Monday, March 30, 2009
A Dog Story
As we walked down the driveway in the slanted evening light, I felt a bit sad watching Stewie come to terms with his disability. For a pup that was born with a hole in his head, he's really not dumb at all. His poor vision is an impediment. He is working on honing his other senses, but the way sound tends to bounce is often confusing to him. When a situation gets beyond his control, he makes the choice to just sit still and wait for rescue. I find this incredibly wise, especially at his tender age of four months.
Though he possesses a generous helping of terrier bravado, he has enough sense to know he's not immortal. Tonight when we were walking we met the neighbor's new German shepherd pup, who is about Stewie's same age, but an elephant by comparison. When he saw her, he immediately had to run up and say hello and offer to play -- but then quickly realized she was going to be way too much dog for him.
The GSD, named Celine, thought Stewie must be her own personal squeaky toy. She wasn't biting him as much as wanting to flatten him with her paw. Stewie could see well enough to tell that I was crouching down, and he made a beeline for me.
But he was never in any real danger, because Big Sister was there. Ripple helps me in puppy classes, as she has a terrific sense about how to put a stop to inappropriate stuff. She was on this German shepherd like a bullet! It was amazing to watch.
Celine tried to rassle with her at first, but that went over like an anvil. This wasn't a game. That pup was going to learn some respect, and that was that. When Celine flashed around in a game of dodge, Rip simply outran her. She body slammed her and sent her rolling. Every time she hit the pup, she snarled. Pretty soon Celine decided that her best option was to bolt for home! Once again, that was not an option! Rip ran her down and hit her again, this time circling to drive her back to us. Finally, the pup learned that her only acceptable recourse was to lie flat in submission.
Once Rip had established the rules, they got along just fine. They even sat together for treats, and Rip even played with her! Who knows... It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!