The Unbearable Banishment: R.I.P our dog, Coco

Monday, January 21, 2013

R.I.P our dog, Coco

The title of this post is misleading. Our dog is not dead. But if it were up to me, she would be. Look  what that little bitch did to my bride:

When I got home from work I blew my top and insisted we get rid of the dog immediately. I wouldn't spend :10 seconds missing her but 11-Year Old Daughter had a meltdown and tearfully begged me to keep her. My hard, poisonous hart was melted by the oldest antidote known to man—a daughter's tears—and the dog won a reprieve.

The dog's behavior is inexplicable. She's a friendly, pleasant mutt (albeit, an $850 mutt) who thinks that everyone wants to be her best friend. She'll roll over on her back in a submissive position so people can give her a scratch. She'll go weeks and weeks without any sign of canine insanity and then, out of nowhere and without provocation, growl and snap. It's only happened a couple times and it's usually at night when she's at rest, but it's a pretty impressionable event. It stays with you.

We've taken her to training classes and had a trainer come to our home for one-on-one sessions (at no small expense, I might add). The trainer's diagnoses is that she has occasional "resource guarding and body handling issues." He assures us that it's not the result of anything we've done. Well, thank God for that. I'd hate to think we've hurt her feelings. He assured us that if Coco really wanted to hurt someone, she would've taken a finger off with little effort. He's coming back and is having mercy on me by not charging for subsequent visits.

I've never like dogs and this isn't helping the cause. It's as if God gave them the most unattractive aspects of human nature. I am annoyed by their bottomless reservoir of need and their unending demands for attention. I find their inability (or is it an unwillingness?) to keep themselves clean off-putting, and the incessant barking is grating. They're not discriminating with what they eat or are mindful of quantity. It doesn't necessarily have to be food. Even shit is a gourmet treat. (Sorry, Daisyfae. That's just how I feel. Especially this morning.)

If she ever seriously bites one of my little girls or my bride, not only will I not have any compunction or residual guilt about having her euthanized, I will take uncharacteristic dark pleasure in pushing the plunger myself. We have done nothing but give her a loving home and treated her with kindness. She's got a pretty great gig here but if she doesn't mind her manners she's going to meet a bad end. Tears or no tears.

I wanted a cat but was outvoted 3-1. I'm not very good with the written word but do you know who is? Charles Bukowski.

exactly right

the strays keep arriving: now we have 5
cats and they are smart, spontaneous, self-
absorbed, naturally poised and awesomely

one of the finest things about cats is
that when you’re feeling down, very down,
if you just look at the cat at rest,
at the way they sit or lie and wait,
it’s a grand lesson in preserving
if you watch 5 cats at once that’s 5
times better.

no matter the extra demands they make
no matter the heavy sacks of food
no matter the dozens of cans of tuna
from the supermarket: it’s all just fuel for their
amazing dignity and their
affirmation of a vital
we humans can
only envy and
admire from
*     *     *

Friday, January 18, 7:50 p.m. in the old man bar in Red Bank, NJ.


Anonymous daisyfae said...

my cat has drawn more blood than my dog has... i didn't de-claw him. i still love him. he is an animal i brought into my home for companionship. there are limits to domesticity...

January 21, 2013 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Ms Scarlet said...

Yep, you're not a natural dog owner are you?!
Has the vet examined her thoroughly? I only ask because my Dad's dog has a place on his paw that hurts him when accidentally touched, and his response is to snarl... quite frankly, nobody likes to be poked in a sore place.

January 21, 2013 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

In the end we have to remember that they're animals. We have a propensity for mistaking them for cuddly stuffed animals. Especially thee wee ones. I suppose there's always an inherent danger that something can go wrong. I'm hoping the trainer can get inside this dog's head.

January 21, 2013 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

God knows I'm trying for the sake of everyone else to love this dog. But because of my predisposition, I'm more likely to take these episodes seriously. Do you know the funny thing? When I'm home, the dog constantly follows me around the house. It's not hard to be the Alpha Dog when you're the only male in the house.

January 21, 2013 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Verdant Earl said...

We have four cats, and each one of them brings their own joys and issues. Right now I'm working (and reading blogs) with one of them on my lap and two more of them sleeping on my work desk. The fourth has created a hammock for himself at the base of the drapes covering the patio doors. They are all indoor cats, much safer that way for them. None are de-clawed...cats need their claws. The only issues are some occasional in-fighting amongst themselves. And that one of the Rags insists on waking us up about an hour before we'd like every day. He's a bit of an asshole. Besides that, they are wonderful. I'm with you and Chuck.

January 21, 2013 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Val said...

Agree with you totally re cats versus dogs! Especially agreed with the comment: bottomless reservoir of need and their unending demands for attention. I find their inability (or is it an unwillingness?) to keep themselves clean off-putting, and the incessant barking is grating. They're not discriminating with what they eat or are mindful of quantity.
Enough said! Hang in there!!!

January 21, 2013 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I wonder if feline/canine preference is a left brain/right brain function? I had two Siamese cats for about 14 years. They get under your skin. By the way, thanks for the Joey Ramone New York City video you posted. I didn't know about it and it's in pretty heavy rotation. The epicenter of that video is where I spent my mis-spent youth.

January 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

That's all well and good but I have to find a way to make this work. My daughters absolutely love that dog. When they're adults, I don't want one of their childhood memories to be that their son-of-a-bitch father took their dog away.

January 21, 2013 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

As a cat-loving ape, I feel for you. Cats are so cool and independent whereas dogs are needy and have no self-control. The only consolation is that your mutt might scare off any burglars tempted to loot your premises.

January 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

I'm so with you and Mr. B. He said it so well. I like dogs---but, do not find them "relaxing" all!!!
Over many years---almost 50---I have had 6 different cats; at one time there were four with me, all indoor. My last dearest died a year ago January 2nd...I am still not over this excrutiating loss. He was a Prince Of A Fellow! A great great companion; loving and as dear a cat as I have ever known.

So sorry Coco has a problem. I hope the dog-whisperer can solve the problem, my dear---for everyone's sake!

January 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I'm not even sure she'd be good if a break-in occurred. The burglar could simply scratch her belly or throw her some food. Or poop.

January 21, 2013 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

My two cats were with me through many relationships. Girls would walk in and out of my life and those cats were still there, looking up, waiting for me to open a can or give them a scratch behind their ears.

January 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had a couple psycho-bitey cats- one, a stray I saved from a field, would chase me around biting my ankles, even though it was half the size of a normal cat. I'm super glad my kitties now are amazingly sweet, and they've only scratched when scared by sudden noises

January 21, 2013 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I'll take a psycho-bitey cat over a psycho-bitey dog any day. I used to have one of those myself. You can't get near them but at least they're nice to look at. It's like having a really pretty, furry sculpture that will scratch your eyes out.

January 21, 2013 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

we're done with animals around here, sugar! i wish you well. xoxoxoxo

January 21, 2013 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

They are a LOT of work. And expense. But, oh, the love.

January 21, 2013 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

As Scarlet said, Coco may have a painful spot. But I'd be asking some other questions, like was Mrs. Wife picking up the dog's toys or something? Your trainer fellow has suggested "ownership issues" and it's not uncommon.What seems a game when everyone is playing happily can become something quite different if an animal has stopped playing. Touching or removing the toy may be seen as teasing or crossing a possession boundary. Yeah, I know, sounds like high end shrink stuff!But worth checking.
I'm an ailurophile!

January 22, 2013 at 2:20 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

I have had three dogs - two I loved dearly and one made my life a misery and as the children were toddlers she was re-homed with an experienced dog handler.
What does the victim want? She should have the deciding vote IMO.

January 22, 2013 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Coco is going to experience more pain that she ever thought possible if she bites my little girls. I can't tell you how angry I was. My blood boiled. The trainer is due this week so I'm hoping for a good result. I'm in a tough spot. I don't want an animal in the house who will turn on us but if I get rid if her, I think it'll be a long, long time before I'm forgiven. If ever.

I had to Google. ailurophile. I didn't know there was a name for it.

January 22, 2013 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

She's all for keeping the dog, which I don't understand for the life of me. I think it's an abusive relationship but she assures me it was a rare occurrence and thinks the trainer can put things right. Animals. Feh. You have to wonder if they're worth it.

January 22, 2013 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Dogs... yeah..

Is that ME at the end of the old man bar? I've been wondering where I've been recently! :¬)

January 22, 2013 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I went to the old man bar after the dog episode to tell my troubles to a pint of Yuengling. America's oldest brewer! Always lends a sympathetic ear.

January 22, 2013 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Love both dogs and cats. Will keep mum on the dogs part right now. Not good what Coco did. erg.

January 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

That's bipolar! I was furious. I could feel the anger rise. It was the closest I've ever come to striking a defenseless, dumb animal.

January 22, 2013 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Kono said...

What Hank said.

January 22, 2013 at 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Took me a while to realise who your "bride" was. A rather curious American usage!

I struggle to like dogs too. I don't like the way they consider themselves one of the family and order every other member of it in a hierarchy. Cats are always a bit more separate.

January 24, 2013 at 2:19 AM  
Anonymous Sid said...

I had a kitten for two days. It scared the bejeezus outta me. My dad, who once spilled hot tar on his hands, refused to pick the cat up without first covering his arms with two pairs of socks.

January 24, 2013 at 2:22 AM  
Anonymous Sid said...

"It's like having a really pretty, furry sculpture that will scratch your eyes out." LOL! Not for me. I want something I can pick up and hold.

January 24, 2013 at 2:40 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

You're the second person in as many days who has commented on me referring to my wife as my bride. I don't think it's in wide use. I've never heard anyone else do it. I think I might have invented it. My dog can feel a part of my family once she starts brining in a paycheck.

January 24, 2013 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I use to have an angry cat, too. I'd walk around all day with long, red scratches on my hands and arms. A possessed feline if ever there was one. I'm beginning to think the only safe pet is no pet at all.

January 24, 2013 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

That guy really knows how to nail it down, doesn't he?

January 24, 2013 at 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This cat would attack my face when I was sleeping. Really not cool! I gave the cat to a coworker when I moved, but I should have probably put it to sleep. I don't think it was fit to be a pet

January 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Allow me to fix what you wrote.

"I gave my cat to a coworker whose guts I hated with a passion when I moved..."

January 24, 2013 at 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I'm a cat person. I love dogs, but feisty ones unnerve me. I've had cats my whole life, and sure, sometimes they try to bite but when they do it's almost funny. In general, they're mostly just decorative.

January 24, 2013 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

If a cat bites you, you probably did something to deserve it. Welcome.

January 24, 2013 at 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

forget "I'm a cat person" "I'm a dog person", you guys just have no idea about or feel for animals.

January 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

And you do? Please show us the light, oh masterful sensei.

January 25, 2013 at 11:26 AM  

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