Sunday, June 05, 2011

Damien and Facing Your Fears

Everyone say hello to Damien. Okay, fine. He’s not REALLY the devil. He’s just sapping my will to live is all. OH I KNOW.

Sure, sure, you look at that face and you think Amy! How on earth could a face like that harbor any kind of horribleness? Look at that face!? He’s a sweetheart!

Damien is a new dog client, a referral I got from Pepe and Pembleton. And Damien lives about five minutes away from my house, so everything’s convenient.

And I’m sure he is a sweetheart. Or actually, I’m sure he will be. In about five years. See, Damien is a sixty pound two-year-old German Shepherd dog they got from a shelter. It’s wonderful that they rescued him, yes yes yes of course. Save a dog’s life, wonderful, you’re going to heaven, yes, yes, of course. But Damien is TWO YEARS OLD. The last dogsitter washed out because she got an editing gig with a lot of late hours. There were rumors that she was scared of Damien. I doubt all of that. I bet that the truth is simply that Damien wore her out.

Damien is exhausting. I started this gig on Friday, and I’ve got two and a half weeks with him. Of course the first few days are exhausting as dog and dogsitter get used to each other. It is my secret hope that he calms down really soon. Maybe bitching about him in this blog will be the reverse jinx that makes him finally go to sleep (I gave him a few owner-approved natural doggie Calm Down Aids an hour ago. HE’S STILL GOING, FOLKS!)

All Damien wants to do is play Tug Of War. 24/7. His little dog brain has no concept of time, and given the chance, he’d play Tug Of War forever.

I’m fine playing with dogs for a little while. But not ALL DAY LONG. I’ve got work to do. I’ve got stuff to write. It’s the weekend, I’ve got naps to take.

But Damien wants to play Tug Of War. And if you won’t play with his red rubber spiral thing for as long as he wants, he will go chomp on the nearest thing made of fabric and flaunt his naughtiness in front of you. This includes:

The computer chair padded armrest
The bed comforter
Kitchen Seat Cushions
My shoes

When you shout “NO!” or “DROP IT!” or “THOSE ARE MY LEATHER BOOTS!” he doesn’t drop them, but instead runs laps around the dining room table while you frantically try to get the thing out of his mouth before he pokes holes in them. To his credit, he hasn’t poked holes in anything, he’s just trying to get your attention so you’ll play with him for another hour. He also hasn’t knocked anything off any tables either, and this place is filled with all sorts of crystal and porcelain bric-a-brac, so he’s super conscientious of anything that’s not already in his mouth.

And I get it. He’s two. He’s a rescue dog. He’s spoiled by his two retired Stay At Home Senior Citizen Daddies Who Play With Him All Day Long.

But when it’s midnight, and I’m desperately trying to get some sleep and I hear chomp chomp chomp is that a RIP?! down at the bottom of the bed, I wonder how I’m gonna make it through two more weeks of this.

At first, I thought Damien was going to be a perfect metaphor for Facing Your Fears. Because let’s face it, he’s a sixty pound German Shepherd, and those things are intimidating at first sight. The first time I met Damien, he was barking at me through my the dutch door at my own house, because he was over for a playdate with Pepe and Pembleton. I opened the half door and WHOOSH! ROWRORWROWROWRWOWOWOWOW!

A normal person rears back in the face of such aggression (And thinks something along the lines of DUDE! THIS IS MY HOUSE!), which only incites Damien ah-HA! She’s scared of me! She’s automatically guilty of something! GET HER GET HER GET HER!

I quickly shut the Dutch door after that and thought it was the end of it.

But the summer months are prime months for dogsitters, and Damien’s previous dogsitter washed out and well, why not? Why not face down a metaphor for fear? What else will I blog about this week? Nothing else is going on.

So I got a walkthrough with Damien last Sunday, got his feeding and walking routines, he sniffed me long enough to where we all thought he’d know who I was when I showed up on Friday morning.

So when I step out of the car into the driveway and see him losing his mind barking at me through the gate, my thoughts go something like this:

Show No Fear
I Need The Money
God, Please Don’t Let This Dog Bite Me.
“Damien! It’s me, Amy! You know who I am!”
“Damien! I’m not leaving, so you’re just gonna have to get used to this!”
God, Please Don’t Let This Dog Bite Me.
God, Please Don’t Let This Dog Bite Me.
God, Please Don’t Let This Dog Bite Me.
Oh yeah, Show No Fear.

I open the door, and go up the stairs to the closed door. God, if this dog bites me, I’m totally gonna… well, I don’t know what I’m gonna do, because the owners are already off on their river cruise in Europe, so I can’t just default on this, but I am NOT going to be happy. Please, do not let this dog bite me.

God had no response, so I open the door, and here comes Damien, loping down the hall towards me.

Show No Fear. Show No Fear.

Damien skids on the floor…. leaps into the air…. And tries to knock me down with his two-year-old-excitement. I stand firm, and hold the secret weapon of jerky treats out for Damien. He promptly gobbles them up, and then brings me the rubber red spiral toy to play tug of war with. And he has yet to stop.

I guess the metaphor there is Face Your Fears Even When God Doesn’t Respond. Probably Because God Knows You Can Handle Things Even If You Don’t Think You Can. Because You Have Jerky Treats In Your Hand. You Can Take On The World With That.

Here’s hoping.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

God is patient, dog is not. ;)