Country girl. Raised in Missouri.
In the truck, Squirt would uncork her verbal ferocity on pedestrians and cyclists. It always amazed me how forthright and domineering she could be behind protective glass, traveling at 45 miles per hour.
A free range mutt in the Ozarks, this redneck rescue roamed the neighborhood enjoying the company of other carefree canines. In fact, when her pack was in tact, she was the rambunctious play-pup to an elder golden retriever and collie-heeler mix. Squirt was far more receptive to four-legged visitors than bipedal intruders.
City life. “Mass” Terror.
Now that she requires a leash and crap sacks, oddly enough Squirt has taken a preference to people over pets. Each evening, commuters beam at her gregarious reception as they alight after a long day in the city. Children scamper over to massage her mane. Passersby extol her cuteness. I honestly don’t recognize this imposter.
Introduce another dog to the equation, though…WHAM! Her character flip-flop becomes glaringly apparent. At first sight of another tethered tail-wagger, she locks on-point like a hungry cheetah. Let her get too close, and the royal rumble is on. Honestly, she’s either going to get me killed or locked up.
Her first nefarious foray involved an unleashed pitbull in the open woods. Yeah. Thankfully Cujo’s intrepid owner was able to snag and leash before Squirt and I were both dismembered and consumed by generations of crossbred instinct. Ridiculously, I found myself standing between provoker and Pit Bull, a voluntary appetizer wrapped in pacifist pudding.
Two days later, on a stroll around the pond, Squirt decided to command respect again…this time by randomly attacking a blind woman’s service dog. Smooth.
Her favorite expression of superiority involves “the invisible fence.” She’s figured it out. During our runs, she loves to taunt unchained challengers gnashing their teeth from just beyond the sidewalk. While exercising, I commonly find myself focused on avoiding the need to vomit, so I am always late ascertaining the threat. Inevitably, I crash face-first over the lead as Squirt darts back and forth through the zap-zone, asserting her fortitude with bursts of trespassing.
The truth is, despite her “character flaws,” this dog is amazingly affectionate…to us. She’s playful, intelligent, perceptive. A loyal companion and obviously –
protective overprotective. Though annoying to others, she’s our responsibility. In Missouri, Squirt’s human aversion cost me a friendship. Her newfound detest for those in her own genus will most likely cost me thousands in co-pays.
It’s what people (and now pets) don’t see that makes it all worth it.
Perhaps that’s something to keep in mind as you stand there bewildered the next time your best friend spends another Saturday night getting his teeth kicked-in by an irate Hells Angel, who was incited by your buddy’s perpetually obnoxious girlfriend…