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Dogs are darlings too

So the dog and I are in therapy. She, Bizzie, bit my nephew a few weeks ago. We were all devastated particularly my nephew who got an awful fright. His parents were furious and more than hinted that she be put to sleep. You'd have to put me and my son to sleep with her because she's the light of our lives.

I considered going on the run with Bizzie like Ray, the protagonist in Sara Baume's wonderful book Spill Simmer Falter Wither. While I didn't identify with the fifty-seven-year-old misfit lead, I did identify with the fear of our darling dog being taken from us.

I understand that biting is not acceptable so we elected for the less fatal option and we're seeing a dog behaviourist. When I tell people I've engaged the services of a dog behaviourist, it is often met with harumphing guffaws - "oh the two barrel therapy is all you need there!" or "a new pup would be cheaper"

You're either an animal person or you're not and never the twain shall meet. For animal lovers, a couple of hundred euro spent on a hip operation, blood tests from the university veterinary hospital or indeed therapy is money well spent on our furry friends. People spend hundreds and thousands of euro on gadgets, devices and games that don't get them out of the house and into nature or give you any feedback. So my pet condolences card is a reminder to people that a) we can feel a non-human loss very deeply and b) why is it acceptable to mourn replaceable consumer goods more than unique living creatures? 


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  • Joy on

    Ah, thanks so much. She’s doing great so looking like a happily ever after!

  • Quinn on

    I’m so glad you’ve engaged a pet behaviourist! That must have been difficult for everyone but I hope that it can be smoothed over eventually. I never understand those sort of blunt comments. I remember seeing red once when someone said “it’s just a dog” after I started crying about my first dog passing away. Removed from the moment I understand that some people actually just feel like that, and as you said never the twain shall meet; there’s no common ground between “they’re part of the family” and “it’s just a dog.” Anyway. Just to say I’m rooting for your pup!

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