Exercise, discipline, and affection, in that order. It’s easier said than done when your 50 pound dog climbs onto the couch next to you and wants to snuggle. Today’s 3F3 is a photo of Jetson, a Swiss German Shepherd we fostered and later adopted. I remember…
The year is 2014. I’m 34 years old.
Most people are scared of Jetson. His ferocious bark and mean glare and aggressive posturing make him a formidable animal. He doesn’t want anyone—man or beast—coming between him and his pack, and boy will he let you know it. For these reasons, I’m sure most people think Jetson is a “bad” dog, when in fact, he’s so loving it’s almost annoying.
We’ve had to make some sacrifices to have Jetson in our lives. He and Cheyenne have to be penned up when most people come over. Our dog sitter has to be really, really good at their job. Training has to be a top priority, which is difficult with a toddler running around the house.
I don’t hold any of this against Jetson, of course.
When he came to us, Jetson was already a year and a half old. We didn’t know much about his past other than that he was a stray who had been picked up and dumped at a shelter in San Antonio… and that he was in danger of being put down. We think he had an owner prior to living on the mean streets of SA, and I kinda hate that we think that.
I’ll tell you why.
I remember standing in the kitchen, sorting through the mail. Jetson was nearby, probably wondering if I had food. I grabbed one of those circulars, intending to throw it away. And as I rolled up the paper in my hands, I noticed Jetson start to slink away. When I turned my attention to him, he hurried into the other room.
Looking at the rolled up paper in my hand, it was clear then that he had a negative association with what he saw. The same goes for a fly swatter. The same goes for slapping a mosquito on the wall. Any kind of hitting will send Jetson running.
Someone used to hit him, and that angers me to no end.
Obviously, dogs are people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t empathize with them. Jetson had a hard life before he joined our pack, and our only goal is to see that the remainder of his life is comfortable and full of love. That is why we have dogs.
So if you come over to the house, and Jetson barks, and I say, “Sorry about him,” you should probably know I’m speaking to Jetson. He doesn’t like people intruding on his turf, and I don’t think that will ever change. I’ll ask you to not look him in the eye, and I’ll ask him not to bark at you, but at the end of the day, this is his house, and he deserves to be comfortable here.