May 27th, 2005

hound of heaven

I've got you now, Red Baron!

I was an unwilling participant in a dogfight this afternoon. It wasn't much of a dogfight, and its outcome surprised me.

I had just started to take Sassafras for a walk, when the bulldog across the street, which was apparently not tied up, ran out to hassle with her. (This has happened before with another of the neighbors' series of dogs.) I stepped between them, kept trying to pull Sassy behind me on her leash, even gave the aggressive dog a good kick. But it was determined.

So, apparently, was Sassy. She slipped her collar, and there were now TWO dogs loose in the street, with nothing to keep them from really tearing into each other.

What happened next was so fast I didn't even see the turning point. Sassy went for the other dog, which turned tail and ran for its own yard. She pursued it right on its heels until it had crossed the boundary into the yard. Then Sassy immediately broke off the chase and returned to our driveway, waiting for me behind the car. As I walked up, she went into the open garage, ready to go back inside.

I petted and hugged her. Her flanks were heaving. I wonder if she thought I'd be mad at her? Soon, as I was petting her, she nosed her way forward, the better to slip into her collar again. That settled, she was ready for a nice, long walk, no worse for wear.

I'm proud of her. She held her own, but didn't bully in return. She went home instead of making me catch her. The obnoxious neighbor dog (and its owners) got a lesson in why we have leash laws.

That's my girl. Sassy's just full of surprises.