and a little sad. It’s hard to get someone like me to feel “left out”. I’m always the odd one out, no matter where I go or what activity it is, so really it’s nothing new. I rarely experience any sort of emotional reaction to it after this long of becoming accustomed to it. Which is why I still can’t quite figure out why this situation in particular bothered me so much. I guess I’m just tired of his constant preaching that we’re going to go shooting more so I can get better, while in reality all the trips seem to consist of is me standing around while everybody else practices. So to hell with it. Chances are, if I DO manage to get more ammo, I’ll just start taking my gun into the woods and practice on my own. It’s legal to shoot there, which is nice.

So when they left yesterday, my godfather left his dog with us. She’s a German Shorthair: psychotic, energetic, whiny. Not a dog I like to spend mass amounts of time with (I can only take so much…), though I do sometimes enjoy short little exposures here and there to her. Unlike the chihuahua, this dog can actually keep up, and is very fun to chase. So I decided upon waking up from her incessant whining, that I had the PERFECT solution to her energizer bunny activity level. A nice long walk with me in the woods. Hehehe. No one ever said I was nice….

After a shower and a slathering-on of sunscreen, I take her out into the heat and bright sun to see just what will happen. She tugs constantly, so hard she is actually pulling me forward somewhat. I never realized just how strong she is for her size. I have to say I was impressed by how hard she yanked on the leash; I had taken her for a bit of a wuss. I was correct however, in my assumption that she is mainly a sprinter with no long-term endurance. The first 20 minutes, it was mostly me being walked. She picked the pace, and I just followed and made sure she stayed on course, not really wasting any energy to slow her down. My plan was going perfectly…. One of the asshole dogs down the street tried to pick a fight with her, which was…interesting. I towed her away from the scene, snickering to myself as the mean dog got himself in a hissy over her, barking and carrying on. I hate that dog, by the way. Each time I walk by the fence he goes crazy trying to get at me, so it was nice to have a dog with me to bother him further, instead of having only my cruel stares to goad him with. I’m bad like that. I have no fear of dogs and am vaguely open to being attacked just for the sake of seeing who will win.

She didn’t slow down when we got to the entrance, still tugging so hard she was practically choking herself from excitement (she never gets to go for these types of walks). When we got to one of the trails, she finally lost a lot of her extreme energy, and collapsed in the dirt while I tried in vain to get her to drink more than a few licks of water. This was only about a mile of walking at this point. Then we started again, tugging reinitiated. I guess she thinks she’s going to get there faster by pulling…and doesn’t understand that pulling against a stubborn human= pain.

Chipmunks were the main problem we encountered, and put her into an absolute frenzy. If I were to write this dog’s thought process I think it would be something similar to this:

Tree! Chipmunk! Leaf! Faster! Faster! Faster, faster! Human! Tree! Hey look, a chipmunk! Did you hear that? Tree!! Chipmunk! Must eat…chipmunk!

And let’s just make it very clear here…the sight of a chipmunk meant the poor human attached to the other end of the leash was unexpectedly, completely without warning, dragged a few stunned feet in the direction of whatever bush the frightened chipmunk had taken refuge under. I then would have to haul her away from the innocent little creatures and hope that she would forget about the chipmunk in a few steps. Which she always did. Oh, did I mention she has NO attention span. Honestly. Besides a strong desire to capture all little creatures, there’s not much else going on in her head. She’s smart, but she has no focus whatsoever. She forgets what she was doing after a few seconds of not being reminded.

After a few more miles, I took her back home. The return trip was nothing like the trip there. I had the most well-behaved dog. She didn’t tug, didn’t bark at dogs she saw, nothing. Her tongue was lolling out of her mouth, her breathing was ragged. She was basically worn out and hot from the heat of the day as well as the exercise. When I got her in the house she lapped up a bowl of water then collapsed on the floor. It’s always nice when my plans go so well….

The annoying dog.

I’m pretty fed up with him. It’s getting to the point where I hate the fact that he’s still breathing. I’m a bit strange about animals, and though I said I wanted to be a vet when I was a child, I know now although I care for animals, there are some—just like certain people—that the world would be a better place…without.

Dogs are a species that I can barely tolerate. Animal racism if you will. The sniffing of asses, crotches, shit, and every other imaginable thing—not for me. My cat may use his tongue for toilet paper, but at least he doesn’t try to share his siliva with my mouth. I think that’s what I hate most about dogs, the accursed licking. My cat licks me, sure, his little attempt to groom me, but he refrains from licking my face unless he is trying to seek revenge by licking and then biting my chin for some minor indesgression (such as giving him too tight a hug). That I can handle, but Malcolm, the dog, goes STRAIGHT for the mouth. This is after he was just outside, his nose all over the nice present some random dog left in the yard, or after he finished grooming his undercarriage for five minutes. No thanks. No really, no thanks.

Mal

I don’t care if he’s cute, I don’t care if he has big eyes and a misproportioned head…cuteness does not buy my affection. Actually, pretty much nothing but evilness does, but that’s beside the point. The fact that everyone LOVES him on sight is…well…disgusting. It’s like how people treat other people: according to their looks. Just because it’s cute doesn’t mean that it is sweet or loving.

What problems do I have? The fact that he’s stupid. I honestly am beginning to question whether or not he even knows what his name is. I won’t judge an animal for being a little dim-witted, there’s nothing wrong with that, but this dog…. I say Malcolm ten times and he continues to lay on the floor. The only way he’ll come to me is if I’m near the door. What’s strange about this is that he is like a shadow, won’t leave your side for hardly anything, yet he doesn’t come when you call him…hmmm…. He’s not deaf either, he can hear just fine. My cat comes running to me if I call him any assortment of nicknames (i.e. Fatboy, Fatso, Say-Say, Kitty, Cat, Bastard), yet that damn dog won’t come for “Mal” or “Malcolm”. I just don’t get it. Salem (the cat) even knows what “stop stalking the dog” means. And then the other thing. Potty trained? No, more like “mills around outside”. The mosquitoes are terrible, yet Dad takes the dog out every night, sometimes with NO result. He won’t even pee sometimes. And the other day after we took him out, he got flustered by the ferret (who by the way, officially refuses to take shit from the dog anymore) and pissed on the floor. He’s a wuss. Can’t take anything. I’m used to the excessively mean, don’t-take-shit-from-anybody chihuahuas I had when I was young. They didn’t like, you they bit.

The lino in the bathroom is slowly being destroyed as well. He rips it up again and again in a bid for freedom. He stays in there until I get up to let him out, he has food, water, toys, and bedding, yet does nothing but sit by the door digging at the lino and WHINING. He doesn’t eat until AFTER I let him out. The tape we keep applying to the doorway to keep the lino down he tears up into tiny pieces, even after we attempted to foil him by coating it with hot sauce (yes we really did, because we got sick of fixing it, and it getting worse and worse). Then when I DO let him out, all he does is sit on the rug by the door for hours on end. How exactly that is different from being in the bathroom is beyond me.

He’s not that bad of a dog (believe me, we’ve had some terrors…I don’t even want to think about it…), but I am already sick to death of taking care of him. He’s useless, dumb, and too clingly. He climbs all over me like I’m a moutain, and has to be in contact with your body if you’re sitting on the couch or lying down. I get that I’m supposed to like that he likes people, but I don’t. I’m an incredibly unaffectionate person…I don’t like being touched or hugged or kissed by any animals (human beings included). My wonderful hangups…but anyway, it’s like my mom in dog form (probably why he’s HER dog). I payed for him. Bought him for her because I knew she was lonely. I’m not exactly pleasant company all of the time, I know, so I figured the dog would help, but all of the problems he causes, especially with the cat (he tried to bully the cat in his first weeks here, and now Salem HATES him, and attacks on sight) make me regret my choice sometimes.

Yes, I realize that I whine and bitch about stupid things. And I don’t have problems and blah blah blah, but I have to vent it, or else it will just keep irritating me to an extreme. I have no respect for tiny little dogs who think they’re rottweilers, yet won’t even stand up to a cat. I guess that’s what I hate about him; he reflects weakness. And I despise weakness. He’s like all of those people I hate: submissive and codependent. It’s highly unfortunate that I’m stuck as sole caretaker for the next few weeks, if not month. *grumble*

Freedom at last. Or is it?

I actually dragged my sorry ass out of bed this morning in order to fully experience a day of silence. I know, must be a miracle; can I really get up at 9:30 and be functional? Apparently if there is quiet and alone-time, I can. Who would have thought.

Except I’ve discovered that this whole ‘alone for a month thing’ has a catch. My dad may not get home until 5:00 or 6:00, but that fucking dog is here all day long. If I don’t take him out every three hours he’ll piss all over the floor. It doesn’t sound like an entirely bad deal until you take into account that I have to leave the dog in the bathroom because he fights with the two 15 pound cats in my room. And the cats HATE him, and threaten murder at the sight of him (the dog has already disappeared beneath black fur three times, as my favorite cat went for the jugular). By the way it’s a three pound dog, yet it whines so loud from the bathroom on the other side of the house, that I can still hear it in here when the TV is running. Highly irritating. Not to mention even if I attempt to comfort him, the dog will have none of it. He likes my mom (she’s the one who is gone for a month), not me. So even when he is out of the bathroom, he STILL whines. Christ. Fucking cruicify me.

I also am pleased to say that I am finished will college until the fall. I did well on my psychology final, which was nice. Now I have absolutely nothing to pin me down. Well…except the dog. Curse him.

I need this time alone to recharge my batteries. I feel like I’ve been going on nothing for months, and my depression has made me exceedingly exhausted. For the last week I’ve felt as though I have the flu, and ever single movement is painful because my body feels so stiff and sore. I think it had a lot to do with stress; though I didn’t feel it mentally, it was there physically, which is unfortunately something I can’t control. It reminds me how easy it is to fall out of balance, and how my body can break down over nothing. I don’t like being reminded of my weaknesses, but I suppose it is a necessary evil, one that prevents me from overestimating what I’m capable of.

I blocked the light from the windows with a sheet, so it is dark right now, even when the sun is glaring down outside. I bought another journal, this time one I like. I’m hoping the fact that I like it will increase the probability that I will write in it. We’ll see.

Update….

I just found out why the dog isn’t whining right now. He managed to squeeze out from under the bathroom door, even with that monstrous head of his. We have these strange doors with about 3 inches of space under them for pressure build-up. Basically if you have normal doors around here you’re likely to get trapped in a room because pressure will hold the door shut. Sounds far-fetched, but even with these doors I sometimes have trouble getting them open. Somehow that little chihuahua must have eeked his way under. Last time he tried that trick (with my door) he got his head stuck, haha.