Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pete the Terrible still is.

Have you ever met a person who says, "Oh, my dog would never bite anyone. He's so sweet and friendly. He just loves everybody. He'll never bite."?

I am not one of those people, and for good reason. It's a dog. An animal. With instincts you neither share nor understand. You can train and socialize and do all the things you're supposed to do, but when something flips the bite switch, you're not going to turn it off.

People have asked me about Pete, "Does he bite?" to which I always reply, "Well, he hasn't so far, but I make no guarantees." Pete has always been a nervous dog, getting his hackles up—which stretch from the top of his head to the tip of his tail—at the slightest thing, even when family members who've been gone for a while come home. I attribute it to his expansive stupidity. Because of all this, I've always walked him with a pinch collar on six inches of leash. When neighborhood children ask to pet him, I tell them I'm sorry, but he's too nervous and they shouldn't get close to him. Pete does run loose around the yard, but only when someone's out there with him.

Pete's favorite thing to do is go to the dump with Man-squared, because he gets to ride in the back of the truck. So today, Man-squared was getting ready to make the weekly dump run, when Pete started acting really fidgety to go outside. Man-squared thought he was just excited about the truck ride, so he opened the door and let him out.

Pete took off like a shot across the front yard and into the cul-de-sac, where he never once hesitated to sink his teeth into one of the two huskies being walked by their owner. Thence began the yelping, howling, barking, growing, and screaming that alerted Man-squared that something wasn't quite right. He bolted down there to find the guy holding the two leashed and muzzled dogs, yelling STOP! STOP! as if that would change Pete's mind about things. Man-squared tackled Pete and pinned him down so the guy could get his dogs out of there.

A few hours later, the wife showed up at our house and very kindly presented us with a veterinarian's bill for $134 for the five staples required to close up her dog's wound.


Obviously, we wrote her a check, and I feel bad that my dog attacked out of the blue. As I said, he's never done that before. But as I also said, he's an animal, and because of that, he's unpredictable.

My one wish in the whole thing is that her dogs hadn't been muzzled. A good bite from the other dog would have done more to discourage that behavior in Pete than anything I can do, especially now that it's over.

So we're back in training mode, going for daily walks where I jerk the pinch collar every time Pete looks at another dog. And somehow he still gets excited to go for his walk. As I said, expansive stupidity.

But cute.

Be thankful ~

1 comment:

Leah said...

Yet another reason to have a little dog and keep HIM on a short leash.