Posted by: pharaohhoundflash | September 15, 2010

New moon, strange week.

The night of the new moon in Hindu religion, according to, is Amavasya, or Amavasi. Since the moon is invisible on this day, it is also referred as no moon night. It holds great importance in Hinduism, and many Hindus choose this day to make offerings to the dead ancestors. In the Indian calendar, this day during the period from September through October is highly auspicious. For this year, September 8 was the day (of especially great importance to the Kashmiri Hindu community) which was dedicated to dead ancestors, parents and relatives. On this date, Lauressa’s grandmother died, and so did the father of a friend of hers. Both deaths ending long periods of suffering for the two who died. Many other unusual and somewhat heavy things seemed to happen that day and on the following days, as well.

I had never seen Lauressa cry before and, as a dog, it’s hard to know what to do, other than lick away the tears and stay close by. We dogs make excellent companions when folks don’t really want to talk about something. When they’re ready to talk, they’ve got their human friends, but we’re around all the time, even when they don’t want to shower or get out of bed. Leave it to a dog to get a human out of bed, though. There’s no getting around taking us out, which, of course, is good for humans, whether they like it or not.

Onto more weird happenings, though. Lauressa and I had a heck of a strange week. A dog who lives in our complex–we’ll call him Cujo for the sake of anonymity (I don’t wanna get sued)–charged me in our shared courtyard. AND he was packin’–>bearing teeth, that is. Whenever he sees anyone and especially any other dogs, this guy is always snarling and pulling on his ineffective harness while clawing at the pavement viciously. And his owners don’t seem to have a clue about how to set him straight. When the dude approached me so rudely in the courtyard (where I was just minding my own business and relaxing), I started to snarl and yell right back. I mean, anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a violent guy; in fact, I’m quite the opposite. However, I’ve been bit before, and I’m not going to let it happen again. Luckily, Lauressa’s friend Nicole was with me and got in between us. She says he then bared his teeth at HER, as well. She was stunned and then even a little scared. Our neighbor saw it too and said he’d charged her dogs as well.

But that’s not the end of the weird. Less than 30 minutes later, this ill-mannered dog and his untrained companion were out front walking on the leash. (We all have to be leashed here, even if we’re out for a quick sun bath or pee.) The dog started with his aggressive lunging and barking. Lauressa put me into the car, and, thinking that the target of his aggression (me) had been safely tucked away, she made the overly-trusting gesture of offering the back of her hand to the little beast. Wouldn’t you know he BIT her! Unbelievable. Truly. I mean, for one dog to bite another is aggressive yet somehow understandable–we all speak the same language. But for a dog to bite a human–and break the skin, at that–now THAT is simply insane, not to mention, quite cocky. Who does this white dog think he is? But I digress, the real problem, of course, is that his companion lady has NO idea how to handle him–and neither does her husband, though he, at least, is a little more heavy-handed on the leash. Neither she nor her husband ever correct his rude and aggressive behavior. And she constantly remarks that she “doesn’t know why he does that.” Well, lady, get a clue! Figure it out! He’s not going to start speaking English and tell you. It is you, the human, who must take responsibility for learning to understand us dogs. After all, you domesticated us. We didn’t volunteer for it.

Just like Jada Pinkett Smith says (here) that Cesar Milan taught her: “It’s not about the dog. It’s always about us. It’s always about the owner. It’s up to us to create an environment and circumstances in which the dog can thrive and be itself.”

To add insult to injury, Cujo’s companion lady called Lauressa to “make sure” she was “alright.” When Lauressa tried to very politely suggest training, the lady responded to Lauressa in her Southern drawl, “Well, I’ll tell you what. Once you get Flash trained the way you want him, you can come over here and train Cujo. How about that?”

“Uh, she doesn’t plan on getting training for Cujo and herself, Flash,” Lauressa told me later. That little phone conversation moved Lauressa from a place of compassion and cooperation to a place of reporting the incident to property management and Orange County Animal Services. Sorry lady, you should have taken the incident and your dog a little more seriously.

And so, all this has exhausted both Lauressa and I. Being a dog, of course, I’m a bit more steady; nothing really gets to me. Lauressa, however, is quite a different story. Libra that she is, her balance is easily tipped–and, oh my Dog, does that ever get to her. Sensitive gal that she is, I’m glad I’m here to take care of her.



  1. Sounds like Cujo has taken ownership of your shared courtyard, the area around the condo, and a has a bad case of leash aggression to boot. He needs a lot of work with a good leader. Want to leave a trainer’s business card in her mailbox or on the doorstep?

    Good luck and also, remember to take time for some belly rubs. It’s good therapy for Lauressa.

  2. i know “Cujo” you were right to call Animal Services, on her, she never ONCE apologized for her dog almost attacking Sparky, or Freckles on multiple occasions. she acted like her dogs behavior was the result of what my dogs had done. its a little beast, and the three of them should be trained – at least in proper manners.

  3. Being armlength challenged and lacking hugging capabilities due to your canine genetics, please give your mom a kiss and nuzzle for me.

  4. Ah, yes, Lauressa did suggest very politely that she hire a trainer. Lauressa even offered to give her some names. But I guess some people’s feelings of powerlessness lead them to give up or worse, to blame it on the dog’s nature. I feel sorry for Cujo, honestly. I don’t believe any dog is bad. I think people don’t understand or properly deal with dogs’ needs. I’m praying this is the right kind of wake-up call for them. Anyhow, I’ll let you know how my own training goes. I’ve got this bad cat habit I really need to kick. Is there a methadone of sorts for cat addiction? I just can’t seem to go cold turkey.

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