Fish and I: Where are We Now?
In January, I wrote a confessional that I had adopted the wrong dog. Fish (not his real name) landed at my house eleven days after my beloved apricot shepherd died, because I couldn’t responsibly manage my grief. I saw a video of him trying to curl up in a plastic bucket at the Lancaster animal shelter, and suddenly found myself driving past broken-down RVs and random desert billboards on my way to get him, sobbing every five minutes.
When we got home, it soon became clear to both Fish and me that we might not be a match. He is all muscle and energy, and I am gooey. He believes the world is filled with danger at every turn, and …well, on that we are starting to agree. But we are still very different.
Eight months after the confessional, nothing has changed and everything has changed. Fish still hates men. All of them. I tell men who meet him that the key to Fish is to simply ignore him. Do not look him in the eye, do not try to throw a ball, do not say shit like “hey buddy!” If men follow these directions, then maybe, just maybe, Fish might open a fragile dialogue.
But men cannot follow these instructions. Not a single one. The other day Fish and I were at an outdoor cafe with his new agility instructor, and a man approached us to tell us how good-looking Fish is. Which is of course true, but he made the mistake of looking Fish in the eye, so unsurprisingly to no one who knows how predators think, Fish made it clear that this guy should back off. Pronto, immediately, post-haste.
And to Fish’s credit, that’s all he did. He simply communicated in very clear terms — a scary low growl — to stay the fuck away from me and his new agility coach. Then the man realized his mistake, apologized and walked away.
Hahaha, just kidding! No, of course he didn’t! LOLOLOLOL. That’s not how men roll when a dog doesn’t like them. Men cannot handle that shit, because apparently dogs are all supposed to be like the ones in dog food commercials, I guess? I’m not going to pretend to know why the man just kept talking, even while Fish’s growl kept getting scarier.
I’m also not going to pretend to know why every man who has encountered Fish has behaved the same way…