Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm Scared of (Squishing) My Pitbull

While Badger is maybe part pitbull or some other big-headed, deep-chested bully breed, our new dog Mushroom is what the layperson would easily identify as a pitbull (though we think she's a miniature bull terrier mix). And though Badger has elicited a range of emotions in me, from anger to love, when Mushroom came to live with us, I felt something I never in a million years would have thought I could feel about my own dog: fear. Specifically, the fear that *I* would hurt *her*.

Badger was, and continues to be, an oversized, fuzzy bowling ball. He runs full-speed into walls with nary a yelp. He's "played" with our friend's aggressive Chihuahua (who once bit Llamaentity so hard it drew blood) and emerged completely unscathed. (We regret letting this happen and have ceased allowing them to play together.) When he tries to jump on our couch, we shove him off without a second thought. He lets us drum on his belly and use him as a footrest. Like his namesake, Badger doesn't give a shit.

Badger not giving a shit about having his head dribbled like a basketball
Compared with Badger, Mushroom looks tiny and delicate. She has trouble getting her small mouth around most of our food toys, which we sized up because of Badger's enormous maw. We got them the same size crate, but she can curl up in just half of it, while he sprawls out with his tail wagging in his water bowl.

When Mushroom jumped on the couch and curled up, I gingerly lifted her off and placed her back on the floor. I drummed ever so gently on her side, waiting for her to show signs of pain (she didn't). Instead of using her as a footrest, I put my heels on the floor and scratched her belly with my toes. It's strange, because when Badger was 30 lbs, I didn't think of him as delicate, so it must be the size comparison that's throwing me off.

Llamaentity does not think we need to treat her like she's delicate, and that's probably right. The other day, when Llamaentity shoved her off the couch, I wanted to say, "Be careful, don't hurt her," but I held my tongue when I saw that she was fine. When she jumped at me, I instinctively raised my knee, but before I had time to worry about whether I'd hurt her, she was already sitting calmly.

It seems like Mushroom is going to be fine, and I just have to stop worrying. It's only the first week, so there's hope for me yet. I may even celebrate with a drum roll on her belly.

Mushroom being tiny

1 comment:

  1. haha, this post made me laugh! Adorable dogs and GREAT names :)