I'd gone to the rescue centre to look at a Jack Russell.
Now that I know and love Caesar though, I can see nothing scary about him; only his adorableness. Well, at least while we're in the house. What does get on my wick, though, is when I walk him and he runs around the park/beach/field/forest/... like an idiot making a ridiculous racket and having nearly everyone stare at us and think he's mental. And me even more so for owning him!
I've never been a person that likes being the centre of attention. And even less so for negative reasons such as having a screaming banshee of a dog dragging me along the road. However, my saving grace is that I do know that Caesar, despite what people may think, is a nice dog. The unfortunate thing is that I am unable to tell this to any of the people who stare at him as we struggle past; me fighting to pull him back and him wrestling with the lead to go forwards. Our energies are opposing each other so much that we appear to be having a tug of war in the street. I pray each time we leave the house that this lead is as strong as I'd hoped.
I don't disagree with the people that cross the road. Or the people that move out of the way. Or the people that stare in disbelief as I smile at them and dig my heels into the ground. I don't disagree with people asking 'is he aggressive?' or with those who assume he is and simply move away. I'd probably have been the same a few years ago - although it saddens me to think it. However, as humans, we have a need to protect ourselves and Caesar, however harmless he is, does appear to be a bit bonkers when he's squealing away to himself in the park. What, I have discovered he's actually saying is, 'OH MYYYYYYY....I'M SOOOOO EXCITED! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET ME GO AND MEET THAT DOG/PERSON/SHEEP SO WE CAN PLAAAAY!' It did take me a good few years to finally realise that this is what he was trying to communicate. And it finally clicked when I made the connection between the noise he makes at tea time and the noise he makes on a walk; pure, uncontrollable, hysterical excitement!
He also makes it when we go to the vets. But once we get into the consultation room he's fine and so calm that, last time, I took off his lead and collar to show them something and he stood there for a good few minutes as good as gold. The problem is the part of the visit that involves making it from the door of the surgery to the consulting room without disrupting everyone in the whole building. I hate it. I cringe even thinking about it! People stare, stupefied by this horrific noise which is amplified by the bare walls. Once, another vet came out of the room and stared at me as I struggled through. I was completely mortified! But it's OK because my vet understands and she knows that inside Caesar has a heart of gold. Plus, by the time he gets to her he's pretty calm!
I'm not sure I processed the comment until I entered into the consultation room. Nasty? Ugly? I looked at Caesar who was whining pathetically. He is 22kg of muscle and noise - I'll allow her that. He is irritating - I'd give her that too. But to judge him as nasty? Is his squealing really so much worse than her own Shih tzu's yapping and growling? I felt hurt for Caesar who is the most loving dog I've ever come across. And, I would say this because he's mine and I love him very much. But, to be fair to him, Caesar has never done anything to prove otherwise. And, until he does, I will continue to believe it.
Comments like this come with the territory of owning a dog like Caesar. And, it hurts to think that, no matter how nice he is at home, people will always think he's a 'nasty' or 'ugly' dog. I am having to accept this. I suppose I better develop a thick skin. Part of me feels angry at her for her ignorance. But another part of me feels sorry for them because, while they continue to close their minds, they will forever close their minds to bull breed dogs like Caesar. And that is very very sad.