I bite animals. Animals bite me.

The goddamn dog bit me again.


Yeah, you read that right. AGAIN. This is a particularly nasty one. Worse than the usual growl and nip.


It bled like hell after I took these pics. These attacks are completely unprovoked. This time, she was eating some green yarn and I went to grab a long thread that was hanging out of her mouth. Chomp.

I’m the only one in the family who gets the business end of her teeth. She’s generally pretty good with The Daughters and My Bride. We’ve spent untold $$$ on obedience classes and, in a fit of desperation, one-on-one training in our home, all to no avail. I still get snapped at.

I wish I could get rid of her but I can’t. Every time I broach the subject, The Daughters, who love her desperately, have a maniacal meltdown. If I got rid of their dog, it would be a long, long time until they forgave me. If ever. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it would be a traumatic event for them. I’m trapped.

Someone gave me a load of canine psycho-babble about establishing dominance. I’m not interested in any of that jazz. If that dog ever bites either of the girls the way she bites me, I’ll throw her in the Shrewsbury River. Do you see those two little pinpoints of fire in her eyes? That’s not the result of lens flare or Photoshop trickery. That’s how she looks at me.



Later that same afternoon we visited the first street fair of the season. There’s a wonderful sameness to street fairs. Same food, arts and crafts, bands and activities, but I never grow tired of them.

Just look at this poor bastard. Minding his own business, rooting around in the mud and the next thing he knows, this:


With a big knife stuck in his back for good measure. Holy Mother of God he was delicious. I sent this pic to my sister, who’s no shrinking violet when it comes to a rack of ribs, and she said she couldn’t eat any him if she saw this. I can assure you that nobody seemed to have a problem.

I don’t know if it was on account of there being the first hints of spring in the air or if it was the intoxicating warm sun or if the chef really knew was he was doing, but both My Bride and I agreed that it was the most flavorful, succulent pulled pork sandwich we’ve ever eaten. A tiny tear of joy trickled down my cheek.

That evening I was pondering the fate of that poor pig. He didn’t do anything to deserve that! He didn’t hurt anyone or ask for trouble. His only fault was being delicious and slow. Then I thought of my rotten dog who has a comfortable home, two little girls who worship her and two square meals a day but, nonetheless, attacks me without provocation. Who deserves to live and who should die?



Why couldn’t we have gotten a nice cat instead? I’ve never liked dogs. They’re loud, dirty, needy and clumsy. They eat feces. Cats have a quiet, elegant dignity. Try to give a piece of shit to a cat to eat and he’ll look at you like the jerk-off you are and casually sashay away. Just look at my sister’s cat, Dexter, using the window crank as a pillow and sporting pretty, new Claw Caps. A fine specimen.


Cats move like dancers. I admire their cool aloofness. So did Charles Bukowski.

exactly right

the strays keep arriving: now we have 5
cats and they are smart, spontaneous, self-
absorbed, naturally poised and awesomely

one of the finest things about cats is
that when you’re feeling down, very down,
if you just look at the cat at rest,
at the way they sit or lie and wait,
it’s a grand lesson in preserving
if you watch 5 cats at once that’s 5
times better.

no matter the extra demands they make
no matter the heavy sacks of food
no matter the dozens of cans of tuna
from the supermarket: it’s all just fuel for their
amazing dignity and their
affirmation of a vital
we humans can
only envy and
admire from

81 thoughts on “I bite animals. Animals bite me.

  1. I’m definitely a cat person. As far as the beady eyed dog is concerned – trying to take anything from a dog’s mouth is tantamount to declaring war. I’ve lost some skin in that game over the years as well. Although I once got inebriated at a friend’s party and when his rotweiller accidently nipped me when playing – I bit him back. He let out a yelp and ran away. Not sure I’d recommend that technique. **insert disclaimer here**

    Great post EoPS – oh, I can appreciate the pig : I once was invited to a Pillipino wedding and they had a scrumptious feast that included a freshly roasted whole pig -YUUUUMMM!

    • My wife made the same point and implied that I can’t really blame the dog but, since I hate her so much, I blame the dog.

      My sister has to get over her squeamishness about the roasted pig. It was mind-blowing. A really tasty sammich. That pig was stripped clean in no time at all.

      You give good comment. Anyone ever tell you that?

  2. Poodle? Mean, mean dogs.

    Love the fashionable claw caps on the cat. Mine would leave permanent scarring if I tried to put those on them, but glad yours worked out.

  3. Yeah, the dog knows how you feel about it. Pre-emptive strikes. I think the family ought to get rid of you first. Have you been to obedience class yet?

    • I try to be nice to her! I really do! I play with her, feed her and say nice things to her. This is the thanks I get. Rotten mutt.

      Those kids probably WOULD get rid of me before the dog. I’m not going to give them the option/satisfaction.

      • Honey – really. Some people and some dogs just don’t mix. I think you feel guilty for not liking the dog and you’re beating yourself up about it. I’ve known dogs I don’t like. However, they number in the far fewer than humans. But look, just one bit of advice – a tiny tip – feed the dog. Really. Don’t let your wife or kids feed the dog. You be the one offering life’s greatest gift to the mutt. Don’t even let them give the dogs treats. All food must come from your hands. That might not get you love, but it will get you a bit of respect. Best wishes, dear.

      • Wow! That’s an excellent idea! (For real. That’s not one of my sarcastic barbs.) I wonder why I didn’t think of it? All I need is a workable peace with the dog. We don’t necessarily have to like one another. For what it’s worth, in addition to that beautiful cat, my sister also has a black lab, who I get along great with. That dog loves EVERYBODY. She wouldn’t bite a fly.

        Beating myself up seems to be my ninja skill. It’s been refined since, really, my middle school years. Must I give it up now?

    • This is the best advice I’ve heard in the 4 minutes I’ve been awake. Not about getting rid of dad first (although, not gonna lie – thought entered) but being the sole food provider! Gold star for Snoring Dog.

  4. It’s horses for courses, I know, but where I’m from dogs are a tool and are either useful or shot…all cats are snake food for my python…no offence intended.

    • No offense take, sir. Where I’m from, pets are worshiped. They’re part of the family. Some people have, in my estimation, unhealthy attachments to their pets. I had a friend who let her dog die a slow, painful death because she couldn’t part with it. The dog should have been put to sleep long before it actually expired.

      • Yeah Mark, I have childless friends who are the same way with their dogs, it’s beyond affectionate, bordering on positively creepy. I watched my parents do the same lingering, suffering thing with our childhood pet…just wrong.

      • The REALLY sad thing was after the dog died, she wept and wept and kept saying she could have done more. The dog was a walking corpse. Actually, it lost its eyesight and kept walking into walls! I didn’t dare suggest that she put it down, though.

      • My Ex’s sister had a dying dog who suffered terribly. She was too selfish to put him down. She actually refused to attend a family holiday dinner at my house unless she could BRING the dying dog with her. He laid, barely moving or breathing, in the corner of the dining room all night.

        We were taking bets on whether he would die right there, in my house, and fucking traumatize my son.

        He died 2 days later. Now she has another dog. She’s trying to get my son to call him his “cousin.” She’s a sick woman.

  5. I don’t like the sound of your dog, but I’d react in the same way if someone was pinching food from me.

    Women are very good at doing this. “No, no, I don’t want a cheese and onion pie and chips [=fat, proper, French fries], I’ll just have a half portion of carrot and beansprout salad.

    (Ten minutes later. Female reaches over to male’s plate and is within half an inch of breaking off a bit of pie).
    “Er… could I have a little tiny bit of your pie.”

    I wouldn’t bite them, but she’d get a firm slap on the back of the hand and be told to FRO.

    • In hindsight, perhaps trying to yank something out of her mouth wasn’t very clever of me, but I’ve been bitten before for doing nothing at all.

      I’ve never bitten a woman. Unless she asked me to.

  6. You should have got a cat before that mutt invaded your house and corrupted the minds of your daughters. Did you know they are cat cafés in Japan where humans pay an entry fee to sit amongst the resident cats and stroke them, Your sister’s cat is a beauty and those narrowed eyes are a sign of trust and affection.

  7. Forwarded to the right people, and that Photoshop could get you in so-o-o-o-o much trouble.
    Re the pig: I think we should see more faces on our foods. I increasingly think about the meat I’m eating and the fact that it was once part of a body. I don’t know why this is. Mortality, perhaps. It’s not like I fear being eaten when the aliens arrive; I am far from succulent. But sometimes the sight of meat makes me mildly queasy. Like that picture of the pig. But I know what would have overridden that, and probably your sister too: the smell of barbecued pork. To hell with qualms, let’s eat.
    Really liked this post.

    • I’m thinking of forwarding that bad Photoshop pic to PETA. I’ll bet they’d have a thing or two to say. I might send them the slaughtered pig pic, too. Really make their morning.

      I kind of agree about the meat. The best thing about a steak is that it doesn’t look like a cow. But I’m not quite there yet. I can still see that poor guy all burnt and fucked up on the grill and enjoy the pulled pork. Maybe that’ll change someday. But not for now. Not today.

      Thanks for your kind words. Do you like how I linked it all together? The two different occurrences? I wish I could do that every post.

      • Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I like that technique, where you find connections between two seemingly disparate things. There’s also what I call The Simpsons technique, where it seems at first it’s going to be about one thing but then it ends up being about something else entirely. Is that what’s meant by bait-and-switch?

      • Seinfeld did that quite a lot as well. I’ve been told that the same gimmick is used for Curb Your Enthusiasm but I can’t confirm as I’ve never seen it. I watched one episode and didn’t make it to the end. That was enough for me.

    • Ahhh, Ross, you’re just subconsciously celebrating that the separatists got soundly trounced (including their leader losing her seat) in the elections this week in Quebec. So now, you see Quebec as a part of the whole country as opposed to the separatist view of just a slab of humanity between Ontario and New Brunswick. Welcome back to Canada – the whole animal!

  8. I’m reminded of two quotes from the immortal Monty Python and the Holy grail:
    It’s just a flesh wound.
    It’s just a little bunny rabbit.

    Nothing like watching a pig go from whole to sandwich. Life in the food chain.

    • The speed with which that guy was consumed was actually kind of comical. We went for a short walk, doubled-back and when we passed by the second time, he was GONE! People are absolute savages when it comes to yummy bar-b-cue. I know I am.

  9. Can you get a prescription for klonopin and slip it to the dog when you’re home? I’m completely serious. Don’t despair, dogs hate me too. If it weren’t for leashes I’d be dead.

    I was a vegan until we bought a counter top rotisserie… that sucker cooks meat like nobody’s business. Though so far I’ve only ventured back to fish and poultry.

    • I had to Google klonopin because I’d never heard of it. If I can’t slip it into the dog’s food, maybe *I* can use it! If only I had some healthcare to pay for it. :-/

      Never mind the rotisserie. Do you know what a crock pot is? My Bride has one and the things that come out of it are out of this world. It’s the foodiest food you’ll ever taste.

      • Oh no… I’m sorry to hear your insurance situation is not yet sorted. One of my upcoming posts is going to be how to make pizza in a crock pot. As awful as it may sound, it actually turns out scrumptious.

      • Yeah, that does sound awful but I’ll pass it on to my wife. She makes a stew and a chili in her crock pot that is heavenly. I know you won’t go there but just know that they exist.

  10. Dude, is that your thumb? But more importantly, is that your photo? And is that really your thought bubble?

    And I have to say, I read the top bit about the dog, my eyes wandered to the bbq photo… and my jaw dropped. That’s just cruel. I had a couple of cats once. Worst decision ever. Made a mess of everything and were way more effort than warranted. My kids keep asking for a dog, or even a bird, and my answer is no no no. Not worth it. I’m sure they’re better than dogs, but work nonetheless. I can’t wait until the kids finally break me and I end up taking the plunge…

    • That’s my thumb, my mug and my sister’s cat. You have to be strong and resist the pleas of your children. I know you love them and all that crap but they won’t lift a finger to take care of it. They can’t! They’re too young! It’ll all be on you. It’s a dark path without a clearing in sight.

      • Yes, I know. It’s a conspiracy. They band together under the covers talking about how they’re going to guilt me into getting an animal. They play on my emotions and heap it on after I’ve been mad at them and feel horrible for being so… squeeze some tears, bring home a couple of blue stars from school, nick a knee or an elbow… and then find that moment of daddy weakness while he’s drinking some beer, and spring it on him. Lay on the kisses and hugs, maybe even the double-kisses and the double-hugs… and pow. Boom. Let him have it. He’s agreed. The chump. But the plan was always to let him take care of the little pup/kitty. That was exactly the plan.

      • Don’t sign anything after you’ve had a few Labatt blues!

        It sounds like you’ve already thrown in the towel. The same slippery slope I tried to walk on. If you go with a dog, do some homework first. Not all breeds like children, as I’m sure you already know. Dalmatians are a perfect example of buyer regret. Lots of people get one because of the movie but little do they know that dalmatians are high strung and not good around children. They find out the hard way. This rule doesn’t apply to cats so much. Cats are cats.

  11. My guess? The dog thought you were stealing food so that was a natural reaction.She didn’t know you were saving her from choking.
    She has eyes? I can’t see them! Get her damn’ hair trimmed again! 🙂

  12. On the flip side, if you’d got that bite from a cat it would probably have made you very ill. Only human mouths are dirtier. Yeeeesh.

    I’m a dog person, but I prefer the big ones. Give me a labrador or Great Dane any day. There’s the odd exception to this rule, but little ones never seem as placid and always seem a bit yappier and bitier. I love dogs, but I don’t need yapping or biting in my life. Same with a horse than kicks or bucks. No thank yew.

    • I remember you posting pics of your great big dogs at home. My sister has a black lab who has an astonishingly pleasant disposition. My 7-year old lays all over her like she’s a piece of furniture but the dog doesn’t do a thing. She allows it. That’s what’s so frustrating about this rat I’m stuck with. I know there are dogs out there who actually LIKE their owners.

  13. Ouchy thumb! I hope you cleaned that up good. I’ve eaten pork from whole little pigs cooked on rotisserie spits, but something about it just spread on that grill rack just looks awful! I’m not saying I wouldn’t eat it though! I’m more of a cat person in terms of knowing how to handle them better, I’ve always had cats, but only limited time with dogs. I do love dogs though, the well-trained ones, and would like one; we’ll see!

    • You could have averted your eyes and I would have fetched a pulled pork sandwich for you. You’d have thanked me. It was dreamy. They were serving brisket as well, but who could pass up the pork? Not I.

      Perhaps you love dogs because you’ve only had limited exposure to them. They’re a LOT of work. They need, need, need. Just like humans.

  14. Should have got a lab. You can come to my house and take away the bone that Tiye is chomping on and she won’t bite you. She will just look at you with these really sad eyes and think give it back; please pretty please.

    Dexter does have his own agenda but in the morning when I am sitting in my chair having coffee I love that he sits on the floor and reaches up with his colored claws and taps me on the arm for a scratch under his chin.
    Such different animals and such different personalities but I wouldn’t trade either one of them for anything.

    The pig-no I will never change my mind just can’t eat anything when I see the head; I can’t even eat shrimp if I have to peel it. Those little legs do me in; but I can put away a pound of crab legs with not problem!

    • Tiye (didn’t know you spelled it that way?!) is the nicest dog I’ve ever met. She was overly-rambunctious as a puppy (remember?) but she has since mellowed into a pleasant, gentle dog. I WISH this idiot in my house would take a tip.

      Lucky for you hamburgers and steak don’t look anything at all like a cow.

  15. OUCH! That looks nasty, petal. You should bloody bite it back. Or buy a tazer and zap it if it does it again.
    I’m with your sis, if I saw a pig like that I couldn’t eat it. I know that sounds pathetic but I don’t give a toss.

    • It hurt like hell! Plus, it was scary. I kept my temper in check but what I really wanted to do was give her a good, solid kick down the steps.

      It doesn’t sound pathetic at all. I get it. It IS unsightly, Fortunately, I’m such a barbarian that I can overlook the violence and enjoy my sandwich.

  16. Ahh, that one made me laugh out loud. Being both delicious and slow is a recipe for disaster. (I’m sorry, I had to do it. It was just too easy). I’m not sure about the toss-up between a dog and a pig, Pigs sit in a frustrating place in a PET / FOOD Venn Diagram. It would just take one day with an empty fridge for you to be looking at that pig in a whole different light, wishing it would fall asleep next to the radiator and other terrible things. I doubt your girls would be happy with that either.

    • Hi,there! Welcome. Please wipe your feet on the mat. There’s no tipping.

      Yes, if you’re delicious but fast, you stand a chance. Tasting rank is an even better defense mechanism. But poor, poor pigs and cows. So slow and dowdy. So irresistibly flavorful. You can’t blame us! We are helpless, especially when you open the smoker and smell what’s inside. It’s primal.

    • Actually, this is the kind of dog who will take off if she gets off her lease, so you might have an idea worth exploring. I’ve always envied people who have dogs that are off-leash and walk obediently right next to their masters. How do they do that?!


    So, now I’ve just adjusted the settings so I get an email when you post. And Trent. And Posky. And Chowderhead. And and and and.

    I think WordPress is deliberately leaving out good blogs, and putting shit with recipes and travel in my reader. If I had money to travel, I wouldn’t sit around and blog like an asshole!

    When a dog bites you, aren’t you supposed to KICK IT IN THE HEAD? ouch.

    • It might be a hassle, especially with 300 blogs, but you might want to look at Feedly. It’s the reader I use and it’s sure-fire. Hasn’t failed me yet. As it stands, you’d better get ready for a tsunami of emails.

      I don’t want to resort to violence. That can only lead to worse things. But it’s all I can do to keep from throwing her out the window.

      • How do I use Feedly, instead of just logging into wordpress and clicking “reader” ?

        Cause right about now, I’m fucking disgusted. I missed participating in something that I helped originate the idea of.

        Talk about biting? That BITES.

      • http://www.feedly.com and start pasting in the blogs you want to follow. It’s stable and has a sensible interface, but it’ll be new to you so don’t get frustrated. Try it with 10 or 20 of your favorites. If it works for you, migrate the rest of them over. I have no idea why the WordPress reader is failing you. I’ve never heard of that before. Do you know of anyone else who this happened to?

  18. Horrid little bitch! That is definitely not acceptable. Supposing she had been rabid. I sympathise with the girls but they must accept responsibility for their pet and make sure they stamp out this behaviour.
    Good luck with explaining this to them:)

    • Pat! You have a new pic! It’s great. I love it.

      You should see how these girls carry on when I threaten to ditch the dog. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. How can I do that to them? Soon they’ll be teens. They’ll hate me for enough reasons. I don’t need to give them ammunition.

  19. Well see that’s the beauty of blogging. Getting bit by your dog isn’t just getting bit by your dog. It’s an entire story with thought bubbles and roasted pigs! (If you ever did decide to eat your adorable biting dog who loves everybody but you, he looks like he’d taste like chocolate — if it’s any consolation.) I must say however I am not a fan of cats. Dogs love me but cats can take me or leave me. (too many me’s in that sentence, please ignore two).

    But don’t worry. I hear chocolate dogs only live to be 4,289 in dog years.

    • That’s so funny! Because the dog’s name is Coco. Get it? The beauty of blogging is that I can get tons of sympathy/advice after being bit by a dog. If I get bit by a dog and nobody knows it, was I bit at all? Very philosophical.

  20. “My Bride and I agreed that it was the most flavorful, succulent pulled pork sandwich we’ve ever eaten. A tiny tear of joy trickled down my cheek.” I LOVE how you write about food. That piggy looks fucking delicious. Now I’m hungry…

    I used to be a cat person, but I would love, LOVE having a golden retriever. Dogs are happy and they force me to exercise. ‘Nough said.

    • I’m not a big foodie and don’t write about food often, but once in a while I’ll have a meal that really rings my bell. I guess all I need for the prose is the right inspiration.

      My sister had a black lab and it’s a much, much nicer dog than this creature I’m stuck with. But her dog eats her out of house and home. And the mess! To me, it’s not worth it.

  21. you simply got the wrong dog. li’l yappy dogs are over-compensating little shits. a big ol’ mutt is always your best bet…

    as for poor mr. tasty pig? i’d eat the shit out of that porker – but i don’t like seeing the entire animal. i like my meat processed beyond recognition. i’m a total hypocrite — and want the delusion of plausible deniability! i can delude myself into thinking that delectable morsel of beef brisket was grown on a tree…

    • It’s a bad dog, for sure. Do you know I paid $850 for that friggin’ mutt? The breeder looked kind of shady so I should have seen it coming. I could have gotten a few cool collectible books for that amount of money. What a waste.

      His Royal Porkness didn’t bother me in the least. In fact, I wonder if it actually added to the flavor. It really was a killer sanmmich. Better than usual, and that’s saying a LOT.

  22. Woah. I can’t believe your dog bit you. That looks so painful… the sort of wound that just throbs every time your heart beats.
    My dog has never tried to bite anyone. Except The Boyfran. She waited 6 years to become violent and I’m pretty sure she tried to castrate him.
    We are still recovering from that episode.

    I would not have been able to eat that pig either. I prefer to think the delicious contents of a burger or pulled pork sandwich comes from some sort of exotic plant in Australia.

    • Hell, yeah, it hurt! And you have to keep in mind that I have an extraordinarily low threshold for pain. If I stub my toe, I’m out of work for three days. Have you ever done that thing where you induce pain in order to suppress it? I squeezed my thumb really hard and it hurt but then when I let go it stopped hurting.

      That was a sneak attack on The Boyfran. The worst kind. You don’t see it coming until it’s too late! At least I know my dog has it in for me, the little bitch.

      If they posted pictures of the animals in all restaurants, I’m sure we’d all second-guess our diets. Thank God they don’t do that and never will.

  23. At last, the comment is being accepted. I’ve been trying for over a week to get this bloody laptop to work properly. IE is completely stuffed, luckily Firefox is a good backup.

    Look, mate, if there’s a company which walks dogs, I would imagine that (especially in New Jersey) there is a company that whacks dogs..AND makes it look like an accident. Try the Yellow Pages; something like ByeBye Doggie, or woofwoofcrunch or perhaps even BadaBone-BadaBoom.

    Problem solved.

    We never met, Okay?

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