Good Fences Make Good Doggie Toys
Zeus: The dog that could eat Chicago if he knew where it was.
The other day after my morning excursion to see my Nutritionist I went straight home determined to have a quiet afternoon. Well, that idea got shot to pieces before I got out of the car.
Let me explain.
I pulled the Toyota anti-stretch limo into its usual parking spot next to my wife’s (The charming and eloquent Rev. Dawn) Honda, but before I could open the car door I saw a large and lovely Yellow Labrador come streaking through the yard headed my way. I decided to wait. I didn’t know this dog.
This big pooch headed straight for the fence, behind which stood Zeus, his eyes the size of two bloodshot softballs.
I got out of the car but stayed back, fully prepared to get back into the car, through the keyhole if necessary.
The two behemoths began to bark and snarl at each other. Zoe, the little loudmouth barked once then ran away.
In the next nanosecond Zeus launched himself over the fence into our yard. The four foot high fence that was being raised to eight feet was already framed up to about six feet. Zeus went over that like he was stepping out of the shower. I backed up farther.
For the next ten seconds it was like a scene out of an old Ray Harryhausen special effects movie spectacular. The two dogs were all over each other like cheap perfume. The neighbor’s son, who is about twelve, stood on their deck looking at all this with his mouth hanging open like the fourth hole on a miniature golf course. The only thing missing was the windmill.
The tussle was over quickly as both pups suddenly realized that they both smelled pretty good – as far as dogs go. The fighting stopped and it looked like the beginning of a beautiful relationship was afoot – er, apaw.
By this time the mother had come out to the deck and was yelling at Zeus to get back into his own yard. Zeus, being an obedient dog who knows which side his Milk-Bone is buttered on, vaulted back over the fence. That quieted mom. She took him by the collar and disappeared inside their house.
Now it is just me and the big yellow dog. Great. Just great.
The dog looked around, dismayed by what had happened, wondering why his new friend had gone away. He looked at me and made a small bark. I don’t speak Dog, but combined with the look on his face I think he was saying, “Won’t you be my friend?” I didn’t care for Fred Rogers back in the day and I wasn’t too comfortable with this version of him either.
New Yeller trotted over to me as I started inching toward the door into the house. He rubbed up against me like I was a table leg. This dog was getting too close to flirting. (See my earlier blog about my encounter with an Alpaca.)
I opened the storm door and the big yellow pooch stepped up like he was just waiting for me to open the other door so he could come inside.
Ain’t gonna happen!
He was too big for me to just push him away, not unless I was willing to risk losing an arm. I wasn’t. I have a limited supply of functioning limbs and at my age it is nigh on to impossible to get parts.
I’d noticed that the dog had a collar and looked cared for. He was not feral or a street living stray. Perhaps he had been trained by his owners.
I backed away from the house a few feet, looked at the dog and holding out my palm I told him to “Sit.” He went down on his fuzzy butt without hesitation. I followed up with another command, “Stay.” I moved back toward the door and, bless his worm-free heart, he stayed glued to his spot.
His training enabled me to get into the house. I looked back at him and after another five seconds I think he caught on that I was no fun. He stood, wagged his tail and took off running back the way he came. I haven’t seen him since.
I’m just waiting for the inevitable conversation with the mom from next door. I suspect that she thinks the big yellow dog is ours. Why would we ever want such a dog?
Particularly since we have Zeus in our yard – and in our lives so much.