Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hard days for A-holes

Three days ago, Margaux bit one of Roommie's friends.

Now, when it happens, it's never a real bite. She doesn't bite down, she doesn't chomp. It's more like a ferocious lunging action with teeth bared, so teeth come into contact with skin. After, you could see two marks on his hand; broken skin where she'd gotten him.

Granted, he did lean over her in a vulnerable spot. She was snoozing in bed, and the next thing she knew, a man she barely knew (a man with a beard, no less) was leaning over her, hands coming at her (in reality, he was going to pet Rio). I mean, jeez. If I were dozing off, and got woken up by a giant with a beard, I'd probably lunge at him, too.

Then, last night, she lunged at another friend (bearded, and wearing a hat) who came into the room and surprised her. Immediately afterward, she dropped her ears and cowered. She knew it was wrong.

So today, when I wanted to take her to get her vaccines updated, I was nervous about the vet staff. I took two anti-doggie-anxiety pills I'd gotten from a friend, and fed them to Margaux in a half of a hot dog.

Two hours later, she was three sheets to the wind. Red-eyed, dry mouthed, and dizzy. It was kind of cute, but pretty pathetic. She had a good sideways stagger that I recognized from a few of my own experiences, and her back legs kept nearly giving out. I probably should have just given her one of the pills, rather than two.

When some friends came over this evening, we let her out of her room and instructed her to lie down on her bed. When she stood up and walked toward a man she has only met a few times, I told her to go back to her bed, and he said, "No, it's all right." I should have said, "No, it's not." But I didn't. Roommie's always trying to get me to trust her more, so I watched as he pet her. Just as he was talking about how cute she is, and asking what kind of dog she is, she went for him. He was wearing a hat.

Later, as I punished her -- she had to sit with an upturned bowl and watch and smell while the other two dogs ate their dinners -- I felt awful. She looked so sad with her red-rimmed eyes. She wants to be good, I know. And in fairness, she was drunk, and that wasn't her fault.

But it's strange. I used to think it was so simple. If you have a dog that bites, you put it down. But that was before I met Margaux.