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Jock Starts Talking

He was pretty easy but after awhile he began to talk.  It wasn’t exactly talking, it was a soft growl. Someone decided he was just communicating and it sure didn’t seem like a threat so things went on like that. I didn’t see him very often so it was of no consequence to me until later.

After awhile his person noticed he was doing that soft growling thing all the time. He did it with his head down in a submissive posture, but still.  Some people would get into his space and give him all kinds of energy when he did it and soon he did it more and more, in response to their coaxing.

After five years or so I began to spend more time with the family. Jock was always glad to see me and I would give him a good scritch, but as usual he growled and one day I decided I’d had enough, Katrina or no.

Hey man, I told him, if you growl at me I’m not going to pet you. I stood up and then I walked away.  He stayed where he was.   He seemed uncertain.

Every time I saw him he’d do the same thing.  Mostly people let him growl or even encouraged him so I knew I was in the minority but I kept after it.  One growl and I was done. Forget it, I’d say. I don’t pet dogs who growl at me.

In the meantime I was also interacting with his dog “sister”, a tiny bichon frise. “Jenny”.  Jenny had some dominance issues and would claim my lap or my foot and soon I was telling her to knock it off, too. She was deeply offended at my reprimands but I noticed she too was always happy to see me come in and I figured, I could either let these characters push me around or we could have a mutually happy relationship.

It took a couple of months before I noticed a difference.  Today I am greeted fondly by both the dogs but I am neither growled at nor dominated. Leaving everyone to enjoy the relationship.







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