Sunday, January 20, 2013

DSL - Dog-Specific Legislation

My sister has rottweilers. If you just grimaced or shuddered, feel free to hit the back button, because the dogs are not the problem in this story. The dogs are house pets. One is from a long line of show dogs, and spends most of his time cuddling and asking to be pet. The other is from a line of working dogs, and enjoys fetching things and learning commands. A busy dog is a happy dog, and these dogs are happy.

Puppies do not come trained, this is a sad fact of life. Kids don't come trained, either. When a puppy was introduced to my 11-year-old daughter, there was much drama because puppies nip, and they have no sense of personal boundaries whatsoever. It has been six months now. The puppy is quite a bit bigger and far better trained. She knows things like off, down, toy, bring, and leave it. The kid, however, does not seem to understand this.

My daughter panics every time the puppy comes toward her. The puppy's intentions are greet-and-sniff. My daughter starts turning away to cower against something, squealing, bending and covering her face. Unless something has happened with her father's dog that I don't know about, she's never been hurt by a dog in her life, and yet she acts terrified.

The puppy sees this squealing and body-contorting, and thinks my daughter is initiating play. My daughter won't listen to simple commands, such as Say off, or Ignore her and keep walking, so the puppy bounces or jumps up or yips, and my daughter claims that the dog has attacked her.

Let's pause a moment. The puppy is a rottweiler. What could happen if a melodramatic pre-teen goes to school and tells someone that a rottweiler attacked her? There's a possibility that two pets could be taken from their home and put down, isn't there? Even if neither dog has ever left a mark?

My sister is a certified dog trainer. It drives her crazy that my daughter, after six months of living with my sister and her dogs, still panics. But only over the puppy. The full-grown male rottweiler she's fine with. He can come greet her and she pats his head awkwardly. He tends to move slower in general, but he is no less capable of acting like a dog than the puppy is.

My daughter is afraid of the puppy's potential to hurt her. She's done this with other things, too. For example: she's been afraid of movie theaters since she was about seven because her dad took her to a scary movie once and she doesn't want to get scared.

My daughter doesn't want to listen to instructions because her fear has gotten in the way, and my sister is so upset that she doesn't want to work with the kid. My sister has taken this stubbornness or fear or whatever it is as a personal insult.

I have now ranted myself into either mental exhaustion or a block, which means that I might have been about to really get somewhere. Can't think anymore, though. My sister's crying because my daughter cries every time the puppy comes up, and my daughter is in her bedroom doing whatever 11-year-old girls do in their rooms alone.

So one time, at the cheese factory, they decided to tell a guy he was being fired for a bunch of tardies during his lunch break. Then they sent him back to finish work all emotional and he cut his hand pretty badly with a box knife. The whole line had to be shut down so they could clean everything. They decided after that to maybe start giving people notice on Fridays after their shifts.

No comments:

Post a Comment