Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rat Dogs & Fluff

I am not a lover of all dogs. Not by a long shot. I try, and every dog gets the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes even I have to draw the line. Take for instance The Shepherds who menaced us in the park last year, or The Hyenas who live right across the hall, an angry looking duo made up of a squat gray Dalmatian with red eyes, bowed fore legs and tall, wide shoulders, and her sister, a white Canaan, dwarfish and vaguely Shepherd-looking. Both growl and froth at the mouth each time they see or hear us coming, which is quite often. They moved in late last Spring and their companion––a man who is eerily friendly one moment and completely indifferent the next––and I have spent much of our walk time avoiding one another. They are the kind of dogs who squeeze their heads through the railings on their patio and begin yowling and foaming at the mere sight of anyone, or climb onto the low window sills to scratch and bark and smear the glass with spittle each time Duncan and I venture out late at night for one last bathroom stop. I've been told they're very friendly, but only after they establish dominance over every other dog they come in contact with. Needless to say, we steer clear.

More often than not, though, the troublemakers are the Rat Dogs and the small fluffy four-legged rugs who sniff and pull and yip excitedly. When we first moved here the complex seemed a big dog haven, with countless Boxers and Labs, a few Mastiffs, innumerable Goldens, even a Saint Bernard and a Great Dane. Now, however, I feel as though we've been invaded by rabid rodents and aggressive living things no bigger than the hairballs coughed up by my cats, toy poodles, Shiz-Zus and Chiuauas, Schnauzers, Pekingese, Maltese and Jack Russell Terriers, all whom strain toward us on their leashes as we pass, barking in the highest of pitches which echo and make a peaceful walk all but impossible. It is rare that a dog doesn't like Duncan and he loves almost every one we pass, but its become apparent that the big dogs, who are content to exchange butt-sniffs and begin the easy business of play are our friends, while The Rats and Fluff are not. They wear their Napoleonic Complexes of their collars and rush at us, jumping and lunging as though defying the laws of the universe which created them, eager to prove they are not just paper weights or dust mops imbued with precious life. They are angry little things and eager to share it and I am tired of watching my big-hearted wonderful dog get nipped at on the cheeks or throat as he attempts to maneuver around their insane and wicked dancing attacks.

Just this morning a woman somehow lost control of of her Dachsund, which chased after us, leapt into Duncan's face and nipped at his cheeks until he backed himself between my legs and hid behind me while I leaned down and scolded the obnoxious little brute. The woman, who was slow to approach us, actually seemed annoyed that I'd used my Grown Up Voice to reprimand her dog and stop him from attacking mine.

Obviously there are nice Rat and Fluff dogs out there, but it's been a very long time since we've encountered one on our walks, which only makes me work harder to remember that dogs are merely extensions of the time and love their human companions put into them.

Another lesson in patience, I guess. For both Dunc and me.


Allison (Dog Mom) said...

Why is it that all of those little dogs have so many issues? And people are scared of MY big dog? My dog, who's perfectly content to stand there, lean against you, and have his belly rubbed? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Most little dogs are nasty little creatures. LOL. The big dogs are who I call the "gentle giants". I have NO big dogs right now because I have found the cavalier breed and absolutely ADORE them. Yet I have even met nasty cavaliers. LOL. Wish I was near you we could go for a walk and let Dunc enjoy playing with my little boy! Lori had him in her lap when he was a puppy. :) We got him the same day she got Darwin. Even though I own little dogs I SO agree with you on most are nasty. Maybe you are right they are a reflection of their people.

traci said...

I don't care for Chihuahuas and unfortunately in my neighborhood, there are more than enough. They all seem like nasty little things that are always on the attack, and their companions seem to think that because they are so small, they don't need to be leashed, even though they are vicious. I could do without them.

Lisa said...

Big dogs rule; little dogs drool.

Sue said...

I'd say that 99% of the little dogs we come across have a Napoleon complex.

Not, we aren't fond of many little dogs either....we call them "squeaky toys."