I’ve never been someone who likes animals much – that’s an understatement, I used to really hate animals. Yes, I can appreciate and admire their beauty and cuteness from afar, but once they come within a few inches of me, I want to get them away from me immediately.
Fudge, our pet dog, and I didn’t get off to a good start. She used to love to run to my sock drawer every morning while I was getting ready and scuttle off with pair of socks and my maid or myself had to wrestle with her to get the sock back. She used to scavenge in my dustbin for paper and tissue paper before being properly trained and would make a mess of everything. Whenever I came home, she would run to the door, pounce on me when I came in and try to get my attention by biting me. I really couldn’t get along with Fudge and got very annoyed at times.
After a while though, I realised that all Fudge wanted from me was some attention – or more importantly, affection. She wanted to be ‘sayang-ed’, scratched and taken care of. I realised that her biting and pawing whenever I came home was not due to any aggressiveness or lack of discipline (though the scavenging in dustbins and taking socks is a lack of discipline), but was actually a means of asking for attention.
I started to see her behaviour through new eyes and decided one day that perhaps I would stop seeing her behaviour as annoying, but instead respond to her and give her the attention she wanted. I didn’t go into my room immediately when I came home and sat down on the floor instead and spent some time scratching Fudge’s belly. She looked so contented and happy and after I spent some time with her, she no longer bit me or jumped on me to get my attention. I try to make the effort everyday now to spend at least a bit of time with Fudge each day.
Every time I come back now, she runs to the door, pounces on me, then steps back a while and waits for me to take off my shoes. Immediately after that, she will lie down on the floor with her belly facing up, ready for her usual tummy scratching. She does that to my mum too – all the time. It’s becoming rather endearing actually, but I am wondering if we are spoiling her! Heh.
I’m definitely not a dog-lover yet, but Fudge is slowly growing on me. I definitely understand dogs better now and I can see why people call them man’s best friend.