My treat for my dogs, after visiting the vets, is to take them for a nice ramble through the forests of the local common.
Once we have walked a bit and they (OK Little Monkey!) have settled down, I let them off the lead. They then walk quietly behind me and are welcome to stop and sniff anything interesting, which Mr Spaghetti Legs does to extreme!
We’d done most of our walk; I’d sat on the bench and listened to the breeze in the massive fir trees, and we were heading back to the car, when LM darted off into the brush. I could tell she’d heard or smelled something. I called her back and for once she came immediately, which meant it wasn’t a squirrel!
Then I saw people walking in the distance and at an angle that would cross our path.
Now, people are fine, it is their dogs I have to watch out for.
I saw several large dogs emerge out of the bushes in front of us. Thanks to LM I have learnt to be an excellent judge of dogs and can read their body language instantly from a distance. These ones looked fine; calm and with a good energy, and were well behaved; so I carried on walking, with LM and SL behind me.
Next instant, LM dashed past me at the speed of light, running straight at the unknown, massive dogs. As she approached to within a few metres, she skidded to a halt and barked at them.
They did nothing. They just stood and looked at this idiot dog, who was obviously not a threat to them, but did not know how to behave.
Even better, the owner did nothing either. Phew! (It is usually the owners I might have a problem with, as the dogs generally sort themselves out.)
Well, LM suddenly seemed to realise just how many dogs there were – FOUR – and how big they were – MASSIVE.
So she started angling back to SL and me, but now these strange dogs wanted to sniff her; so she had to put up with that, as she tried to creep back to us.
Not so confident now, my girl!
I had called out to the guy, as LM ran hell-for-leather at his dogs, “She’s harmless, but she’s an idiot!”
As he got closer, he said to me that it looked like my one dog (SL) was lame, so he’d put one of his dogs on the lead, as he could be a bit boisterous.
I was so grateful for his consideration. SL is fine with other dogs, but he is very old and quite wobbly on his legs. As it was, one of the dogs, a brindle, came up to sniff SL and continued to do so for some time, till I patted him and pushed him away; but his owner was already calling him.
So this is just to say, how wonderful it was to have an encounter with four massive Boerboels and the only badly behaved dog in the whole incident was my own, living up to her name, Little Monkey!
Why is she so bad?
I adopted her from a rescue centre at 18 months and she had not been socialised at all by her previous owners; not taken on walks, not met other dogs. That is like having a teenage human that has never been around other humans. The mental damage is irreversible, but I do the best I can, and continue to take her to dog socialisation classes every week: 9 years and counting!
However, she will always remain anxious about strange dogs. She does not know these dogs, so she charges them and barks to see what they will do, but never makes contact and pulls up while still five metres away from them.
I know she is harmless and if another dog decides to sort her out now and then for charging at them, then that is fine. She won’t learn, but she won’t fight back either.
It was just lovely for me to have that encounter with such massive dogs, that most people would steer clear of. They really were gentle giants and I complimented the owner on his magnificent dogs. He looked happy.
Boerboel Little Monkey
Weight 90 kg Weight 23 kg
Height 70 cm Height 58 cm
Colour Fawn Red Brindle etc Colour Sable and Tan