Tonight’s post will be very brief. I have already written several articles about little Otis, my 14 pound, 15 year old rat terrier who met her end in the care of my wife while I was stranded in a B&B after a long string of abuse that escalated to domestic violence, my wife’s exact words to me via cell phone being, “Your dog has been destroyed.” What happened to Otis saved my life, and she continues to be the spirit and inspiration behind DogDharma.
Now I have my two new pups, Cecil and Grady. Grady and I are pictured above. This is how we sleep, with Grady snuggled against my chin, and Cecil keeping my feet warm (which is why he is not in the photo).
I was remembering tonight how Otis had had such a happy, carefree personality. She loved to fetch her little tennis balls. If I accidentally tossed one into her water bowl (my aim isn’t good), she would delicately retrieve it with her teeth by the fuzz on the ball. She was never aggressive nor snipped at anyone, even toddlers.
All of my neighbors adored Otis, and many would bring her treats to feed her through the fence around my yard. Squirrels would sit atop tree limbs and make faces at her, and she would woof at them.
Otis never made a “mistake” in the house; she’d shiver in misery when I didn’t immediately notice she needed to go out. And if I had to leave her longer than I wanted, I never ever came home to an “accident.”
All that changed drastically when I made the sad choice to move to England to be with my wife, Paula — even after she’d lied about countless things. It wasn’t that Otis didn’t like the new physical environment — Otis adored the new smells available to her — seagull poop, wow! Nor was it because Otis couldn’t cope with Paula’s four children as I feared, though there were a few issues and some adjustment. No, it was because Otis was mistreated by my wife — given “people” food and then getting yelled at for “begging,” chastised for jumping on the bed and then invited to hop on the bed for a “snuggle with mum.” Very confusing to me and to poor Otis. No consistency, Otis hardly knew what was expected of her anymore. And other things… To the point that Otis did little but hide in her dog bed and slink around like an unwanted piece of rubbish.
You can read In Memory of DogDharma — Otis, which has links to my other blog posts about her, including videos of Otis.
So I was wondering tonight what other writers had to say about psychopaths and dogs, and found a few interesting links. The first thing I want to say, though, is that psychopaths are capable of love-bombing dogs just like they do with people. That is what my wife was doing when Paula gave Otis “people food,” though I repeatedly asked her not to (not that I would have minded a little healthy stuff, but fatty sausages and unhealthy stuff, no). The love-bombing might have worked initially, but in the end, Otis would slink away from Paula, not deceived, and hover near me for protection.
Can Dogs Sense Psychopaths? — Warning: This article is written by someone who claims to be a psychopath, but it gives some insight into how a psychopath thinks about dogs.
15 Amazing Things Your Dog Can Sense About You — A good article about what dogs can sense and how to deal with it, but click through the items and notice number 14.
The sociopath, dogs and manipulation — This one is a great example from Donna Andersen’s well-respected blog Love Fraud. (She has a book by the same name.)
How to identify who’s NOT a sociopath. — Yet another person blogs about his (?) experiences with psychopathic types and dogs.
It was a good day with many ventures on the horizon even though my friend, Kitt’s, “afterparty” memorial is tomorrow night at the American Legion with many friends attending, so I was trying my best to cheer up my precious friend, L, who had a very bad day thanks to the psychopaths in her life. I did my best, but she sends me this:
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