Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Size Does Matter

I don’t know what it is about my dog. She’s a pound princess, so the first two years of her life are a mystery to us. For my own sanity, I like to think that she was well-treated by some very old person who couldn’t take care of her any longer. I look into those big brown eyes and can’t stand the thought that anyone could have raised a hand to this sweet dog.

But – there’s always a but, isn’t there? I wonder about her sometimes. I’ve blogged before about how we live off this really cool bike path and how the Pound Princess and I take our daily constitutional. I never really knew what that meant – constitutional. When I was a kid, I thought it meant doing a, ah, #2. Whenever my grandmother said, “Come on, Lynn, time for our daily constitutional,” I lived in fear that we were both going outside to lay a big o’ dootie on the sidewalk. I was four, so the idea had a certain charm. But my grandmother? I just couldn’t figure out why we just didn’t use the bathroom like everyone else. But I digress...

As we take our morning constitutional – I take care of that business before we leave – we pass dogs of all sizes. PP sniffs and gives a womanly nod of her fuzzy head to the beagle. She’s fascinated by the chihuahua and sniffs its girly bits just to make sure it’s not a plastic wind-up toy. She grins at the golden retriever and they insist on rolling around on the dirt while I make nice with the golden’s owner while privately wondering why the he didn’t peel the toast out of his teeth before he left the house.

We walk further, and – what’s this? – a new dog on the path? Wait, it’s not a dog, it’s freaking horse. It’s straining against its chain collar that has those little chinks that dig into the neck if they pull against the leash too hard. He has stringy gork dripping from its fangs, which are the size of small cars. It rumbles a deep, low growl that says, “Do. Not. Fuck. With. Me.”

“Come on, Sunshine, let’s be nice,” says the slight woman as she tries to rein in the mass of muscle and attitude.

Sunshine? Just who are we kidding here? No dog that looks as though it’s going to rip the heart out of an elephant should be named Sunshine. No wonder he’s in a pissy mood. He’d rather be named Shredder, Mastadonian Bone Cruncher, or Muscle Masher.

My bladder is doing flip flops, hoping the thing has been fed. “Don’t worry, PP,” I whisper, “I’ll protect you.”

I look down, expecting the PP is worrying about her own bladder control. WTF? She’s decided that this is a particularly good time to show her dominance. DOMINANCE? Whatever happened to, “let’s run away to fight another day? She slows her gait and her head dips low as if she’s stalking. Her eyes are lasered in on the killing machine. The movie playing in my head doesn’t have a pretty ending, and my thoughts take an ominous turn. Is this woman strong enough to hold her dog back from eating PP and me? Did I bring my cell phone so I can order up an ambulance? Where was it that I saw that emergency vet hospital?

The snarls and spraying of gup from both dogs’ grew to a crescendo as we passed each other – the woman and I shared strained smiles. The minute we passed, PP, once again, became my docile little creature who snuggles under my feet while I write and steals my daughter's underwear.

“What the hell is the matter with you?” I hiss. “Don’t you know I’d rather feed you dog food rather than feeding you to a dog?”

Her smile says it all. “No worries, Mom, I could have taken him.”

I wonder if there’s a therapist who deals with dogs suffering from Little Dog/Dumbass Ideas Syndrome. After all, I do live in California


mark's tails said...

Love the post, and there is no reason a large dog shouldn't get along with a smaller dog as PP seems to do. I have seen my 60 lb lab play with a very happy 2 lb terrier by the name of Max. Abby would lay down and let Max run and jump over her and every once and a while Abby would roll over and Max would land on her belly, it was hilarious. But I've also seen such poorly socialized dogs that they act aggressive out of fear, which is very scary (no pun intended).

Don't know if you have ever seen the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel but I am a big fan. One of his comments is that there is no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners.

Dreaming again said...

That is too funny! I needed the stress reliever! Thanks!!

I have a tom cat that doesn't realize he's supposed to protect his territory but wants to play with all the kitties that come on the porch!