She bit me. Right here, just above the eye, like she was aiming to rip off my eyebrow. I had just leaned over to pet her and she pounced up from her sleeping state so quickly I didn’t even have time to blink. Next thing I knew there was an Afghan Hound hanging from my face. I don’t really remember very much after that, except the warm blood streaming into my eye and down my face. It was pretty worrisome to an eight-year-old. My mom went bonkers. She couldn't ell, through the blood, if my eye was gone. I can conjure up the scent of dog, the warm wet of blood, the piercing of teeth in a wholly unanticipated place. I mean, I’m a pretty vivid dreamer, and I had imagined getting attacked on the arm, or the leg, or even the buttocks in my childhood imaginings. But the eye was never even on the imagination’s radar.
She was my oldest brother’s dog. We called her Crazel; like a combination of Hazel and Crazy. He had saved up his paycheck money, scooping ice cream at Isaly’s after school. Paid a pretty penny for her, because she was an exotic dog. John always did have sort of exotic taste. He let us brush her long hair. It flowed like a super-model’s when she walked, kind of like she could have been in a commercial for Herbal Essence shampoo. She wasn’t one of those touchy- feely kind of dogs, the sort who snuggle up to you and want their bellies rubbed. She kept to herself, pretty much. But I wanted to be her friend, to show her I loved her, and that I wasn’t too afraid to touch her, though truth be known, I kind of was. And so, when I leaned over to show her my affection, she misinterpreted me. I didn’t know that you were not supposed to go petting animals when they were sleeping. And she didn’t know that little girls with the same colored hair were not very bright. And so that ended our budding friendship. Mom made John sell her. It makes me sad to think about that now. I had never, before now, considered how my innocent stupidity caused him to lose his pet
I’m sorry, John.
So now I have to pretend that I like dogs. I try. Really, I do. And dogs that belong in the family, like Rags and Pi and Kimball and Arlo, have grown on me, though Kimball and Pi have already jumped into the great pet playground above. Rags and Arlo are nice sized fluffy dogs, who do like to have their bellies scratched, and who are kind of irresistible. Only, I really don’t do well with dogs jumping on me, no matter how much they may have charmed me. That’s where I draw the line. There, and at the side of my dinner plate, where little dog tongues are prone to wander.
If I come visit you, or you come visit me, and there is a dog in the picture, I am likely to fake that I like him or her. But truth is, I am probably doing just that…faking it.
I am not proud of this. It is, nonetheless, my truth.
I may like your dog, but only a little…bit.
|"...and then there was that time when my brother's|
dog tried to pick my eye out of its socket."