I hurt my dog yesterday.
Skylar is a 6 year old whippet. For those unfamiliar with this breed, it is a small version of a greyhound, but not as small as an Italian Greyhound. Whippets are truly the middle child in the sight hound family.
They are called “sight hounds” because if they see something moving, they go after it. Fast. The other side of that energy concludes, “If it isn’t moving, who cares?” In any given “waking” hour while indoors, the whippet will dash about for one minute, and then collapse into untroubled sleep for the other 59.
This breed has great big brown eyes. The better to see with, we can conclude. When Skylar wants something (as happens often), he will put his head in my lap or nearby, stare at me with those great big eyes, and keep staring until I give in and give him either what he wants, or some consolation. Anything to get him off my case. Who can resist those big brown eyes? I can’t.
Yesterday he did this, as is his custom. The problem was, I wasn’t in the mood to be provident. I fell down the outside stairs of my town house just a few days before, and have been recovering slowly since. Most of me hurt, and just wanted to be left alone, wrapped up in a blanket and a heating pad, feeling sorry for myself.
A whippet who thinks he needs to go out or to be fed or to be played with or generally to be paid attention to does not know how to leave his human alone. He’s just not the kind of dog to quietly lie down until the owner has a more convenient moment. Maybe this sounds like your dog, too.
So I yelled, “LEAVE ME ALONE!”
He paid no attention. He continued staring. I had finally had enough. I bonked him on the nose and told him to get lost.
You cannot imagine the look on Skylar’s face. You would think that his best friend (me) had rejected him harshly (I did). He tucked his tail between his legs, and made his way upstairs (his favorite retreat – it’s warmer up there) and sulked all the rest of the day.
Eventually I repented, and went upstairs to make amends. No change. He paid me no attention. He had forgotten that he is a dog and began acting like a cat. You know the act. Go away for a weekend and the cat will pay you no mind for a day or two after you return. My wife, Sandy, said that he will get over it.
He did. This morning, he was himself again. I expect that he will be in my face as soon as he wants something.
I think that I won’t hit him on the nose again. Almost nothing could be as bad as seeing the look of my dog scorned.