My oldest dog, Magdalena (named after Jesus's whore friend of course) has some real anger management issues. I've read numerous books on dog training, and tried every kind of collar or halter there is. We are currently on the one that chokes her like an iron maiden if she lunges snarling at anything that looks like another dog. To make it worse, her eyesight's not that great, because I have occasionally had to drag her away from what would have surely been a very nasty fight with a bag of trash on the sidewalk that was slightly canine shaped.
Still, I could deal until I moved into a neighborhood where everyone and their mother has a dog. And to keep from getting robbed at night - in other words, sticking to well-lit areas - we have to pass the dog park, which of course causes all sorts of drama. The iron maiden is wearing off. I suspect that she has developed callouses on her neck. Or is in some sort of 'roid rage and can feel no pain. At one point, I went to the vet to beg for drugs. He prescribed Prozac and Xanax. So I popped the pills and took her for a walk, and her behavior really seemed to improve somewhat. Or at least I just stopped giving a shit about stupid she was making me look.
And lest you judge me for that last comment, I was in the vet's office recently picking up my dogs (and again being afforded the pleasure of seeing all the huge flourescent "MAY BITE!" stickers all over Magda's file), when a woman came in to pick up her dog's prescription for Percocet. A little early. In fact, a month and a half early. At least I was just kidding about using my dog's meds. No, really. Kid-ding. Stop looking at me like that.
Anyway, although along the way I seemed to have skipped the Dog Whisperer's book, I have seen enough of his shows to know that part of his philosophy is that a dog picks up what it senses from you. This is not not actually the case with my younger dog, because she's dumb as a rock and I just keep her because she's cute - but I think it's a good point with Magda.
Until a recent workload (and a trip to wine country), I've been running quite a bit. Part of this was because I like being thin again, and part of it because I really miss my boyfriend who is in the middle of the Arizona desert and thus, quite far out of reach physically. I also like to run because my gym has TV screens, and I like to watch the news and pretend that somehow my running is going to solve the world's problems. "Just five more minutes," I whisper to the pain in my body, "five more minutes and that child rapist is gonna GET it."
I don't check to see if I'm wrong. Because I am completely sure that I am not. And to add to the pleasure of child rapists getting what they deserved, Magda would be relatively well-behaved on our walks. It's like she sensed my endorphins through the leash.
So, back to point. Since I've been off my regular running schedule, I've found that I'm becoming a bit more aggressive about things. Little ridiculous things opposing counsel does can send me off the deep end, and I am only grateful for the mute button on my phone which is allowing me to remain (at least from what they can hear) somewhat gracious. I don't like the way strangers look at me in the streets. I am ready to kill people who park in my reserved spot. And if the Turkish cashier at the place where I am sometimes forced to buy my cigarettes after a long day at the office tells me once again that I smell good and he wouldn't mind giving me children, I might have to scream "this is for Smyrna!" and gut his sorry ass.
So, I think back to running. It saves me from myself. And Magda from being a complete asshole.
As for the world, it can take care of itself.
Jerk that it is.