Sunday, July 13, 2008

Duncan's Bane

There is one man we pass several times a week who Duncan does not like. Not only does he not like him but he seems terrified of the guy, who, to everyone else appears completely innocuous. We only see him on our walks down to Hero's we when visit Aunt Chelsea, who always has a handful of treats ready for her favorite redhead (and on the rare occasion she's not prepared, Duncan wastes no time reminding her of her obligation to him). We pass hundreds of people at the park and down around the lake, even here at the apartment he's constantly exposed to other dogs and their companions. Although there are some––mostly little ones who seem more like rats than dogs––who Duncan would rather sidestep, he's always polite to them and at the very least indifferent, but there's not a single companion he doesn't try to win over. He's always overjoyed when people come to the apartment, sometimes grabbing the cuff of their shirt or even the loose fabric of their pants, and pulling them inside while offering them a guided tour. He's never not liked someone. Until we started running into this guy, this one rather portly man who seems nice enough, even if he does look a little cocky. Duncan, from their first encounter, has despised him. He's gone to great lengths to make as wide a berth around him as possible and when I've tried to introduce them, has raised his hackles and moved into a defense posture, things I've only ever seen him do in this man's presence. No matter how hard I try, no matter how the man holds his hand out to Dunc, he simply will not suffer to be around him. We've stepped in slowly but poor Roo pulls back on his leash and squirms and flops around, practically strangling himself, until I have to ease up and walk away.

On our afternoon walk today we skirted the lake and came up the path behind the pet store. The Colorado Irish Festival has been in full gear on the hill above the lake since Friday afternoon, and Duncan has spent much of our strolls with his nose to the ground sniffing for any stray bits of Bangers and Mash or other delicacies which might have dropped on the ground. He'd already scored what I can only hope was a bit of pie crust as we came around the side of the building and ran smack dab into Duncan's least favorite person. I stood silently by while Duncan sniffed and sniffed, moving up the sidewalk toward his enemy, completely oblivious to his presence. Finally when he reached the man's trouser cuffs he stopped and slowly, very slowly looked up at him, his enemy, who, as always, had his hand out. Duncan yelped, a sound I haven't heard since he was a puppy and Winnie taught him who was boss. At the same moment he literally jumped straight into the air, like a cat, back arched, a hair stripe running from his head to his tail, and made as though he couldn't decide whether to scramble up into my arms or to run away shrieking, pulling me into the parking lot behind him. The man only watched, a stoic (although slightly arrogant) look on his face. He doesn't seem to care whether or not Dunc likes him but is always waiting.

I calmed Roo and led him into Hero's where Aunt Chelsea was sure to offer some tasty organic treats and locally made pumpkin cookie bits. He soon forgot the trouble in the parking lot but when we left I made sure we walked as far away as we could from the M.C.'s Pizza Guy.


Lori said...

Funny! Looks like a person, but clearly doesn't smell like one to the Roo. (Root beer float, please!)
Oh, and Irish Festival! LOVE those! I could get SUCH good Celtic jewelry there!

Greg said...

Interesting. I wonder what it is about THAT guy that freaks Dunc out
like that.

caboval said...

OMG Im cracking up! I wasnt expecting that! I can just picture Duncan doing that! Oh Im still laughing!

Chris & Mackenzie said...

You got me! Neat post.


Amber said...

That's great!!!! He IS kinda scary looking though :)