Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gucci (or "Payback's a dog")

Dogs, like people, will treat you as badly or as well as you will let them.

I love my neighbourhood. Homogeneity gives me the creeps, so our little enclave of diversity suits me well. I must confess though, the students in the rental house across the street try my patience. They party until 5am, with cabs coming and going, and they all talk on their cellphones about matters SO important that they figure we will all want to hear their conversations, and oblige our presumed curiosity by speaking at high volume. On this side of the street, a lot of deep breathing happens while we try to retain the shreds of our compassion.

One of the denizens of the rental is a creature that looks like an angry white rat with a bad perm. Last evening, Dexter and I were gardening, when said creature decided to leave the gaggle of girlies and come across the road for a visit. Dexter, like the utter gentleman he is, stood patiently while "Gucci" made his acquaintance, and then growled his displeasure when Gucci displayed a complete lack of good manners and laid pipe on Dex's turf.

Gucci's owner -- we'll call her "Barbie" -- stood listlessly on her side of the road, plaintively calling "Gucci, Gucci come here, Gucci wannagoforawalk, Gucci come ON". Effective, it was not.

The next 30 minutes were decidedly entertaining. Gucci decorated my lawn in several spots, Gucci investigated the neighbourhood signs, Gucci trotted off down the road towards a busy intersection, and all with Barbie trailing 5 feet behind. Dexter and I watched in astonishment, before I ventured to ask why the hell she didn't just grab Gucci by the scruff of the neck and take him home.

"He's such a bad dog," was the reply, "he'd bite me. He bites me all the time."

Dexter and I eyed each other thoughtfully and decided that the time had come for a little unsolicited advice about 2-year old Gucci.

"Is he neutered?" we enquired. No, he was not.

Dexter rolled his eyes, and I tried to avoid doing likewise. "You know that's part of the problem, right? I mean, really," I said, sarcasm starting to take over, "you're not going to breed him, right?" Imagine my astonishment when Barbie confirmed that yes, her mother had just purchased a Pomeranian bitch and they were indeed going to breed dear Gucci. At this point, Dexter gave it up and stalked off into the house, and I watched the rest of the show by myself. Eventually Barbie came back to clean up Gucci's messes on my lawn, and tearfully confirmed that she had indeed been bitten while herding Gucci back to their house.

Gucci, like all of us, has his issues. Barbie probably leaves him alone a lot, and deprived of his pack, he lashes out in the only way he knows. Combined with "short man's syndrome" and the innate dominance of an unneutered dog, it's a recipe for disaster. Barbie's making her own life miserable, and doesn't even appear to know it.

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