Mrs. Wigglebottom and I have certain understandings: I won’t cut her nails–she won’t bleed all over the house. I won’t drop her on the edge of the tub any more because it’s nearly impossible to hold a wiggly 65 pounds of anything–she’ll get in the bathtub her damn self.
But we are an an impasse on how to behave when we have to pass other dogs. I’d like to just coolly acknowledge their presence and then walk on by like we’ve got better things to do. She prefers to rear up on her back legs and swing out on the end of her leash in a menacing manner.
Let’s pause a moment to talk about dog collars we have owned.
- The regular old collar–retired from service because her head is pretty much the same width as her neck, except that slight bump at the base of her skull and so she could slide out of that puppy without any problem.
- The choke collar–retired from service because her neck is so muscular and she has such a high tolerance for pain that she could just “choke” herself on that thing all damn day without doing any actual choking, but, according to the vet, doing damage to her vocal chords.
- The current prongy collar–Like some kind of medieval torture device, this is a series of interlocking links each with two prongs that circles her neck and functions like a cross between the choke collar and a mouth full of teeth from an angry mom. I’ve put that puppy on my leg and on my arm and yanked as hard as I could and it seems to distribute the force pretty evenly and so, even though it looks like it hurts, it doesn’t really.
The problem with the current collar is indeed the interlocking links, because Mrs. Wigglebottom can hit the end of her leash with enough force that she can pop the collar apart.
I’m sure this must be terrifying for the people with the other dog, to see this crazed pit bull lunging out at their dog, to hear me shouting, “God damn it, Mrs. Wigglebottom, NO!” and to see that collar fly apart in two, sometimes three, pieces.
You can almost hear them silently screaming “Oh, Fuck!”
But, since Mrs. Wigglebottom is never, ever allowed outside without being on the leash and so is never outside without her collar, suddenly finding herself without it, she just immediately sits down and stares at me and waits for me to collect the pieces so that I can put it back on her.
This leads me to believe that her Tarzan-like displays are more about having a little fun at my expense than actually going after other dogs. Otherwise, when she broke out of her collar, she’d actually seize her opportunity.
I guess I could break down and buy her a chest harness. But I’ve been promising her a life jacket for years and never gotten her one of those either.
It’d be cheaper for me if she just learned how to behave around other dogs. Meanwhile, people with the Husky, please accept my apologies.