The Chihuahua!

We have had some extremely warm days recently which, coupled with high humidity, has made Ray’s walks an exercise in strategic planning.

Generally the evenings have offered the best opportunities unless storms are forecast, in which case we’ll try an early morning walk. The next piece of planning is how far do we take him which is often impacted by how far do we want to go!

Ultimately we all set off, along with Ray’s poop bags, treats, a water bottle and his collapsible water bowl! This has been the norm for some time and the walks have been uneventful. We will stop periodically and give him an opportunity to drink some water and, in extreme conditions, have given him a tummy rub with water! I remember reading somewhere that it would help his natural cooling system if his underside was damp.

Just recently we were on a typical uneventful walk, when we saw a couple coming along the sidewalk directly towards us with a Chihuahua on an extendable cord leash. Ray initially (when he first moved in with us) had a problem with all dogs, but that slowly changed to just small dogs. That may well have been because small dogs are often excitable, yappy and, if the owner is not concentrating, capable of wrapping their cord leash around Ray’s back legs. Ray does not react too well under those circumstances but then, tie my legs together with a cord and I would not be too pleasant either! Over the course of the past 6 months or so, we have been working on the “dogs mean treats” association and he has become quite accepting of even small dogs who want to say “Hi”.

Carol was holding Ray’s leash and I was thinking about suggesting that we should move to one side so that the two dogs did not meet. I had nothing to base that on other than perhaps remembering a number of awkward situations that have occurred in the past with small dogs. However, as the gap between us closed, I noticed that the man holding the Chihuahua’s leash was allowing it to extend. Clearly he was not concerned about his dog meeting Ray and, at the last minute, he assured us that it would be ok.

The two dogs were in a nose to nose position when the Chihuahua suddenly snarled and lunged at Ray’s nose. Fortunately Ray turned his head to one side really fast and so avoided any contact. He then just stood there, staring at the dog probably wondering what on earth that was all about, when the owner said “It’s okay, he can’t bite. No teeth!”

I said something rather impolite and totally non-constructive as we pulled Ray away and headed for home. I spent the next few minutes thinking of all the things that I should have said. Isn’t hindsight wonderful?

“Have you considered what could have happened to your dog if Ray had not been so calm. He would have no way of knowing that your dog could not bite!”

If we meet them again, we will certainly avoid any doggy contact. It has taken Ray 2-1/2 yrs to reach this point where he does not see another dog as a threat. I will not let some thoughtless idiot unravel all the work that Ray has done with us.

I need a scotch………..on the rocks of course!


27 thoughts on “The Chihuahua!

  1. Oh no. I understand the situation very well. Sweety was always like that. She always saw other dogs as a threat, not to her; to us, she loved protecting us. She had no tolerance for other dog, or even cats, for that matter. When any dog was within her eye-sight, she wouldn’t stop barking at it & running around continuously (if there was no way around to move towards the dog due to fence, gate, etc.)
    This wasn’t a great deal initially but then as she grew up, we always had to be at her side so as to avoid her from fatally harming another dog (a big dog or a small dog; they were all the same to her, she probably didn’t care about the size.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My Akita would have eaten the little dog in one bite. Akitas are not known for their friendliness, it’s often stated for them to be in ‘only 1 dog’ homes. Honestly, this is why I got her, protection. Otherwise, she was very loving to children jumping on her & pulling her ears. But, if she felt like she didn’t like an adult, she would be between us, staring at their actions as to say “just give me an excuse to bite you and I will!”
    She did bite the mailman that walked up quietly behind me, clearly he noticed the large dog on the leash, but he was stupid to go into her 6′ range wo saying anything like ‘excuse me, is your dog friendly?’ Nope. All I heard was, ‘ma’am, can you call your dog off?’ I turned to see she had grabbed ahold of his calf and was holding it. Not a sound was made.. no barks growls, just a mouthful of leg. I said no and she let go and sat.
    I’m not saying I enjoyed having a dog that could potentially be dangerous, however nothing else bad ever happened. Other folks need to understand their dog’s personality and act accordingly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your last sentence said it all didn’t it! Dogs have personalities; emotional baggage; sensitivities etc (sounds rather like a typical human to me!), so if you don’t know the dog, then ask before approaching. I find it scary the amount of children who have not been told to ask permission before approaching a strange dog. Ray can seem like a big huggy guy, but he certainly is not ………. until he knows you!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A lot of us can relate to this experience. Like you and Ray, Kali and I are proactive and have learned to anticipate which situations will be challenging and which are ok. I’ve had the same experience where an owner with their dog will approach us as we are taking a wide birth or have pulled over to allow them to pass and say, “it’s ok they’ll be fine”. And I want to say, “No they won’t – you don’t know anything about my dog, we’re trying to be polite and respectful of you and your dog, and more than anything else I don’t want MY dog to have a negative experience. Therefore we have politely pulled off to the side. Now please pass by and be on your way”… I don’t say it but I do think it.

    On the other hand most of the people and dogs we pass are very courteous and even if their dog is totally ok with all types of encounters they see that Kali and I are working hard to socialize and engineer positive experiences with unfamiliar dogs. There are several dogs that walk with their owners along our trail off leash and are very very well behaved. While I would not be comfortable doing this with Kali even if she was the best trained and restrained dog in the world I will say that these owners are very cognizant of other dogs and as soon as they see us the immediately leash their dog as they pass by.

    Thanks for sharing a common frustration with us that have rescues that for whatever reason have a difficult time with certain types of encounters. Like they say, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon so take that you little yap yap chihuahua owner….

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh, I can so identify with this, but for us it was a jack russell which suddenly lunged at Maggie for no reason at all. The owner didn’t bat an eye, offer an apology or anything, in fact she just carried on walking. A little further up the road we saw her dog do the same with a chihuahua which was also on a lead. I am not a fan of this breed, but even I felt sorry for it as the poor thing threw up on the pavement and the JR owner walked on. We’ve since found out where this woman lives as it is on the way to one of the supermarkets via the back streets. She actually has 2 JRs, and both threw themselves at the the window when we walked by, even though we were on the other side of the road. One day, they will go crashing through it and hurt themselves, but this woman really needs to socialise and train her pets. All we can do is give them, and her, a wide berth.
    Luckily Maggie took it all in her stride and is none the worse for it, but I agree with you about thoughtless idiots who have no consideration for other dogs and assume that just because theirs is OK, so is everyone else’s.
    It’s a credit to both you and Ray that he ‘turned the other cheek’ sotospeak. Good boy (pat by proxy)

    Liked by 2 people

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