Tag Archives: rescue dogs

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind

Little Monkey

I have written a few posts about encounters with difficult dogs that Little Monkey and I have met on our walks around the neighbourhood. This is a different sort of encounter that happened recently:

A Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind!*

Little Monkey and I had been walking for a while and were heading back home. We needed to cross a road, on the other side of which live the YLD’s. These are Yappy Little Dogs; three brown Dachshunds that never fail to charge to their gate, yapping like mad, when anything passes by. One got out once and attacked LM, which must have been funny to witness; me batting away the tiny thing with my cap, while keeping LM, ten times its size, behind me. Eventually the owner came out, apologised and picked up the terror.

I’m just telling you this to explain why I was crossing the road to one side to avoid them. This particular day I could see the kids getting their bikes ready behind the gate, so I knew it would soon open and the whole lot would pile out, yapping like mad. (Though I don’t think the kids were yapping!)

LM and I successfully crossed the road and I was congratulating myself on getting away before the gate opened, when BBD suddenly appeared walking at a smart pace round the corner. BBD is Big Black Dog.

This is a rescue dog that the owner has worked well with. BBD is a lot bigger than LM and always barks when we pass his property.

I needed space!

Little Monkey freaks out at sudden confrontations, but I managed to grab her mid-air as she leapt upwards, and turned her around. There was nowhere for us to go, as we were stuck between the BBD, the YLDs and the road. I quickly got to the very edge of the road and sat LM down with her back to BBD and YLDs, and held on to LM’s ear.

BBD marched briskly by behind us and didn’t give LM a second glance. This was great and LM remained seated by my side. As BBD reached the YLDs the noise escalated to ear-splitting levels!

Phew I thought. We did it.

We had no sooner turned round to resume our walk towards the corner when MBD suddenly appeared. Medium Black Dog was bigger than LM and rather like a poodle, but without the funny haircut!  This dog and owner I had not seen before.

LM did her leap in the air again and MBD also did a bit of a surprised ‘double take’. As I backed away I now had to find space between MBD, BBD, YLDs and the road!

As BBD strode on past YLDs gate I could back up that way a bit. As I did so I chatted to MBD’s owner, which always helps calm everything down. I ran off my spiel; “Sorry my dog’s a rescue dog and she’s just scared. She’s not aggressive at all. The little yappy dogs are actually more of a problem.” etc

And she totally agreed, saying she didn’t trust the YLDs as they charged at you and bit your ankles! So we chatted a little, and MBD and LM were cool.

Finally LM and I continued on our walk and actually made it round the corner without meeting any more dogs.

.

This has taken a while to write, but the whole incident took place in seconds. The dogs performed a kind of do-si-do dance on the little triangle of grass verge, mostly with LM and I dodging close proximities!

But here’s the great thing: that was an encounter with four different dogs (I count the three tiny Dachshunds as one dog!) and there was no growling or biting. That is a good day.

The worst behaved dogs were the YLDs. Next was LM and her anxiety. MBD was OK and BBD just walked through the whole thing ignoring us.

So you can have unexpected encounters with strange dogs all thrown together and not have any aggression.

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind!*

 

* Not to be confused with the 1977 movie: Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

 

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Mr Spaghetti Legs Learns to Rock

Mr Spaghetti Legs learns to rock

Mr Spaghetti Legs learns to rock

Can an old dog teach a new dog tricks?

Sure.

Even when the old dog (Little Monkey) is nine going on two, and the new dog (Mr Spaghetti Legs) is at least twelve?

Absolutely!

It is so much easier to teach your newly acquired dog the ropes, when you already have a dog that knows how to behave. The new dog watches the old dog, and learns. They may not know why they have to sit at the kerb before crossing the road; why they are not allowed down the passage; why they have to sit nicely for their food; just that this is what the pack does here, and so they copy them.

When I adopted Little Monkey, I already had two old dogs, TJ and Madam. They used to sit nicely for their food, and raise one paw to say please. When this new young dog arrived, they suddenly became desperate for their food at meal times, and sat up and begged with both paws in the air. This is what Little Monkey saw and copied. She now stands right up on her hind legs like a circus dog, before sitting nicely for her food.

Little Monkey loves to show her enthusiasm for life by leaping in the air with all four feet off the ground; in the mornings, or at meal times, or when I come  home, or simply just because. Old Mr Spaghetti Legs, with the pinched spinal nerve and wobbly back legs, has watched and learned.

This morning, he too tried to leap in the air in excitement. He got his front legs off the ground at least. I know that if his body matched his spirit, he would have flown!