“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.