A very short time ago, I wrote about how proud I was that I had a dog that didn't solve her problems with her teeth. Well, that was apparently just an ironic way to introduce the following story: How my dog came to bite my good friend on her arm and leave a nasty bruise and a fair sized puncture wound in her bicep. Is that giving away too much at the start?
We had houseguests this weekend. Our friend from the olden days - the maid of honor at our wedding, the godmother of our son and all around good egg - came up from the southland to visit with her son and her dog. We have made noises over the years about how swell it would be if our perspective mates, children and now pets would all get along as famously as we always have. Truth is, for the most part, they do. The problem is that dogs are still animals and they sometimes act just like that. Trying to feed two dogs at the same time is a bit of a project even when you and/or the dogs are used to it. Timing is everything. We had figured out the easiest thing was to feed each one in a separate part of the house, allowing them the time and space to inhale their individual bowls, then go searching for the other's. When they were done, there was a little food left over in our friend's dog's bowl - our dog wanted it, and that was what started the problem. The lesson we all learned was that sticking a nice prime piece of meat like an arm in between two angry dogs is a bad idea.
When it was over, our dog had been banished and shamed in the front of the house, while we attended to the medical needs of our tattered and bruised friend. Her dog waited in the back.
This is when we began the discussion of attributing human feelings or characteristics to dogs. It would be nice to say that our dog felt guilty or embarrassed by her behavior - since we did. It would be nice if we could say that our friend's dog felt protective and concern for his master. Truth is, both of them wandered back into the living room shortly after the incident and fell asleep on the rug. It was over for them. The guilt and reckoning for the humans had just begun.