Canine Conundrum

I have to be honest when I say that I don’t really like dogs. We never had dogs in my family, it was always cats. I had friends who had dogs but thankfully they were usually in another room away from me so I didn’t have much contact with them.

I don’t understand them I suppose, unlike cats, they are so dependant on their human owners not just for food and being taken out for a walk, but also for social interaction and play. I am certainly more happy around cats, I can read their body language and rejoice in their independence. If they want some company or want to play, they will find me, but they are quite capable of amusing themselves.

Why am I talking about pets?  Well one of my tasks is to look after my Master’s dog. That includes feeding him and providing fresh water for him, and it also includes taking him out into the garden to do what he needs to do. It can be a pain, especially if it is raining or particularly cold – he always seems to take longer then! He also has a dislike for other dogs, particularly black ones and is quite capable of escaping the garden confines, which is why he is always on a leash even in the garden. I’ll just mention that he is a Great Dane and that I am only 5 foot 2 inches, so you can imagine how hard it can be for me to hold a large dog when he decides to chase after something or someone passing by.

The inevitable happened about 9 months ago when I was out in the garden with him one friday evening. Of course he caught sight of a black dog passing by before I could get a firmer grip of his lead. One thing lead to another and I ended up face down on the grass with an excruciating pain in my right hand. I started to cry – I think it was the shock. The dog ran up and down the garden barking, but at some point he realised I was hurt and I managed to catch him. After taking him back into the house, I ran upstairs to my Masters office and barely managed to explain what had happened with my croaky upset voice. All I can think is that as I hit the ground, trying to hold onto the lead as the dog pulled me along, I managed to bend my right hand back on itself. Over the next few hours my hand became more and more swollen, there was no way I could grip anything, I had to use my left hand for everything. Long story short during the next two weeks I had seen a hand therapist who in addition to giving me exercises, fitted me with a support that I needed to wear most of the time.

It really slowed me down. I couldn’t drive to start with, and just trying to have a shower or make a cup of tea was problem filled. How could I do what I was expected to do?, how could I serve? The simple answer is that I just did, I had to be resourceful and find alternative ways to do things. I had therapy on my hand for about three months, and thankfully it is pretty much 100% now. It taught me at least one good thing, that I had to share my problems with my Master, I had to admit my perceived weakness, my inability to serve. He understood, he offered suggestions and helped me when necessary. He took care of his slave.

I was grateful that my Master took back the job of walking the dog for a few months. I not only lacked the strength in my hand to hold the dog, but I had also lost my confidence in being able to control the dog. I was so scared of him pulling me over again. The strength in my hand has practically returned to normal now, so after some confidence building exercise, a new harness for the dog and a gentle push from Master, I have started taking him out again, more cautious yes, more nervous too, but I am doing it. I don’t enjoy it, it’s a chore, something that needs to be done, as if he has an accident in the house its me that has to clean it up! I do it because it pleases my Master. He knows it is a struggle for me, but hopefully because I usually do it without complaint (depending on the weather and the time of night!) I show my submission, as had this been a “normal” relationship, I would have argued that it wasnt my job!

Sometimes submission, particularly if you are a slave, is about doing things that you don’t like. You accept tasks that might be uncomfortable or difficult. What is important is accepting them with grace, and understanding the motives of your Master. Part of his role is to guide and develop his slave. I know my Master is confident enough in his knowledge of me to encourage me to do what I would normally shy away from, but I understand that his motivation is always to make me a better person and a better slave.

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