Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Other Black Dog

So...Unofficial Boyfriend? He has a dog. And some cats. The dog is massive and black and I am not comfortable with him. This makes me sad. I am not a pet person. I was not raised with pets, nor have I had any of my own, save some fish for a year or so in British Columbia. It's not that I don't like animals...I am just not used to them and they make me nervous - sometimes to the point of being scared.  big black barks (though not often) and my heart jumps out of my chest at the thunderous sound; he playfully nips at me and I envision losing digits in those powerful jaws; he gets in my space or stares at me and I freeze and panic...and it's not like he is baring his teeth and growling at me or anything...I just fear that he will pounce at some point, and I am sure he senses my unease and this makes things worse between us. Unofficial Boyfriend has been very good about putting himself between big black and me when he senses my discomfort and telling the dog "no" and "off" and "down" when necessary. He has talked to me about big black's friendly manner and about how he's not going to hurt me. He has told me to give big black commands when I don't like something. But I don't trust big black and I am self-conscious about interacting with him in front of Unofficial Boyfriend because I feel inadequate in that way...even though I'm pretty sure big black is mostly just curious about this new person who has shown up in his space a couple of times, monopolizing his master's attention.

However, I don't think the situation is hopeless. My brother has a dog and I love her. In fact, I bring her for walks, I've slept with her on the bed beside me, and I even dog sat for ten days last summer. Half the time when I visit my brother's it's to see his dog! But we met when she was a puppy and she's an extremely mild mannered Shih Tzu, so she's not ever going to be huge and intimidating. I'm not a fan of fur and some other things that come with having pets, but I'm sure I could deal with that if black beast and I could become friends. I actually spent part of my night last night Googling episodes of The Dog Whisperer, trying to figure out how I am going to overcome this. How I am going to be able to walk into Unofficial Boyfriend's house without the fear of being somehow attacked, or be alone in a room with big black someday and be perfectly OK without the protection of Unofficial I am going to be able to hear his different snorts and moans and play growls without thinking he is plotting how best to get rid of me.

The cats are another matter entirely...I'm not even ready to go there. I haven't met them yet, nor do I really wish to. I tolerate my friends' cats and would never wish them any harm, but I cannot say I have any particular kind of affection for them or enjoy their company overmuch. They can be entertaining to watch, I suppose, but that is about the extent of it. I am allergic as well. This could pose problems. Yet, having said that, the pet situation is the only thing that Unofficial Boyfriend and I are concerned about and we are so far open to working on it together somehow.


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