I Can Be An Asshole


I know I can.

I’m opinionated, I think my shit doesn’t stink, and I figure that I’m so evolved that there is no way that anyone does things right unless they are doing it my way. Don’t kid yourself when you read my sappy posts, there is a complete asshole inside of me.

Now that we have established that I’m an asshole, I need to say that if my dog bit a neighbourhood kid, I would do everything in my power to make amends for said biting. If it was severe enough (caused bodily harm), I would put the dog down.

He likes to pretend that this a child’s head.

Hey, I’m not saying it’s the dog’s fault, I’m just saying that if the dog is biting neighbourhood kids, there is obviously a problem, and seeing as I’m an asshole, the dog has got to go. Sad fact of life, but if I have to make the choice between my poorly raised dog or a child, I’m going to side with the tiny human. I have to.

Lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I’ve been having horrible dreams. I wake up shortly after going to sleep, and then it’s pretty sporadic from then on in. The dreams I’ve been having involve me killing Golden Retrievers and other assorted large breed dogs. Oh, I should mention that every one of them died because I crushed it’s throat and choked it to death. Slowly.

For those who know me, you know that I love dogs. I love cats too, but a cat didn’t bite one of the girls ear off, therefore this story isn’t about them. It’s safe to say that I’m an animal lover in general, but I love some animals gently braised over some briquettes and hickory chips. Before the incident, I had never wanted to even punch a Golden Retriever out, let alone go on a throat crushing binge.

A re-enactment, but probably accurate

Things change in a person I guess.

I think it is a protective instinct that does this to me. I see the wild, assessing eyes on her whenever she sees a bunch of big dogs around. Even one is enough to make her point out that there is a dog there. I was afraid that we were going to have to get rid of Blue for a while, but she seems to be okay with him. I saw her hugging him yesterday, and I couldn’t help but tear up and walk away. I’m so glad that she understands that he would never want to hurt her.

This brings me to another dilemma.

Blue has been getting disciplined a lot harder lately, and I feel awful about it. When he jumps up at kids, I am maybe rougher than I need to be when I pin him to the ground. He doesn’t mean anything by it, he just loves people and gets a bit too excited to see them when they walk in the door. We have been working on it, but he is a hound, and maybe doesn’t have the greatest attention span.

My question is this: How do I curb my protective instincts, and not be always running interference for her whenever there is a rambunctious dog around?

Am I supposed to show her how to defend herself against a dog? I’ve been attacked by several dogs over the past forty years, and I know that I could have killed several of them, had I wanted to. Do I show her how? Do I arm her with a jackknife and the knowledge of how to use it under pressure? Fuck. I don’t want to create a little dog assassin. Do I?

I don’t know how to explain that any dog can turn on you at any time, but that you shouldn’t be afraid of all dogs. How do you tell a kid that has been obviously scarred, both physically and emotionally, by a usually lovable breed, that that was a one in a hundred dog, and that most of the time Golden Retrievers will be just playful and rowdy?

Fuck it. I’m getting her a taser.

Just tase away, Sweetheart. Sooner or later Blue, and all other dogs will know to stay the hell away from you. We’ll get you a tooth and claw-less Poodle, and it will be the only dog allowed near you until you are seventeen, and can properly defend yourself without weapons.

I don’t know. Maybe therapy is the way to go. For her, not me. I’ll be alright as soon as I kill a few more dogs in my dreams, because that’s how I work, bitches.

Hey, bird dog get away from my quail Hey, bird dog you’re on the wrong trail,


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30 thoughts on “I Can Be An Asshole

  1. I am also an animal lover. I also own a Golden. He is the most loveable dog..he adores everyone. You can rob me blind as long as you pet him..lol.
    That being said…if he EVER was aggressive to a child he would be gone. End of story.
    I am truly sorry this happened to her…I also hope the dog has been put down and the owner charged!

    • The dog has not and will not be put down unless court-ordered. The owners are being charged under the Dog Owner Liability Act (DOLA) and will have a court date next month. It will be up to the judge to decide the fate of the dog, but at the very least, this animal will be a giant pain in the ass for the owners to deal with, once the restrictions are in place. There is also an application for the dog to be declared dangerous. Sometimes you don’t get what you want, but in the end, at least the owners will have to take responsibility for a dog that is at the very least, wildly unpredictable, and has been allowed to roam free until now.

  2. Wow. You’d think that having her ear ripped off would be cause enough for the dog to be put down. I hope that when you guys go to court that this happens. That’s riduculous.

  3. My first question is why did the dog even live to tell about this? My second question (probably moot, considering most dog owners) is why was the dog running around loose in the first place?

    • Well, believe it or not, the first instinct in such an emergency is to get the victim away from the dog, and to contain it. The paramount concern was for my daughter and getting her to the hospital. In these situations you ASSUME that the next logical step is for the dog to be destroyed, but in fact, that rarely happens. The onus is on the owner to destroy it, and of course, this owner has no intention of doing that. Having never been in this situation, I was shocked to find out that in the vast majority of these cases, the dog is not destroyed.
      Secondly, the dog owners did not have any means to keep their dog on their own property, and therefore it wandered frequently. The neighbours are now feeling terrible that they didn’t involve the bylaw officer when the dog was frequently loose in the area. ‘Good neighbours’ don’t call the police about loose dogs until there is a big fucking problem. Lesson learned by all.

  4. You’re not an asshole – you’re a dad!

    I had a childhood friend who had her face taken off by the family dog. Seriously. She had lots of surgery and her face never looked the same again.

    Therapy is the way, dude… and keep choking the dogs in your dreams.

  5. I beleive you should be choking the owners in your dreams or in reality (that would be the ultimate form of therapy). They are the cause of this whole thing the dog was the weapon used. They hold all the responsibility….. By not puting the dog down it shows what little they have. Im so sorry that your family has to go through this and that dogs are quite intimidating right now. What a unfair position to have been put in for parents and children! Hopefully the law will do something to protect others against this happening again. The only way for you and your daughter to get through this is to not give in and realise what you stated “its one in a hundred” Most pet owners would NEVER let a dog who is threatening in any way near a child. You are not an asshole in any way….I can think of others who do fit the bill though!!!!

  6. If you decide to turn your daughter into a little dog assassin, I have some little dogs I’d like to nominate. Shocking to hear that it takes a court order to put a dog who attacked a child down.

  7. When I was around the same age as your oldest daughter, my dad, brother, sister and I were walking home from the corner store and I was running ahead of them. A Doberman who belonged to the crazy lady next door got out (as he often did) and ran up to me growling, trying to attack me. It’s a haze but I’m pretty certain he actually grabbed me but my dad was there in an instant and nothing serious happened to me. He spoke with the owner and when he realized she wasn’t going to do anything or seemed not to care that a child was attacked, he took care of things. I didn’t ask too many questions, but I know he killed that dog.

    It did nothing to alleviate my trauma and fear of large dogs, especially Doberman’s. I didn’t receive therapy but it took me years and years to overcome that fear. First, she will be taking her cues from you so you could very well make the fear worse by your over-protective behavior. You’re unknowingly reinforcing that dogs are dangerous. I would say take your cues from her. Absolutely she will be on the lookout now but if it doesn’t seem to be dissipating, then maybe therapy would be good for her. I’m a huge fan of knowledge so I would go with teaching her. Teach her that it’s not the dog(or breed) but bad owners. (A fucking Golden Retriever!? They are the most gentle and tolerating of kids. I own one.) I would also teach her what to do in that situation…how to behave around unfamiliar dogs, what can potentially provoke them and yes, how to defend herself. I believe it would empower her. Also, if/when she’s ready, I would expose her to trusted large breed dogs. I’ve since owned a St. Bernard, fell in love with a friend’s Doberman and another’s Mastiff. Last two cents of my twenty cents: don’t be meaner or harsher with your dog but definitely work more on the training if his behavior bothers you now. Just like with kids, positive reinforcement goes much further. <3

    • I have been attacked by several dogs, and while I am wary among strange ones, I have never had a fear of them that I can remember. I guess there are some things that just don’t bother me for some reason.
      Now bees on the other hand… I’d rather fuck a rabid pitbull than punch a bee’s nest.

  8. I am so sorry about your doughter, I could not imagine the feer you all feel.We also had a very CRAZY dog next door to Riley & Jami’s Auntys house, we live on the block at the T so we are 1 house away and the children like to bike and walk to Aunty’s, this dog just goes nuts really really nuts and he’s only in a burried fence and has been known to leave to attack other dogs,killing a chiwawa that was being walked by a little girl.Our village council decided we don’t need the SPCA so where do we go,now to make a very long story short a man in our village was bitten and it was all he could do to not draw his GUN yes he’s a police officer I don’t want to see anyone get bit, but if it was someone else the dog would probably still be trying to get my son on his bike. The dog was a rotty/sheppard.We recently bought our doughter a puppy and I’m still too scared to let her walk Abby alone.I truely feel for your family and maybe some counceling would or could help, all the best to you.

    • Thanks Corina. I hope that Cody and Brenna never have any traumatic episodes with any animals, because no body should live in fear. I don’t understand what the hell is wrong with people who don’t take pet ownership with the level of responsibility that it needs to have. Grrrrr. See you guys next summer, hopefully.

  9. Mr. & Mrs. Birdman,

    I have one suggestion for you and that is to watch the “Dog Whisperer” with Ceasar Milan as a family. Watch, learn and become educated about the behaviours of a dog. Learn that a bad dog is a product of it’s environment and can be taught to be good. Also, talk to the kids and find out what bothers them most about the incident and help them understand. Education is powerful and empowering. Learning the unknown conquers fears.

    FEAR is an acronym: False Expectations Acting Real.

    What would I do? Well, I had a 9-year old yellow lab. He was the first dog I have ever owned. I loved my dog and he truly was one of the family. Mrs. P and my daughter loved him to bits. Then one day he growled and bared his teeth at my daughter. The hardest thing I ever did was to tell my daughter that the dog was gone. After a 30 minute chat about treatment strategies with no solid hopes of success and a history that the vet had seen but I was oblivious too, the vet agreed with me that the best option was to have him put down. It wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. However, my daughter, my wife and myself remember a great family pet that gave us unconditional love for 9 years. We don’t think of him as a monster nor does my daughter or anyone else have to look at a scar or disfigurement caused by our pet. The baby bird looks like she will be fine also. It’s the emotional damage that is concerning. I have no fear that you will overcome that as well.

    Ask me what I did when my best friend’s irish wolfhound grabbed my two year old daughters arm. I didn’t kill it, but I could have. Birdman, I feel your pain and anguish.

    Finally, to answer your question, “How do I curb my protective instincts, and not be always running interference for her whenever there is a rambunctious dog around?”, I offer this tidbit of advise, ask your little birdy what she would like you to do. You may or may not be surprised.

    Peace out, God Bless and good luck!

    • Yeah, we have watched a lot of them, and have shown the kids the proper ways to handle our dog, but they lack the confidence needed to properly assert the dominance needed over anyone else’s. I would let her fend for herself, except with her ear so fragile right now, we can’t take the chance that anything could touch it, therefore infecting or damaging the tissue before we find out if it will reattach or not. We will have to find the time to sit with both girls and watch 100 episodes of Cesar, or at least until they can retain enough of the knowledge needed to function confidently around all dogs. Thanks for the advice, Scotty. It’s always good, and always appreciated. Lunch today? Give me a call.

  10. That’s tough. I can’t imagine that happening. I have two dogs and three cats. One of my cats is routinely clawing at my daughter and I’ve told my wife that he hasn’t had enough boot leather in his diet. We aren’t sure why he is fond of this behavior that he saves for the little person.


    • I’ve always found that scruffing the cat and hissing while you do it, seems to make them stop. It’s how mother cats discipline their young, so maybe that triggers something.

  11. Pingback: Therapy It Is, And It’s Not Even Thursday

  12. Hi Dude,
    I won’t comment on whether or not a dog should be put down after attacking a person, or how dog owners should be more responsible with their dogs or even whether your dog killing dreams can be tackled with a lengthy period of therapy….I see that this has been pretty much covered by most of the the other comments.
    I will however pass comment on the WRITING of the post itself which is after all, what kept me reading it to the very end. I was deeply touched by what has obviously been a very traumatic experience for you and your family – this is not something I have ever experienced but it is a fear that gnaws at me each time I take my kids to the park – but what REALLY kept me reading was the underlying vein of humour you had incorporated throughout the telling of your story. So often, a tale of trauma can communicate the pain and fear of those involved so well that it makes it difficult to read. Employing humour takes some of that sting away and provides the reader with HOPE.
    This was a great piece of work and I enjoyed reading it very much. Thank you for sharing this experience.
    All the best to you and your family,
    And keep writing more of this stuff….It’s really good…
    Jamie H

    • Thank you, that is one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received. Because of what you said, I will keep writing. (Well, it sure fuels me on, anyhow.) Thank you again, Jamie. I really do appreciate that.

  13. I love dogs and have had the privilege of having lived with many but if come after people you are going to lose that battle with me. People come first, end of story.

    Some years ago I had a neighbor who let his Rottweiler wander around the neighborhood. One time he got in between me and my back gate. We stared at each other and I had serious concerns about whether it was going to come to blows.

    I raised myself up, puffed up my chest and told him that if he took one step towards me he would die. That is almost verbatim.

    Three hours later (was probably 30 seconds) he left and I started breathing again. I am not a little man, weigh more than 2 bills but that dog was large…

    Very sorry you had to deal with all this. I hope your daughter is doing well now.

    • Thanks, Jack. She’s good, and we had a productive day of working with the girls and the dog. We are also, now enrolled in a family obedience class, and the girls can take turns being the handler each week. I think everything is going to be good. I appreciate the thoughts.

  14. First off, I hope that your daughter is doing OK through this.

    Second, at the end of the day, as much as we make them part of the family, dogs are still animals that can be unpredictable. People should always come first. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. As much as I love my dogs, if they were to this kind of harm to a person, I’d put them down as well.

    • Yeah, we have a committee being set up to have the dog declared dangerous. The owners appealed the last one, so we might as well waste taxpayer dollars by setting up a friggin useless committee. I’ve already got a committee set up. It consists of me, Mr. Remington, and Mr. Winchester.

  15. An interesting dilemma to be in–deciding between a dog that bites and a child. But you seem to have kept your wits about you and forged ahead with a positive solution for your family. I don’t think you’re an asshole at all.

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