What do bad boys and bad dogs have in common?
Let’s start with the bad boy dilemma that can be epitomized by James Dean in a leather jacket with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. Give me moody eyes, chiseled cheekbones and ripped muscles with unresolved childhood issues, a penchant for the drink and some mark of rebellion from rule breaking to avoiding 9-to-5 responsibility.
Being with the bad boy is a rollercoaster ride with your arms up and a scream as you plummet into a twisting tunnel that rocks your body along the curve of insecurity. He’s a challenge, a thrill, a mystery until that jarring stop at the end of the ride signaling his rejection.
I read an online article this week exploring why females like bad boys. One of the conclusions the writer had was that women like to fix things. I agree to a point in that the bad boy presents a challenge to get through to his emotional core. But I really don’t have a clue how, even though, embarrassingly enough, I’ve tried.
I’ve dated a few bad boys, because I wanted to be with their good looks, thinking that if this epitome of maleness can like me than I must be worth something. I used to think: What better way to prove your self worth than to get a hot guy with issues to straighten his act and adore you as a result?
But it was all castles in the air.
My dating history boils down to this bad boy chase of dating moody, drink-guzzling, non-communicative, commitment-phobic men. In other words, it was a big waste of time.
But hold on. Now instead of dating bad boys, I’ve got this bad dog to change. My 9-pound miniature dachshund looks sweet and cute, but she’s got issues. It started with her barking from my second-story patio at the big dog passersby. To get her to stop, I snap my finger three times, glare into her eyes and say, “No bark.” But then another dog comes by and she returns to barking.
Or we’ll sit outside at a coffee shop patio table, where Zoey, deciding the circle around our table is her territory, has a penchant for barking at the big dogs. They give her a look like “Are you kidding?” or they bark back with their owners pulling on their leashes.
Zoey’s become more aggressive over the summer months with jaws snapping and paws flying about as I hold her in the air by her harness. The culmination was this weekend when she and Sophie, her “best dog friend” who she hasn’t seen in months, spent a weekend together.
Sophie tried to play with Zoey’s toys and Zoey barked at her. I told her, “NO!” “Bad dog,” and the like and put her in three timeouts. She didn’t stop her bad behavior.
My sweet little puppy who I took through Puppy Kindergarten and Intermediate training and read a half-dozen dog behavior and training books to raise has me doubting my ability to tame the bad boy or bad girl in any creature, whether man or dog.
I feel like I’m at the beginning of my teenage angst but instead of trying to figure out the mysteries of men, I’m trying to figure out my dog.