here I am



My dog was the most miserable dog in the world yesterday.  Or so he would have you believe, what with the “why would you do this to me?” face and the “My life is so awful” eyes…

We gave him another bath.  =)  He *hates* it.

We went to the bark park with Dave and Claudia and their Kaiser after work yesterday.  Jake was hot and miserable (it’s very warm and muggy out) and sweaty.  We let him cool down a little on the 20-minute ride home, then we grabbed his short leash (the one we can’t use to walk him with because he constantly trips us), hooked his collar to it, looped it around this mysterious pole sticking out of the ground in the backyard (NO idea why it’s there, but works find for this purpose), and grabbed the hose and dog shampoo.

Once the hose gets turned on, he freaks out.  He knows what’s coming and really hates to be wet. 

After a few minutes of *really* hard struggling, he just gives up (as long as I’m holding onto him and he can’t get away – and by that, I mean straddling him and locking him down with my knees as I scrub).  That’s when he turns on the misery faces – he’s so morose, it’s almost comical.

(btw, Tom, good call – he doesn’t shake off as long as I’m touching him.)

I was struck, as I was torturing my dog thus, with how much his background must affect his happiness.

Kaiser, Dave and Claudia’s dog, has never known anything but loving touches, security, fun, and comfort.  They’ve had him since he was a young puppy, and before they got him, he lived with a family who took good care of him.

Kaiser loves water (he’s actually really ridiculous about HOW much he loves water).  He loves other dogs.  In fact, he loves everything.

We adopted Jake from a breed-specific rescue.  Before they found him, emaciated and starved for attention and affection, in a pound, he had been a stray.  Someone had lost him or thrown him out – whatever the case, all he knew for a long time was hunger, cold, and other horrible things.  I’m sure the only wet he really remembers is being soaked in the rain and not having a warm place to dry off…

No WONDER the dog doesn’t like to be wet.  No WONDER he is so mean to other dogs who want to love on us.  No WONDER he freaks out when we leave him alone for any long period of time.  I think that, as he gets older (he’s only 1 1/2) and as he lives with us long enough to forget some of being a stray and long enough to trust us like Kaiser trusts the Ebersoles, he’s going to be happier.

After we dried him off, we gave him extra loving to make up for the misery we’d put him through.  He’s back to normal – happy and goofy – again today.

posted under dog
5 Comments to


  1. Avatar June 9th, 2007 at 12:28 am tom Says:

    Awww… he’s just a puppy. In my experience. Females “grow up” faster than males (humans too but that’s another topic). A female will start to act “mature” about the time she starts ovulating (a year or so if I remember correctly) while the males take at LEAST two years to stop acting goofy. My dogs took considerably longer (like around 3 years). Boxers can be a little hyper as puppies so I judge “mature” behavior as “not knocking people over when they come in the door.” Around 2.5 to 3 years for mine.

    Rescue dogs can really be hit or miss. If I were on the market for a dog and I didn’t have one available from my old contacts (my Uncle use to breed Boxers to show) I’d probably go rescue.

    While your suspicion that your dog’s aversion to water might have merit, consider this: Two different Boxers both have been cared for all their lives by people that love them but one had a traumatic experience falling into a pool as a pup. Both have been washed in the same fashion, exposed to the same elements, and encouraged in the same way. One will jump in the water (like off a peer into the Gulf of Mexico if you let him) and the other wouldn’t stand on the first step of a pool if the entire surface was covered with little floating squeak toys. Of course you’ve guessed by now that the dog that almost drowned as a pup was the one that loved the water. Some dogs just like water, others don’t. That’s been my experience at least.

  2. Avatar June 9th, 2007 at 12:31 am tom Says:

    I thought I new enough html code to italicize a word in that post but apparently not. The “considerably” is supposed to be between My dogs took” and “longer”. Sorry about that.

  3. Avatar June 11th, 2007 at 7:44 am Dad A. Says:

    Maybe you could find a way to bathe him in WARM water?

  4. Avatar June 11th, 2007 at 9:20 am Tara Says:

    @tom: Makes me feel a little better… =) Oh, and for some reason, in this theme, the italicizing in the posts and comments does silly things. I’ve just been too lazy to fix it, but I guess I’ll get on that.

    @Dad A.: Great idea – but where, aside from in one of our bathrooms (which isn’t going to happen), can we get running warm water?

  5. Avatar June 12th, 2007 at 6:47 am Dad A. Says:

    I don’t know. But you’re pretty smart – maybe you can figure it out. :)

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