Monday, February 1, 2010

Wonder Dog Misbehaves


I’m a bit befuddled this morning after my walk with Rupert.

We walk at least three times a day, usually taking the same route through the neighborhood. Rupert is very protective, and that’s exactly why we have a dog. He is a mixed breed: part black Lab and part pit bull. We have spent hours training him to be a well-behaved, dog; he’s earned his Good Citizenship Degree from Pet Co. He can be scary looking, but once you get to know him, he’s a sweetie pie. He's extremely loyal, loves to play, is eager to please.

This morning he was doing his usual sniffing of trees and utility poles – we call that Rupert picking up his “pee mail” – and we were making our rounds with no problem. Someone from the alcohol rehab house on our block bounded out of the house and was running down the street to catch up with some folks ahead of us. Rupert started getting upset about his behavior and I took him to the side of the house and settled him down. No problem. We continued on our walk.

There was some kind of work crew on Hawley Avenue putting up new utility poles and I short leashed him through that section of the street, just in case, and we had no problem.

Rupert sniffed his way past the church and I saw a young woman approaching who we’ve passed a dozen times before. She wears a funky cap and is always pleasant. I do not know her, but we always say hello. I short leashed Rupert, had him by my side as she passed, more because it’s winter and the sidewalks are narrower. I did not think I needed to take him off the sidewalk. Bad decision on my part.

She said “Good morning” to me and Rupert lunged at her, nipped at her arm. Had she not had a heavy winter coat on…oh, I can’t type what I think might have happened. I apologized and she went on her way. I think I was more upset than she was. I made that dog lie down and stay there on that snowy sidewalk until he started shaking from the cold and said ‘Bad dog’ just once in that tone of voice my children know oh so well and Rupert, too, knew I was at the end of my rope. When I couldn’t stand being cold any longer, I short leashed him and we headed for home. No more sniffing, no snowball tossing and catching, just walking straight home.

He is sleeping downstairs, hasn’t come up to see what I’m up to here in my office upstairs. Guess he knows he’s on my $##@ list this morning. But I’m wondering why someone speaking to me is interpreted as aggressive behavior by him. Perhaps I am spending too much time alone? He’s fine when friends drop in, and we have folks here often. I’m puzzled. Any suggestions?

4 comments:

garnett109 said...

no suggestions here,he must have sensed something who knows

Wendy said...

You said

Rupert sniffed his way past the church and I saw a young woman approaching who we’ve passed a dozen times before. She wears a funky cap and is always pleasant. I do not know her, but we always say hello. I short leashed Rupert, had him by my side as she passed, more because it’s winter and the sidewalks are narrower. I did not think I needed to take him off the sidewalk. Bad decision on my part.

I wonder if when you short leasgh him he thinks or senses that you are tense about something and then that makes him anxious. I know when I get worried about how other people respond to Molly I pull her in closer to me so they won't be bugged by her, but I think she thinks it is because I think there is something wrong with the other person.

Sunny said...

Could be, Garnett...he can smell drugs/alcohol on folks, although she wasn't the type, or didn't appear to be. Thanks for reading!

And Wendy...you may be right. He is especially protective when he knows I'm not feeling well, too. Thanks for reading!

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