It’s been several weeks since our family dog bit me (On letting sleeping dogs lie.) and yes, my relationship has changed a little bit with Rocco. I have a history of trying to maintain relationships with people who have hurt me, thus there is a certain loosely constructed pattern which has emerged as my response to such events.
The Path of Passive Aggressiveness
1.. I will talk to everyone but that person about how hurt I am. I will want to discuss what specifically I found hurtful, and why this action hurt me on this level, that level and another level. Furthermore, what could have possibly motivated their actions to do this? Theories will be constructed. Feedback will be noted.
2.. I will ignore this person entirely. Sometimes blatantly, other times with sly avoidance. OR I will be nice to my aggressor, under the reasoning, then they won’t hurt me again! Both options here are clearly maladjusted.
3. In due time, granted I am not assaulted again during this process, we will have a heart to heart during which I will confess that I was mad before but I am no longer mad and we can be best friends forever again! One or both parties will likely be intoxicated when this forgiveness transpires.
I have blogged about the experience with Rocco. I think he may be developing dementia or canine distemper. However, the general feedback has been that Rocco is an old dog, he didn’t mean it, he was probably sleeping with his eyes open. If he had intended to hurt me I wouldn’t have a hand left at all, yadda yadda.
I ignored Rocco for about a week, except when I was referring to him as Cujo to the rest of the family. Since, I have shared some food with him. He really likes ham. I have let him put his giant slobbery skull in my lap far longer than I normally would, ruining my outfit entirely.
I couldn’t depend on Rocco to get hammered and break the ice for our heart to heart. He’s in recovery. Before we rescued him he was a shameless booze hound. At least that’s sort of what the rescue society told us about him. He couldn’t keep a roof over his head, sounds like addiction to me! Anyway, since it was up to me I confronted him when I came home from the bar,
I could never stop loving you, but I’ve been a little afraid of you lately. I’m so sorry if I’ve seemed distant. I’m sorry I called you Cujo for awhile too, that was rude.
I know that normally I let you sleep in my bed when your mother is out of town. I just can’t do that anymore. It’s sort of irresponsible at this point… and well, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of boundaries over the years. Good fences make good neighbors and all that. Surely, you understand?
I’m just worried about you! You seem a little agitated lately? Do you know where you are right now? You’ve lived with us for four years now. It’s me, Nat. I give you ham! I am not supposed to give you ham, but I give it to you because I love you, Rocco! And I care about your happiness! And then you went and bit me! (at this point I began sniffling) How could you do that to me? I let you sleep in my bed and give you ham! Well no more bed! And if you bite me again there will be no more ham! Good fences, Rocco! Good fences!
Rocco wagged his tail and licked my face. I tripped up the staircase and ordered him to escort me to the attic, where I live.
We’re best friends again :)