Thursday, December 3, 2009

Funniest dog fight ever

I should mention that Tinky-Winky came to me labelled as an "aggressive" dog. After four years of working on her "aggression", it's come to my attention that she's actually a fearful dog who figures the best defence is a good offence. When she feels threatened, she attacks. Over the years, we've greatly reduced her perception of what's a threat, and also we've developed a procedure. When she sees a dog approaching and she's not sure she's comfortable, she comes back to me and sits. Then I hold her and deal with the other dog until its owner can control it.

The only problem we run into is that what Tinky-Winky considers threatening is what other dog owners call "friendly." Tinky-Winky is right, of course. A dog who comes running at a strange dog like a bat out of hell, making eye contact and getting into her personal space without introductions, isn't being "friendly": it's being unbalanced and extremely rude. Most of the time, she'll put those dogs in their place with a warning snap. The owners pout, but they know they're at fault for not controlling their dog, so they shut up.

Anyway, on to my anecdote.

Tonight on our walk, a dachshund in a parka came running at us like a maniac, barking frantically. Tinky-Winky lunged at him and there was some barking, snapping and growling, before I restrained her. Then she sat and was quiet for a little bit, but the dachshund kept barking and feinting at her, and she was getting upset. In fact, she was starting to snarl, and when Tinky-Winky gets snarly, someone's cruising for a bruising. Of course any normal dog would know a snarl means just that, and it's pretty weird that I understand dog language better than a dachshund, but that's the way people raise their dogs, sadly.

At this point the dachshund's owner finally caught up with her dog and restrained him, apologized profusely, and then, I'm not sure what her reasoning was, but she turned her dog around and offered his butt to Tinky-Winky, with the idea that Tinky-Winky would sniff it and be reconciled with the creature.

O... K...

So that was socially awkward, both by dog standards and human standards, but Tinky-Winky, after a moment's thought, resolved the awkwardness with characteristically decisive action: she bit the other dog's butt. With great enthusiasm, might I add.

The dachshund squealed and squirmed. Tinky-Winky sat back down with me. And the other owner and I just about killed ourselves laughing. It was so unexpected, under-handed and yet so aptly canine.

Tinky-Winky, clearly, felt that the situation was adequately closed, and we walked away without her looking back. The dachshund jumped into the vehicle he had previously refused to get into, whereat the owner said "oh, you're listening to me now are you?" We wished each other a good night with the greatest good will and fellowship. And I kept on giggling as I followed my dog.

Dog aggression isn't funny... but some times, it is.

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