Take Two — Empowered Dogs


I had kind of a bad day yesterday. It involved a stupid man on the golf course not knowing how to act around a woman with two large dogs, one of whom is barking his head off. Ultimately, the man walked about 4 feet in front of me (for no reason as it’s a GOLF COURSE which means acres of empty space). I felt he was baiting my dogs, but maybe he was just stupid. I got pulled down. The guy passed and said, “Hi.” He was a guy from my generation and I have to say that my experience with these guys has not been mostly positive. Sorry. I was finally able to get up, but I’d landed on my shoulder and it hurt. I continued on, grumbling, “Were you born an asshole or have you practiced your whole life?” Grumble, grumble. He wasn’t even actually PLAYING golf. He was going from hole to hole, getting his ball in the hole, pulling it out and going to the next one. Reliving his disco days, I guess…

We got to our alley and there was a Dachshund. Well, I couldn’t go down there. I turned to go down the street and saw a kid calling his dog. “Are you looking for your dog?” I asked while Dusty barked like a fiend. He was pretty wound up. “He’s in the alley.” I told the kid who headed across a yard into the alley. His little brother showed up, also calling the dog. I told him to head the dog off at the pass, so to speak. Just then, the dog darted out from between two houses, into the street, caught sight of Dusty and Bear, and in true Dachshund fashion, bared his teeth, put fire in his eyes and charged us. The picture is ridiculous — a 8 inch dog charging two dogs that stand more than 24 inches tall — but it wasn’t funny. I wasn’t going to be pulled down again, and certainly not on a hard surface.

I let my dogs go.

I learned what Bear will do when she’s charged. She will chase the enemy down, throw it on the ground and wrap her mouth around its neck all quite calmly. Dusty will warn the enemy; Bear will kill the enemy. The dachshund might as well have been a bear. Dusty, however, came when I called him and that got Bear’s attention long enough for the owner to get the dog in the house. She and the kids were all apologies. “He’s not a very nice dog,” said the owner.

She explained that the dog had leapt out of the car when she got home from picking the kids up from school. Bear saw a cat and thought that might be fun. I yelled at a kid to grab Bear’s leash. No one was hurt.

Well, I was hurt.

I hobbled home, proud of Dusty and amazed by Bear who is normally the paragon of gentleness. I’m very glad she’s my dog. I thought, “People should leash their dogs, even when they just take them to pick up their kids,” but I’m a leash fanatic. Quietly. The leash empowers people to control the forces of nature that lurk within the canine mind.

Today I took Bear on a ramble back out to the golf course and beyond. We’ve just had a storm and the mountains are white, and the sky is wild. Our walk was peaceful and beautiful, and best of all (maybe) is that I am now empowered to walk a lot faster without even knowing it. What felt like a slow, Bear walk saunter was done at an average speed of 2.5 mph. I wonder what we could do if we tried?



25 thoughts on “Take Two — Empowered Dogs

  1. I just find it too difficult to walk my dogs together for the reasons you’ve described, Martha. It is as much as I and my dignity can manage. 🙂 Hope your shoulder mends soon. Those dachsunds are so predictable. I had one once. She thought she was bigger than Bear.

  2. Martha–I read this and held my breath: don’t let Martha fall on her hip. I hope your shoulder will be fine. Well, this was a good way to find out about Bear. She is your protector–gentle to you but not to the attacker. Glad you and Bear had a good saunter…

    • Oh Lois. ❤ My hip can apparently take all the shocks a normal hip can but that's still pretty scary. I fell forward, not down. My shoulder is feeling better. I am very proud of both my dogs. ❤ ❤

  3. I’m also a leash fanatic. Too many streets, too many cars, too many stupid people and other dogs — and I’ve got terriers who tend to think they are much bigger than they really are. I don’t walk the dogs unless we have a date at the groomer or the vet because it’s pretty easy to pull me over. Fortunately, they aren’t used to getting walked, so they don’t miss it. I hope you feel better.

    Interesting how calmly Bear took care of business. I’m sure that’s part of her DNA.

    • Thank you — the shoulder is better. Bear was just like the Akbash in the Youtube videos where they take on a bear. Anyway, it’s good to know I’m safe from Dachshunds. I’ve thought about it today and it’s as if Dusty barks to warn people that Bear will kill them. 🙂

  4. Have you considered something like a gentle leader? Plus 2 dogs at a time may be a bit much. I won’t walk my 2 by myself and they are only 55 apiece. Those two combined may weigh more than you.

    • I use gentle leaders on both of them. 🙂 Usually when I walk them both (every other day; Bear gets a walk everyday but Dusty is old and has back pain), I go somewhere where I don’t expect to run into anyone or anything.

      On the golf course this time of year (now more or less closed) I usually have plenty of room to avoid people. But people have to avoid me, too. Most do. Usually I just ask them if they like dogs and if they say “Yes” I turn Dusty loose to say “Hi!” and Bear and I walk up to meet them. Otherwise, we go the other way which was impossible yesterday. 😦

      Most of the people who use the golf course know me and my dogs, so yesterday was really freaky.

      Thankfully, it’s also the first time we’ve dealt with an aggressive little off-leash dog. 🙂

      Dusty is super-obedient and doesn’t really need a leash, but I leash him because his bark is scary even though he’s very friendly. Big black dogs take a bad rap. Bear is very obedient in the boundaries of our house and yard, but like others of her breed, when she’s OUT there she feels she has a job to do. Yesterday I watched her do it. I feel better knowing I’m safe from dachshunds.

      • Rex, the massive Bernese, once rose to our defense when we were charged on the beach by a yapping Chihuahua. Idiot woman, who was walking the dog off leash, screamed. My dog, on an intercept course for the yappy dog, almost tore my arm out of its socket. I got them separated. Obviously Rex had no intention of doing anything more than delivering a stern warning or the yapper would have been decapitated. It ran off with no injuries. So did the idiot woman.

        Not to discriminate, Rex also once drove off a full grown range bull. He could be very protective at times.

        • Bear didn’t hurt the dachshund, either. If anything, she made sure it went home! Since I’m looking at a future that will involve solitary hikes in the mountains, I’m glad fate brought Bear to me. ❤ I'm also glad I saw what I saw yesterday without any worse repercussions.

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