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In the Doghouse

June 26, 2009

I sign up to walk dogs at the pound.

Not to brag of course, but I have to say that I get on extremely well with dogs. A talent, if you will, for handling our canine friends. So what better way to combine my gift and generosity of spirit than this?

But at the pound, I begin to regret my burst of charity. The day starts out pleasantly enough but by lunchtime, I find the fully grown teeth of a fully grown dog clamped down on my forearm. I can feel my delicate flesh bruising badly as he tugs at me, not so much in invitation but demand, to play. Some of the other volunteers smirk as if to indicate that they would be handling the situation better. I try to look nonchalant, like having my arm mangled is of little consequence to a talented doggie person like myself.

“Come on, you bastard,” I mutter under my breath, trying to jerk my arm back before further damage is done. The dog is delighted. We are playing after all. He excitedly tugs back even harder, intent on winning this painful game of tug-of-war.

“No no no,” the trainer calls out. “You’re rewarding him with your attention. You need to ignore him.”

Righto. I fake sudden fascination with the clouds above and let my arm go limp, hoping that the dog will take the hint. If anything, the vice-like grip tightens and the tugging becomes more violent. Abandoning the game too quickly has evidently displeased my captor.

I turn back to the trainer, agonised expression desperately pleading with him to rescue me. Perhaps he suddenly remembers that I am being dragged around by an animal that weighs as much as I do. Maybe he is worried that the dog will eat me soon, an incident which will undoubtedly result in much paperwork. Whatever the reason, he takes pity on me.

He calls to the dog and holds up a biscuit. Immediately, the dog releases me and bounds away  to claim his treat.

I sigh in relief and gingerly examine my forearm. It is slimy with slobber and covered in welts but the skin does not appear to be broken anywhere.

A warning shout alerts me. I look up to see the dog charging back to me. It is a gut-sinking sight. I have time only to squawk in alarm before he pounces on me and seizes my arm again.

The trainer distracts him with another treat. The dog races off, gobbles it up, then runs back to me again (still stupidly standing in the same spot). This time, he watches the trainer as he grabs me. Brilliant. He thinks that he is being rewarded for mauling me.

The trainer agrees with me. He walks over to snap a leash onto the dog and pulls him off me. He looks at me for a moment, hesitating before speaking.

“We’ll start you on an easier dog.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2009 3:54 pm

    This is hilarious! 🙂

    Maybe it’s not so much that you’re not a dog person.

    That dog is obviously NOT a people dog.

  2. July 28, 2009 11:31 pm

    Someone also told me that wearing liver perfume that day was not a good idea.

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