It’s not the size but the fight, in the dog

“Well hello there, Cujo.  How are you, Bill?”   The barkeep (cicerone?) at the pub my wife and I visited this evening greeted her regulars.

“Cujo?  Will your dog allow me to pet him (her)?”,  I asked the gentleman.  He was somewhat apologetic in his response.  I gave the dog a quick acknowledgement as he went toward a table.  I could tell right off that the lady behind the bar was teasing Bill,   but I never heard the Bill’s dog’s actual name.   This chihuahua-mix was obviously a sweet-natured animal.

I think some men with smaller dogs may be overly sensitive as to their companion animal’s stature.  I am a large man and I have tried to greet smaller dogs when I was looking to adopt.  Few small dogs had a “good-nature”.   However those were “jailhouse” faces more likely.  In my history with various dogs over decades,  I found some small ones to be fearless or at the least very “boisterous”.   As though the heart of Cujo beat in their little chests.

Decades ago, one such dog. a Lhasa Apso,  ran out from his yard while I was walking my much, much larger mastiff-retriever mix by and bit him on the paw!   Surprised Barney but he never responded in kind.   In an present-day encounter I still believe fiction,  Dexter and the neighbor’s  – actually, his grown son’s girlfriend’s dog – was then a  several-month-old puppy.   Allegedly, Dexter went next door and had picked the puppy in his mouth, like a squeaky doglike toy,  for a few seconds.    Now Dexter may actually have thought the puppy WAS a dog-toy but we saw that the puppy was uninjured and Dexter confused. Damage inflicted on this smaller-stature animal was his self esteem.  Ever since that time, the Jack Russell is an ill-tempered constantly barking mutt.  Hates Dexter. Hates Comet.  Hates me.   Enmity seeps (and non-stop barking)  through the backyard fence on the days that dog is next door.

I find that some smaller breeds are right-sized for apartment-dwellers.  Or they have a personality that meshes with their human.   In certain parts of the world a dog even a small-stature dog – is a sign of economic and social success.  It is said though that people and their dogs can take on similar natures.   So perhaps the gentleman at the pub was a bit defensive.   I really wasn’t looking to bite his little friend.


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