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Old 02-06-2005, 10:48 PM
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CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denver, CO
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Default Need some advice...I wasn't sure where to post.

I wasn't sure where to put this, so I hope this is an okay spot. I need some advice on human behavior. I've got dogs down, but people are tougher....

Here's the reason I put this in this forum. Growing up, my best friend was an enormous red Doberman named Nikki. She was beautiful and brilliant and I miss her desperately even though she died almost 10 years ago. She had been in training to be a police dog, but she was afraid of guns and wouldn't bite people, so they had to give her away. We were lucky enough to get her. I believe very strongly that every person has the chance to come in contact with "the one", that occasional very special dog that comes along and changes your life. Nikki was mine. My heart didn't just break when she died, it shattered. She was really my sister; more so than my real sister is. I think about her often. One of the most painful things about her death is that when I was young we were very poor and didn't have a camera (this was before the disposable ones), and so I have no pictures of Nikki at all. I haven't forgotten her face, but I feel like I've never really been able to heal because I have to make such an effort to remember her all the time. And I feel guilty in a way for not making more of an effort to get her picture taken. I have thought long and hard about getting another Dobe; I understand that I can't replace Nikki and that I can't expect to get the same dog twice, but I also feel that having another individual with those goofy Dobe mannerisms (crossing the front legs, putting the butt up on the stairs, moaning, etc.) would help me to reconcile with Nikki's death. I've known many Dobes, and I have fallen completely in love with most of them.

I have had a live-in S.O. (significant other--"boyfriend" seems inappropriate somehow) for almost 6 years now. We might as well be married, we're just too lazy to go and do it. (Besides, I want all the bridesmaids to be dogs, and he's having trouble with that.) He's not crazy for all things canine like I am. He's very accepting of my dog obsession, and he's enjoyed the company of our dogs. But he has a problem with Dobes. We've never had one because he has had that stupid sociatal bias against them implanted in his brain. It's not that he's frightened of them (he trusts my training and behavior instincts and is himself a biologist), it's that he's worried a Dobe would bite someone and we'd have to pay for it, with money and possibly with our dog's life. None of my dogs have ever bitten anyone, but it's that prejudice that people have against these particular breeds that's planted this idea in his head and made him so apprehensive about getting a Dobe.

He's never had that "one" dog, so he doesn't really understand what it's like to share your heart with an animal in that way. So I don't think he understands quite how badly the loss of Nikki wounded me, and how it would help me to have another, different dog of the same breed.

I'm tempted to just say, "Screw you" and go rescue myself a Dobe, but I certainly don't want to jeopardize our relationship. I would love to take him to meet some Dobes, but there isn't a rescue near us, and it isn't exactly appropriate to bring him along when I train one. We have had many wonderful dogs grace our lives, but he still hasn't met "the one" and can't understand what I'm after. I really want him to experience that sort of relationship. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Why is he scared to have a Dobe when we've had several Pit Bull mixes and even a Rotty with no problems? Does anyone have any advice for bringing him round? Should I even try, or should I respect his apprehension and not push it? I'd sure appreciate any thoughts.
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