A few months ago I wrote about a rescue dog that was being handled badly.
Owner and dog are still together and, as dogs often do, this lovely girl is muddling through in spite of the way that she is being treated. The owner has shaved her coat off so she now has no protection against the elements and her once-beautiful coat is now growing back as spikes. No doubt the owner is congratulating herself that the dog felt cooler in the recent hot weather and of course, she no longer has a coat that can be groomed.
In common with many rescue dogs, she seems to be enjoying a late-flowering puppyhood and was having a wonderful time romping round with my dog and the others on the lawn. She flung herself at his feet and happily kicked his face as he nuzzled her belly and mouthed her affectionately, growling softly. The other owners looked on in delight, with the exception of the owner of the rescue dog.
She was squirming in horror and covering her eyes as the dogs took it in turns to rough house. “Stop it, stop it: I can’t bear it. I don’t like to see them like this”, she said. I replied tartly that her dog didn’t seem to share her view and was in fact having a whale of a time. Faced with the pressure of other quiescent owners, she backed off and let the dogs have their fill of fun.
What a sad example of a human-dog dyad. Perhaps there is something very wrong in her life that makes her incapable of recognising her dog’s enjoyment. She no longer has the excuse that her dog is old and ill, but she seems hell bent on squeezing the joy out of her glorious young dog and, in the meantime, is oblivious to all the truly wonderful moments that dog ownership can bring.
As ever, it will be the dog that suffers most in the long run.