Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tinky-Winky's new best friend

Ever since Carter died, I figured Otis would be Tinky-Winky's new best friend, since he was her second-best friend before. Otis lives in our building and is a really sweet, quite large dog. Everybody loves him... except, of course, Her Majesty. When we first met Otis, the Creature was in her snapping-at-noses phase, so she would snap at his nose. Otis would leap out of the way, and then try again. So over time, this became a game. Otis pokes his nose at her, she makes a show of snapping, he makes a show of leaping out of the way. They find this hilarious. Now that Tinky-Winky is in a new phase of saying hello like a polite dog, Otis is rather disappointed that she won't play his game anymore.

But as it turns out, Tinky-Winky's new favourite dog is not Otis, but this handsome fellow:

Too bad he looked away, but oh well. You can see he's a quite large male pitbull. Intact, at that. His name is Diesel.

Now if you're very obsessive about reading this blog, you may remember that the first time we met Diesel, he was being handled by a small girl who had no control over him, and I found the whole thing alarming. Since then, I've heard many anecdotes of Diesel being aggressive to other dogs in the building. Now I'm not saying that aggression is ok when a small dog like Tinky-Winky does it, but the redeeming quality of Her Majesty is that you can overpower her easily, and she has less capacity to inflict serious damage than a 100-lb dog. A dog like Diesel can't afford to be aggressive, or he's gonna meet an untimely demise. (For the record, there came a time in my early days with Tinky-Winky when I wondered whether she wasn't heading towards euthanasia herself.)

All this to say, when Her Majesty and I came face to face with Diesel and his human in the woods, I thought there might be trouble. The other human (the alpha male in Diesel's pack, who does in fact control him and does obedience work with him) and I each restrained our mutts, and then we let them have a look at each other.

This is not the first thing that happened. What happened first, of all things, is that Tinky-Winky wagged her tail and went to sniff Diesel's butt.


That has never happened. She's learned to tolerate being sniffed, and she's even taken, quite recently, to wagging her tail at other dogs, but I had never, ever, to that point, seen her make friendly overtures and take the initiative for butt-sniffing. And here, of course, Diesel returns the compliment.


They're perfectly friendly. No snapping took place at any point. No growling. No aggression. Somehow, the two fightingest dogs in the building immediately hit it off as Best Friends Forever. I tells ya, you could have knocked me down with a feather.

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