Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Love Bites

"There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love." -Brian H. McGill

It's amazing how much happens while I'm in the bathroom. Without fail, the scene I leave will be dramatically different from the one I return to every time. And last night was no exception.

My Director and her mom (the Associate Director, if you will) were getting the bedtime routine started. We had just come back from dinner, so Luna was all geeked up to see us. Since I failed to properly carry along a Lactaid for a dinner out, I had to make a beeline for the toilet.

Friends again (forever). 24 hours after "the incident."
A few minutes later, as I climbed the stairs I heard My Director scolding someone. But it wasn't Peanut. It was Luna. Now I'm wondering, "What did she do?"  Take a toy that wasn't hers? Have an accident? No. Worse. She bit Peanut.

Normally when I say "Luna bit Peanut," I mean a harmless nip where we scold the dog and quickly move on. Usually it's because Peanut has provoked her. Luna would never break skin. Isn't capable of it. Well, never say never because one glance at Peanut's face and I saw a little scar on her nose and another one on her mouth.

I asked if Peanut had once again provoked her by yelling in Luna's face or being too rough with her. "No, daddy. I was giving her love." My Director confirmed this. But she did say Peanut inadvertently touched Luna's behind, where she has always been overly sensitive. (She's also a big prude.)

Still, I was livid. Luna knew she was in trouble from the moment it happened. Even though My Director had already done it, I scolded Luna myself. Because I'm her person. Her master. And she gets really upset when I'm not happy with her. The nervously wagging tail. The sad eyes. The attempts to kiss or snuggle with me. It's hard to resist but last night I did.

About ten  minutes later, we were reading a book on our bed. The five of us: Me, My Director, Peanut, my mother in-law, and Luna. I was still giving Luna the cold shoulder. So My Director, always the voice of reason, said, "You have to forgive her. She can't handle it anymore."

"No. I don't want to forgive her. What if it were someone else's dog who did that? We'd be furious."

"But it wasn't. She's our dog and you love her."

I still wasn't convinced. That's when Peanut chimed in. "You have to forgive her, daddy. I did and I'm the one she bit." (Is this really an almost five year-old talking?)

"I'm mad at her. And it's my job to protect you."

"It's your job to protect Luna too."

I couldn't argue anymore. Once again, my daughter had taught me a lesson, and just a few days after teaching me about thinking the best of people. And it was while I was trying to teach her one. About consequences.

The magic moments come when you least expect them. You're rarely holding a camera. They're unscripted, which is what makes them so magical.

Forgiveness. Perspective. From my daughter. Thank you, Peanut.

This was a rare instance where I didn't easily forgive Luna. I even find it easier to forgive her than I do Peanut sometimes. I explain why here. 


  1. We learn a lot from our children.

    That would be such a difficult situation. I agree with what you were thinking, if it were a neighbor's dog, I'd want it put down. As a former dog owner, I know that it would kill me inside to be so furious with my dog. Once something like this happens, it's always in the back of your mind but at the same time you know your pet and you love it. Sounds like all ended well and lessons were learned.

    Thanks for sharing. The best part of following a personal blog is getting to know someone beyond the funny/interesting posts.

    1. Just re-read my comment and realized that I may have insinuated that this post wasn't interesting. What I meant are those somewhat impersonal but interesting in a hmmmm... kind of way.

      Anyway, from one dude to another I know you know I meant the best.

  2. I have 2 beautiful granddaughters, and 2 little dogs. The 1 year old was letting one dog lick off the sauce and cheese from her fingers of the pizza she just ate. Not knowing where cheese ended and fingers began... He nipped her.
    It was my three year old granddaughter who scolded him (as daughter and I were attending to crying baby). She said "Son of a bitch Cody! You ate Kelsee's finger."
    I was gonna go with "No, No...bad boy!". Apparently Bailee was a little madder than us.

  3. This is my worst nightmare. I have a six year old chihuahua, who despite the typical chihuahua stereotypes, is very friendly. She is nervous around kids, however. We introduced them carefully, and now they have a pretty good relationship, though I am always careful to watch them closely when they are together. His daughter is 4 and would love to be able to pick up and carry my dog around, which she can't do. She also loves to play and dance and sing and sometimes chase the little dog, just as any other little girl would do. I fear that my dog will feel cornered and nip someday and then be labeled a "bad dog" even if she was just frightened. I guess I can't worry about those issues when they may never happen. I think it is so important for parents to teach their children how to act around dogs, especially dogs that they do not know. I've been surprised at how many parents let their kids run up to dogs they don't know and try to handle them without asking the owners. This, obviously, can be dangerous for the child and the dog. It sounds like your have a very smart little girl on your hands! Love the blog from the father's perspective.

    1. Thank you, Erica for this comment and the one on my "fat kid" post. I want to be clear that Luna IS a good dog. But sometimes Peanut gets too rough and she reacts. I think what I take out of this is that Peanut understands that. She never gets mad at Luna when she nips (which isn't often) because she knows it's her fault. Despite our training, that's just how she is. But Peanut adores her and so do we.

  4. I have always found it interesting that kids dont seem to learn that they have to be gentle with animals...my mom has a old dog and he is just a bitter little thing, my girls irritate him to no end and his only self defense is to growl and nip at them. Of course, we get upset at the dog for nipping and never seem to get after my girls for instigating it in the first place. After reading this i think i may rethink the situation when my moms dog nips at my girls again. Thank you for posting yet another great blog.

    1. Thanks, Jess. Sometimes dogs ARE to blame. But if kids are aggravating them, nipping is their last line of defense.

  5. ok, this whole thing just made me weepy. Job well done, my friend. Forgiveness is not easy, but such a good example. xo


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