My Doggie Identity

Most of you know I am the lucky owner of two crazy, yet adorable Corgis. They are what I fondly like to call my fur babies…

This was taken about a year ago at my old house, it’s one of my favorite pictures of my fur children. Carwyn is the red dog and Rhett is the black puppy.

Wet Corgis are wet…

And yet as much as I love them, I forget that not everyone is so infatuated with them. While Mike and I were having our usual end of the night discussion yesterday evening, he mentioned that as cute as he is, some people find it hard to like Rhett (the black one), because he pees when you pet him.

On the one hand, as a fur mom I find this just as annoying (he is my dog after all, I am the one who has to deal with it the most), but on the other hand I also fell compelled to come to his rescue. What you have to understand is Rhett is an incredibly submissive dog. I can be yelling at Carwyn for something only Carwyn is doing wrong and Rhett will run and cower in his cage for the simple reason that my tone of voice scares the beejesus out of him, even if he personally has done nothing wrong. When you pet him he pees because in doggie language that is a sign of deference. He is acknowledging that you are higher up in the pack than he is. From everything I have read, he has absolutely no control over this what so ever. On top of it, before I realized it was submissive behavior and not potty training accidents, I used to punish him for it. So now when he does it, even though he has no ability to stop it he will run and hide from me, fearful that I am going to punish him. Talk about guilt as a pet parent :/

As a result I feel like I have to stick up for my puppy a lot. Granted the peeing is annoying, don’t get me wrong, but it’s something that we are working on. What kills me is when I tell people not to pet him unless he’s been out recently because he submissive pees and then they do it anyway and then get pissed at him (ha ha I’m punny!) for peeing on them. I get really upset about it because they are setting him up to fail after I clearly told them what would happen.

You are probably wondering why I am telling you all of this… There is a reason I promise.

After my conversation last night, I was feeling sort of angry about the whole thing and I couldn’t figure out why. I laid awake thinking about it for a long time and finally I realized I was upset because I personally identify with Rhett a lot. I am that submissive puppy. I am the one who runs and hides when something feels threatening. I tuck my tail and cower at the first sign of conflict.

I have a really hard time dealing with someone being upset with me. I have a really hard time handling conflict with other people, and I tend to obsess over what to do about it almost to the point where it completely paralyzes me. If someone gets angry and pushes me around I will lay down and take it regardless of whether I think they are right or not just so the conflict will end. I would do or give up almost anything if meant someone wouldn’t be angry with me. Someone doesn’t even have to be mad at me per say, just the thought that I might have let someone down, disappointed someone, or upset them somehow is enough to bring me to tears. Heck, people don’t even have to be mad at me, they could be fighting with each other and that alone is enough to make me incredibly uncomfortable.

I will be the first to admit I can be extremely sensitive. It sort of bugs me really how thin-skinned I am, but I am also learning to accept it as part of who I am. I am good at hiding the fact that I am really upset from people I don’t know well, but when I am alone or with people I trust or who know me really well, my mask of self composure tends to slip away and I am left feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Believe me this behavior is something I have thought about a lot over the last few years. I hate that I let other people walk over me; I hate how easy it is to make me cry. After much consideration I have come to the conclusion that a lot of these feelings come from my childhood. At lot of crappy things happened to me at a young age that were completely out of anyone’s control. So in my childish logic I decided that if I was a “good girl”, if I made everyone happy and never caused any trouble or made anyone mad, then bad things would stop happening. Life has since proven otherwise, yet I still cling to familiar modes of operation.

Having all this being said I guess if this post has a point to it, it’s this…

I cry when characters die in movies and books (This one makes me cry every single time… seriously.)…
I cried when Sassy fell over the waterfall…
I cry at those horrible Sarah Mclachlan commercials with the abused animals…
Hell, I have even cried during AT&T commercials…
I get upset when I feel like I have let someone down…
I try and do my best to be the peacemaker and make everyone happy even though that’s not always possible…
Sometimes I take work home with me and I can’t stop thinking about all the things the kids I work with have gone through and it makes me excruciatingly sad…
I will give in when I am fighting with someone almost every single time…
I will bend over backwards to please others even at the expense of my own happiness…

This is who I am. BUT…

It would be hard to find a more loyal friend…
It would be hard to find someone who has a bigger heart…
It would be hard to find someone who cares more about other people…
It would be hard to find a friend more willing to be a shoulder to cry on…
And it would be hard to find someone who goes even further out of her way to make other people’s days brighter, even if it’s only a little bit…

The good, the bad, the ugly, they are all me. You can’t have one without the other. We all have things we aren’t proud of, behaviors we wish we could change or get rid of altogether, but ultimately they make up who we are. I hate that I am so sensitive sometimes, but if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have this amazing amount of empathy for everyone in the world around me, and that alone makes the occasional (and sometimes frequent) tears worth it.

Sometimes I wish I could be more like my other dog Carwyn. There are plenty of Carwyns out in the world. You know, the type of people who will stare you down and give one more defiant woof before walking away when you literally just asked them to stop barking. (He does that all the time, little turd.) All I ask is that you remember that not all of us are like you. Not all of us have the courage to stand up for ourselves all the time. Many of us are the timid little Rhetts who want nothing more than to avoid conflict and make you happy. However, don’t mistake meakness for weakness. Make me angry enough, push me hard enough, or threaten someone or something I really care about and I will put my foot down… HARD. But the truth is, while I can and have put my foot down, it’s completely against my nature and I absolutely hate doing it.

I would rather solve conflict rather than cause it or be a part of it. So Carwyns of the world, please remember this… The Rhetts out there, those of us with the desire to help others make people happy- we are giving you a genuine gift. Please, please don’t abuse it.

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