Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Bad Pug

There are no things as bad dogs, just bad owners. Murphy’s Law of pet ownership would explain why the loss of a good pet with a hurried attempt to fill its empty space would result in finding a bad pet. Of course, that dog is not bad. The owners are bad. One has high expectations of it to fill the furry paws of its predecessor. The other isn’t sure what to do since it’s a different dog. The little one can’t love it because it is not the old dog. Naturally, she becomes bad because of us.

We work with her. By “we”, I mean “I”. I take her to training. Pay hundreds of dollars and spend time with her. We develop a bond. Of course it is not the bond the old dog had with me when I was home with her all day, every day, during a pregnancy and after a child. I work with the Bad Pug for a few minutes a day in the mornings and after work. I don’t know what kind of expectations I have for her. I just wish she would be like the Good Pug. They were both so similar. 7 or 8 months old when I got them. Rehomed twice when we got them. The Good Pug was full of love when we got her. The Bad Pug was full of anger and fear. The Good Pug shared a home with a jealous sibling pug who had claimed the house and hearts of its owner forcing them to rehome the Good Pug. The Bad Pug was locked in a garage all day and crapped all over the place and chewed on anything in sight. Upon meeting both, neither of them wanted anything to do with me. The Good Pug growled, barked, and ran away. The Bad Pug tried to bite my face and went into a frenzied attack mode similar to a rabid pit bull. I took a chance on both. Both loved me and came to me for comfort, shelter, food, and love. 

The Good Pug loved us all.

The Bad Pug only loves me.

It only makes sense the Bad Pug would love me. I needed her love. I welcomed it. Despite my expectations, I look past her defiance and stubbornness and see big eyes and a fat little body that farts in my arms and happily licks my face with the same tongue that eats the cat’s shit. I don’t care because to me, none of that matters. The Bad Pug’s little life is too precious and fragile and could be ripped from me so quickly one day like the Good Pug’s was. No crime she does is worth her life and I could never be angry at her. Ever.
I hate coming home to trash on the floor from her excavating the trash cans or random piles of shit and stains from piss on the carpet. I have lost several pairs of shoes, which she has thankfully gone past that routine. I simply yell at her in a monotonous repetition of “no trash – no trash – no trash – no trash – no poop – no poop – no poop – no poop” to her errors before sending her to “iso”*. It has become a repetitive routine, as if the little Bad Pug enjoys punishment as a form of attention. My little masochist greets me daily with something to be yelled at and acknowledges her wrong doing and runs to her crate where she gives the pouty pug face until I tell her she can come out. It has become worse since I started going to school again, but it is what it is.

I call her the Bad Pug. Really, she’s not that bad. We’re the ones who fail to train her. We’re the ones who fail to regularly take her to the bathroom. The other says she is lazy and bad. That she used to hold her pee and poop and give us signals when she has to go. I correct him and say that was the Good Pug, but he disagrees. The Bad Pug never was that good. It is not her fault we failed to teach her proper house breaking. Although, sometimes, I think she is defiant because I am not home as often and she does it intentionally to the other. As if she is trying to show him what a truly bad pug she can be. How he used to have a Good Pug and that pug was not bad at all and now he will live with a Bad Pug. She is what he gets. She is what we all get. Yet no one loves her like we loved the Good Pug. 

But I love the Bad Pug. Even though I am frustrated by her daily, I still love her because I know we deserve her. And she, despite being bad and not knowing better, deserves to be loved. There is no reason she should be shunned or crated all day. The other crates her often hoping to teach her. And at first, it seemed like we had her in the crate constantly. During the day when we were at work so she wouldn’t tear the house apart and shit on everything. At night when we came home and she would shit on the carpet. We had the Good Pug in her box** and the Bad Pug in her crate and while I just needed a fat little body to hold to comfort me, instead I had two pugs that I was unable to hold. 

And now I don’t even care. I don’t care if she doesn’t listen to the other or marks or destroys things. I don’t care. It breaks my heart to see that my Good Pug is in her box on the dresser. The Bad Pug is caged all the time. I don’t have the heart to keep her in her cage. I got her to comfort me and to have a fat little body to hold onto. So what if her trimmed nails slice my skin when she jumps on my lap to greet me, or snags my nylons when I come home? There is no point in having a pet if they are placed in a corner constantly and not loved. Then, we are no different than her last owners. 

We had a Good Pug. Had. She is gone and will never come back. If the other does not like the way the Bad Pug acts, perhaps he should work with her more. Instead of complaining as if it is my fault that she is the way she is, he should try. He had a Good Pug. He broke the Good Pug of bad habits, so why not the Bad Pug? Instead, he makes her my problem to deal with. She is not a problem. She is just a Bad Pug who has bad owners.

*Iso – isolation; solitary confinement; prison slang. In this case iso is a crate for crate training a dog.
** Box –  reference to rectangular urn Lulu’s ashes are in.

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