The puppy was
abandoned on our property, or had wandered there. We first heard his pathetic
cries under our bedroom window at three AM one morning and so did our two cats.
I believe that the cats anticipated an interesting cat toy, but that wasn’t to
be the case. What they got was a hyperactive 'playmate', whose shocking
behavior they found totally unprecedented.
We grew attached to
Wolfman while contemplating finding him a home. Not being able to face taking him
to the pound, we kept him. Initially a loving creature, he evolved into lawsuit
material. I began to notice those Yellow Pages attorney's ads reading "We
specialize in DOG BITES! Have YOU been Bitten? Do you KNOW someone who has been
Wolfman bit people, or at
least tried to. Adults, children, and the hands that fed him were at risk. He
also took exception to some of the faces he saw on televisions or computer
screens. His instincts regarding such were however spot-on. He went hyper when
he saw Hannibal Lector or Geraldo Rivera. At the veterinarian's office, he’d
been known to go ballistic over a cat poster; at home he regularly tried to
attack my animal-themed wall calendar.
Wolfman was dominant and
un-socialized I thought, but I had a feeling that a dog obedience class wouldn’t
make much difference. He seemed to be confused about size and the dog breed
hierarchy. He didn’t understand that terriers should probably not attack larger
He attacked a German Shepherd.
Wolfman lunged at the creature and went for the throat. It happened so quickly
that the German Shepherd seemed confused. First he’d seen a white blur, now
there was a small creature dangling from his neck. He simply shook his head as
if trying to dislodge a large insect. We disengaged the doggies. Neither dog
Perhaps Wolfman had an
'abuse excuse' for his behavior. We initially believed that he may have been
harassed by children as a puppy. But after reading up on his terrier/whatever
mix, we realized that his aggression was somewhat normal, especially towards
Wolfman loved his toys,
especially his 'fuzzies'. Fuzzies that squeaked were his favorite. He had a
round fuzzy, a fuzzy pup, a fuzzy ball, a fuzzy man, and a regular fuzzy. He
knew all of them by name. He also liked rubber toys with bells in them,
especially balls. Yes . . . he had balls.
Wolfman was with us for several
years, then was diagnosed with an essentially untreatable and painful disease of
the spine and had to be euthanized. We were heartbroken, but grateful for his
presence, and for the fact that he’d made us appreciate dogs all over again.
Thanks to Wolfman, we were
motivated to adopt a dog from the local shelter, a bichon frisse mix with an
angelic disposition. Sugarbear was neither a yapper nor an ankle biter, loved everyone, and was a great lap dog. Not a great watchdog, he’d bark at shadows
on the wall. We accepted this trade-off. He was playful, funny, and intelligent. We fell
totally in love with him.
In retrospect, I however wonder
if the implications of a dog's name might affect it's identity/behavior? Perhaps
we should not have named him 'Wolfman', perhaps unwittingly creating a rough
and tough image for him to live up to . . . Nah!