Fences make good dogs

My Beloved often says, “A dog is only as smart as her owner.”

My dog is not very bright.

Hmm.

She’s the prettiest girl with a beard around, but she perches on the back of the couch like a cat, she tugs on her leash like an obstinate cow and she acts like a princess.

A little schizophrenic.

Almost every time I take her for a walk in a new place, someone tells me I have the cutest dog (yes, I do, thank you very much). But then she’s barking so much, I can’t hear anything after that.

She not very well-behaved in public, and I have only myself to blame. Someone with a more refined pooch walks by, and my 8-pound miniature schnauzer makes so much noise, I feel like the mom with the screaming toddler in Wal-Mart.

My little sweetheart was attacked once, and I’m still traumatized. What if the dog we meet bites her? What does that menacing growl mean? Can the leash on that other dog be trusted? I’m sure my dog picks up on my hesitation, and so she defends her ground with her only weapon — her piercing voice.

I know I’m supposed to let them smell each other’s hind ends while the other owner and I coo about the beauty of each other’s dogs, but I just scoop up my dog, mumble some sort of apologetic, “oh, be quiet, that dog isn’t barking like you!” and move the heck on down the road.

A dog park? Heavens, no. My worst nightmare.

It’s highly ironic I’m embarrassed by my dog’s behavior because I’ve secretly thought I would never be so enmeshed with a child that I would let him or her embarrass me. “Embarrass yourself!” I would smugly think of my imaginary willful child.

Well, I never bore a child to test this theory and perhaps my dog proves I’m not above common social mores.

Let’s just say I’m smart enough to be looking forward to returning to the neatly fenced back yard void of unfamiliar canines that I’ve been away from these past several weeks.

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