Feeling Horrible About Kicking My Dog
I feel guilty about myself. Yesterday my Mom wanted me to take our dog Missy outside to pee, which turned into a little walk. So we were walking past my Mom’s car when two people came with their dogs and Missy and the dogs started barking to each other like crazy. And then for some reason, I got so irritated by Missy’s barking that I kicked her three times for no reason at all. When I told my Mom what happened, she scolded and berated me for what I did. Even my dad made sarcastic remarks towards me when I told him. Now I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know how I can tell her I’m sorry, and this is a problem because she’s probably a little afraid of me, and I don’t want that. I’ll do anything to get Missy to forgive me for what I did, and let her know that I love her like everybody in my family. What should I do?
After reading your letter, I feel very sorry for both you and Missy.
I feel bad for Missy because someone she loves and trusts kicked her for doing what dogs do – bark. And I feel equally sorry for you because your conscience is making you suffer from guilt and remorse for having done so.
You got angry at Missy when she continued to bark and bark and would not shut up, So, without thinking, you kicked her. Not just once, but three times. You yourself were probably surprised by your own behavior. When you got home, you immediately told your mom what you had done, and she was just as shocked as you. To me, this means that kicking Missy was out of character for you, that it was not at all consistent with the way you normally treat her. Although your mother gave you a good scolding, you went ahead and told your father anyhow, knowing that he would be appalled by what you had done too To your credit, you owned up to your parents about what you had done, and you accepted their scolding and sarcasm because you understood that you deserved it.
Your problem now is that even though you are genuinely sorry for what you did to Missy, you cannot apologize to her for it because she is a dog and won’t understand what you are saying. Dogs may not understand our words, Frank, but they do understand the language of love. Missy may very well be a little afraid of you for a few days (just like you would be of someone who kicked you for no apparent reason), but if you throw her a ball, and rub her belly, and feed her some treats, I promise you that she will forgive you very soon.
You have learned an important lesson from all this, Frank: that we pay a long time for a short fuse.
It’s true that you screwed up big time, but if you continue to shower Missy with affection and make sure to never kick her again, she will forgive your one mistake.
Please let me know when Missy forgives you. I will be thinking of you and her.