Unable to sleep, I took my old dog for a walk.
Pet Peeve: Poor Behaviour that disrupts civic peace.
Angel is a wonderful, wonderful dog. Everyone loves him, including my non-dog-centric Mother-in-law. He’s kind of handsome, his manners rather aristocratic.
His one vice? He walks terribly on the lead. He walks terribly because he is daydreaming. Every single tree needs to be sniffed at leisurely. In his advanced years, sometimes he forgets what he sniffs. On route back, the trees will need re-sniffing. Through his slight cataracts, something fleeting might catch his attention. Without warning, he might then lurch or pounce.
Daydreaming, forgetfulness, old age- I understand and have compassion towards. Lurching, pouncing, pulling? Not acceptable, nor permitted.
When I walk Angel, I am the Monster Alpha. Every slight indication of bad behaviour is corrected sharply, before allowed its full expression. This morning, I even used my leg to nudge him back in line.
You did what… Dr Chan muttered in semi stupor. Did anyone photograph you…
On our walks here, we hardly see any dog-owners about. Many of the dogs are cared for by domestic help instead. We met a schnauzer barking his head off, his poor help frozen in fright. A man and his equally insecure dog, snarled at us. Onto our 10th tree, I couldn’t help thinking how dog-unfriendly this city is. All the dogs dragging their humans up and down the hill have probably never been encouraged to socialise, nor taught walking manners.
And so when we turned a blind corner and walked straight into the same irate schnauzer straining at his lead, while his help pulled against him, I decided enough was enough, and proceeded to diffuse the situation.
You did what… Dr Chan said. Alpha dog… shakes his head.
Thank you, Miss, the help said when I handed a placated (unrecognisable) charge back to her.
As for my old dog, he just needed to re-learn that I am home, and that there is a preferred way of walking with me.
I on the other hand, re-learnt that sometimes in life when you stumble upon a confrontational situation with rabid barking? Dig deep into all those years of dog-loving, observe averted eyes, tail pressed low. Trust your instincts. Chances are, the bark is worse than the bite.