Brutus is a dog with allergies. It is a bad idea to let Brutus on the grass, or to feed him treats of any kind, or to let him run free off leach. This seems harsh to most dog lovers. Never let your dog run. Never give your dog a treat. Never even let your dog touch the grass. It sounds like one of those animal abuse posters with the pitiful looking pup who has had to live in a cage its entire life.
This is hard on us, and hard on poor pitiful Brutus. Brutus loves the grass. Brutus likes to take care of his business on the grass. He rolls in, and stretches out on, and even eats the grass. Brutus hates the new rules.
To be honest, I’m not at all sure we can keep the new rules. They are darn inconvenient.
The new rules mean teaching an 8-year-old dog new ways of doing things. These new ways of doing things are new for us also. We have to actually walk our dog on a leash in the street and keep him off the grass. We would have to do this every single time he needs to relieve himself. This is the hardest for us. We like to boot the dogs out the back door, fresh from our sheets, and let them in after they have taken care of business. We actually do this several times a day, on their demand, but that is where grass is. Until the last time at night, when we tuck them into their little beds.
The new rules mean changing the habit of a treat before bed, not just for Brutus, but for Penny, because you cannot interfere with the pack dynamic by showing favorites. I tried to fool them by giving them each a little snack of their dog food, but they were not fooled. Penny barked her protest, and Brutus silently begged. It also means no more licking off the dinner plates. The dogs are not happy.
The leash, by now is obvious, plus the fact that neither dog, once loose, wants to run and play where they may, and refuse to come when called. They always come back, but we have some neighbors who do not love our dogs nearly as much as we do, and of course, the neighbors all have grass.
So why am I putting myself, Hubby, and dogs through all this. I am putting us all through this, because of a continuously itchy dog, several hundred dollars in vet bills, and allergy testing that shows Brutus is allergic to just about everything, and the vet says we are entering the worst part of the allergy season.
I can hear your question. Why don’t we give him allergy treatment? Well, we are, but allergy treatments take months to work. Repeated skin infections are not being controlled by medicated soap, antihistamines, and anti-itch sprays, and we are entering the worst part of the allergy season.
But even knowing all of this, as soon as I turn my back, Hubby lets the dog go up onto grass. Hubby thinks it is beyond cruel to not give the dogs any treats at all. So I have to be stubborn.
Normally stubborn has a negative connotation. Stubborn is synonymous with obstinate, pig-headed, obdurate, contrary, perverse, recalcitrant, inflexible, uncompromising, and unbending.
But I have the conviction of my knowledge that, for now, this is the right thing to do. I would never be able to stick with this plan if I wasn’t convinced it was necessary. I know I’m right, so if you want to call me stubborn, I can live with that.