Dog Vs. Baby II: The Asshole Dog Snaps Back
There was a time, roughly one million years ago, when the wife and myself doted on our Yorkie Ghostface Killa as only a childless couple with disposable income can. My wife would take him to the doggie daycare place several times a week because she was worried that he might feel lonely during the day while we were gone and needed company to help him pass the long hours.
Oh, but I wish we had some of that money back! Ghostface, or Ghosty, or The Ghost as he is more commonly known, enjoyed a quality of life far beyond our own. While we struggled to hold onto an uncertain middle-class existence Ghostface enjoyed a pampered upper-class existence of daily trips to the dog beach or dog park, fancy treats, regular stays in doggy day care and a level of attention, time and love from us that eventually became impossible to sustain.
Then my wife and I had a baby in October of 2014. It was the happiest day of our lives and one of the worst days of Ghosty’s. The moment Declan was born, Ghostface lost his number one status in our hearts. It, alas, wasn’t even close. Our dog was our baby. Then we had a real baby and he was demoted to being our dog.
Ghostface has never forgiven us. Every belligerent growl, every time he pisses or shits inside with malicious intent, every act of flagrant canine douchebaggery screams, “I once was your baby, and now there are MULTIPLE human babies filling that role and I will NEVER forgive you, or forget.”
Ghostie loves babies so when we had one of our own we naturally assumed he would love it even more, that he’s protect it and nurture it or treat it like an inter-species sibling. Boy were we wrong! That Ghostface would bark angrily at my wife’s angry pregnant belly should have been a sign.
After Declan was born, Ghostface turned into a different kind of dog: angry, sullen, mindlessly destructive, deafeningly loud and demanding and seemingly afflicted with a serious personal grudge against the miniature human that took his place in our hearts.
Declan loves dogs. Ghostface loves babies. Yet Ghostface made it very, very clear from the moment we took Declan home that he saw his competition as the enemy, and would never stop angling for advantage. Declan, in turn, loves all dogs except for his own. Who can blame him? At the risk of being uncouth, Ghostface is a fucking asshole these days.
He likes me because I’m the only one who still dotes on him. I’m the one who still makes excuses but he’s a fucking asshole to Declan, pissing on his favorite toys and using his playroom as a bathroom. Declan, in turn does not like Ghostface. We hoped that the scenario might play out differently with our second child, Harris, and to a certain extent it has.
Where Delcan has always disliked Ghostie for being such an aggressive, belligerent jerk, Harris absolutely adores Ghostface. When he sees him those big, beautiful eyes light up with hope and excitement and he lurches over to pet him, emanating joy and love all the while.
My dog in return will growl malevolently at my adorable baby and his pure-hearted attempt to pet him. The furry little fucker’s heart is full of hate. If Harris gets too close to him, Ghostface will growl, then snap at him, then run away in an angry huff but most of the time Harris will come over to shower his dog with love and attention and Ghostie will respond by growling angrily at him and stomping away.
The sad/adorable thing is that Ghostie’s response to my son wanting to love him doesn’t seem to register at all. When Ghostie growls maliciously at my wonderful baby Harris thinks he’s being funny or making a silly noise and he will giggle with delight. Giggle! He has no idea the dog is a bitter, angry little creep who hates him. He just thinks he’s a funny little animal who likes to play a weird growling game when he tries to hang out with him.
Will Ghostface’s behavior change when Harris gets older? Probably not, but if it does, it will probably change for the worse.
It sucks that my favorite dog in the world seemingly hates both of my children with a deeply personal intensity. As he gets older, I suspect, that Ghostface will only get crankier and more stubborn, that it will prove impossible to teach this old dog the new trick of not being horrible to my babies for petty, ugly reasons.
Life is full of unfortunate truths you just have to accept because they’ll never change and denying them will make you crazy. So while I wish Ghostface could repay Harris’ love and kindness towards him, I’ve accepted that that, sadly, will simply never be the case.
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