That sideways glance

Except for my Mr. T, I have never really known a lot of history on the rescue dogs I’ve adopted. But their attitude and actions can often speak volumes. With Rizley, though, I’m still trying to figure out if someone once hurt him or if he’s just a prick at times.

Rizley periodically goes through a mood in which he goes to the hallway downstairs and pees and poops at night. He doesn’t do it most of the time. But when he does, it’s three or four days in a row and then he usually stops.

Just to be clear, my dogs have their own yard and they are welcomed to go play or use it for bathroom purposes whenever they want. And the last thing I do before going to sleep at night is letting them out.

I have no idea what starts this every time it happens but I do know the exact trajectory of the results if I dare to point out to him what he did and suggest in a loud and angry voice that he not do it again. I get the sideways glance. He goes and sits on the highest spot on the back of the couch and glares at me like I’m the problem.

This attitude persists for days. He will allow me to pet him but only while he still glares. Whenever I look up, I’m getting the sideways glance. Continuing the sad habit that was my love life, I try harder and harder to get him to forgive me even though he’s the one that did something wrong. I pet him. I cajole him. I give him treats. And in response, I get his butt in my face in bed because he will not lay in the bed facing me.

I thought I’d gotten beyond all this when I gave up on my love life and stopped dating. No one told me that one day I would adopt a dog that is channeling every bad relationship I’ve ever had – and that after over 70 years of life my response would be the same.