(Photo by Roman Soto)
Let's see, though. My husband addresses our dogs as "Dummies," as in "You stupid dummy!" and "Stop that, knucklehead!" He is bothered the most by our dogs' moments of unrestrained anger, when they throw themselves at the front window to scare the UPS man, for example. "Stop it! Stop being such assholes!" my husband bellows at them. To my husband, our dogs are smelly, vulgar beasts with one-track minds. Hmm.
On the other hand, my mother's dog, a Jack Russell named Chloe, really struggled with her anger issues. To hear my mother tell it, Chloe was suspicious of white dogs, didn't much like black dogs, and truly loathed yellow dogs who were bigger than her (i.e. all of them). But most of all, Chloe hated other Jack Russells. "She just wants to kill that dog," my mom would say of one particular Jack Russell they saw in the neighborhood a lot. Chloe was incredibly smart -- "too smart for her own good" according to my mom. (That sounds familiar, somehow.) The command "Get Binky bear!" would send Chloe out of the room, only to return with a furry bear-shaped hoodie – the remains of her "friend" Binky, shredded and sewn back together countless times. You see, Chloe was overwhelmed by feelings of rage, and she had to sublimate her murderous urges by shredding up her "friends" instead. ("I see," said the therapist, scribbling frantically in his pad.)