If you believe in dog years, Woody just entered his late teens/early twenties. And much like most humans in this age range, he’s trying to figure a few things out. Particularly whether he’s going to be an asshole or not.
We’ve been good role models. We’ve practiced positive reinforcement. We’ve introduced him to well-trained, pure bred dogs. We pushed him to participate in extracurricular activities. We buy the expensive food and make sure all his treats are made in the USA.
All this time, money and effort and he’s still completely unpredictable when he’s off leash. When I set him free to roam the wild, open range of Bernal Hill, how the rest of my day goes is in his gnarly paws.
I walk. He runs.
I meet friendly strangers. He plays with other wild animals.
I politely nod my head to big groups of beautiful young people picnicking on a blanket and he runs up and steals their sandwiches.
At least that’s how it happened this past Monday afternoon. I tried to warn them when I saw him casually heading their direction, but I was too slow. “If you have any food, you may…” but the little bastard already had a mouthful of deli meat and cheese before I could finish. Butcher paper and all. Eat it like you stole it, I suppose.
I apologized and they were cool. I tried to pull the pulverized mess of food from his massive face, but he wouldn’t let go. I grabbed him by the collar and made a scene as I put him back on the leash.
Adopting Woody is the closest thing I’ve ever known to raising a kid and Monday’s ordeal left me feeling like bad parent. Where did I go wrong? What next? Drugs? Drunk driving? Premarital sex? Only time will tell.