Friday, August 22, 2008

Contemplating the unfairness of life

My recovery is slow, slow, slow. Since the brief respite of my last post, the headache has been pretty bad. Yesterday and today were the first days in recent weeks when I've had any pain-free moments at all. Sadly, I celebrate this by sitting at my computer for hours with my head jutted forward, and the yarmulke of pain squeezes its way back in.

Must be diligent with the exercises from Treat Your Own Neck (Thanks, Aunt Louise for recommending and Mom for sending.)

As a basically lazy person, I've never been so depressed about not being able to exercise. While I'm lying on the couch - because watching endless hours of animal rescue and home renovation shows (and Tori and Dean) is the only activity I feel like doing - Rob is in the garage lifting weights. It's like, as my body moves toward an advanced state of atrophy, he's going in the other direction. I've got Rocky Balboa training in my garage.

To get myself moving, Isis and I have been hitting a new dog park. I loooove it. Somehow the people there seem cooler, more social, and the layout allows us to walk safely on some trails with Isis off leash. There also is a huge field for running with and chasing other dogs.

It's usually superfun and rewarding; she plays perfectly well with other dogs and people. There have been a few small children who threw balls for her, and she hasn't bitten a single hand ... even when they hold onto the ball longer than Isis would like. And she always follows me back up the trail to the car, without my having to leash her and drag her barking and kicking from the other dogs.

However. On just a very small number of occasions, she's gotten unfortunately snarly with another dog. Just snarly, never biting, although German shepherd snarling seems to make people uncomfortable. Especially the owners of the small dogs she's snarling at.

Of course, even small dogs have a right to go to the dog park. But when a small dog mouths off, prompting an outburst from my scarier dog, it pisses me off when the small dog-owner whacks my dog with a chuck-it, saying "Get away from my dog!" and adding, to me, "Yeah, you better keep him leashed," when I snap the leash back on my dog (who is a she, by the way).

Here's what happened. The lady and her yippy little dog were the only ones in the field. She was lying on her back on the bench. Her dog was under the bench. My dog and I approached and said hello. My dog sniffed her dog. Her dog sniffed my dog, didn't like what she smelled and said, "Yip yip yip yip yip!" Real shrill-like. I thought to myself, "Wow, what's your problem?" And Isis said, "Grrrrrowl! Woof woof woof woof."

I mean, I didn't like it either, but if those had been two dogs of similar size, certainly my dog wouldn't have seemed the bad guy. The little one totally started it.

Isis and I went on our way, walking the trails a bit until that evil little dog left, and returned to the field to run around with normal sized dogs. Isis didn't even attack the small child who thought it was funny to pretend to throw a ball from an empty chuck-it, and it would have served him right if she did.

An old German lady arrived with her little dog. Isis has met this dog before and shown very little interest. While the old German lady was asking me about Isis' training collar (which she doesn't usually wear at the park), her dog got her mouth on the small rope tab attached to the collar, which is used to correct Isis (or grab her) when she's off leash. You can imagine that this might have startled Isis - to have a small dog grab her prong collar and give her a correction designed to feel like a bite on the neck.

So Isis is all, "Grrrowl. Woof woof woof." And the other dog squeals like she's being eaten and I intervene. And the wonderful German lady scoops up her dog, leashes it and says to me, "Oh no no, it's not your fault. My dog started it."

That's right she did.

Uh, so anyway, won't be wearing the training collar to the park anymore.

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