I met Cooper- an adult Lhasa Apso during my service year. I remember that the first thing my pastor said when he learnt I was a veterinarian was “I have a dog and I will like for you to come check him out”. To which I replied, “No problem sir”.
So on the appointed day, I arrived at my pastor’s house and was greeted by this bundle of joy called Cooper. Quick and agile, that Cooper. I quickly scooped him up and cuddled him. While trying to play with him I raised my hand to pat his head and he snarled suddenly. Quickly I retrieved my hand but it was too late. Cooper was angry. He jumped off my legs and continued snarling wanting to bite me. Just like that. His mood had changed. I had never seen such a thing before. From cuddly furry to angry furry in a moment. Amazing! The maid (his major caretaker) tried and succeeded in calming him down. Thank God. Though he ran and stayed under the car till I left.
The next time I paid Cooper a visit was to groom him. He was his usual bubbly, kissing self, trying to lick my lips and chin. While grooming, I inadvertently raised my hand over his head and zap, he almost bit off my fingers. Thankfully, I was fast and quickly calmed him down.
I realized then that he had a thing with his head very similar to some Nigerians. His head was a no-go area and I learnt to avoid it like the plague.
I also learnt during this visit that Cooper was a one-dog; one-food kind of dog. What do i mean? For the first time in my life, I saw someone throw a piece of meat at a healthy dog and the dog didn’t even sniff it let alone eat it. Wow! Interesting, I thought. That’s when his handler informed me that he only ever eats Golden Morn. How so? They had tried all other kinds of dog food to no avail. So they stopped and stuck to the Golden Morn he obviously always enjoyed.
Although I never saw Cooper again after my service year, sometimes I wonder why he was so averse to head patting. I could only conclude that he must have had a bad experience.