Goldie and I took a walk tonight. It was uneventful until we were about 200 yards from leaving the park to come home when a big brown and white dog - pit and boxer mix, it looked like - rushed us.
Aggressive, tail up and still, off leash, it charged right up on Goldie, who was OF COURSE on her leash.
Goldie is not one to run from a fight - she is an Alpha girl through and through (I have no idea where she gets that from).
People at a house across the street began calling the dog, kind of feebly.
"Get your f***ing dog," I yelled helpfully and, oh, one might say a bit forcefully. Ok, I sounded like the drill sergeant in "Full Metal Jacket."
The dog kept charging. I did something I learned from my dear Dad, the WWII vet who has a way with animals.
I made The Big Noise. This is a noise that comes all the way up from your guts and is easily understood by animals, children and anyone else within a mile radius.
"HAH!" I yelled. "GIT! HAH!"
And the dog turned tail and ran. I was pleased with my work up to that point.
Then the dog came back. I proceeded to yell bigger and longer, but this time he would not be persuaded. He had seen through my yelling act.
Along came Miss Skinny Tattoo, apparently the dog's owner. "Quit yelling! You're freaking them out!"
Precisely what I was trying to do, I thought.
"Why are you yelling?" she whined. I am not making this up. She was whining. It was a kind of new-agey, "You're collecting bad karma" kind of thing.
I gave her the opposite explanation than the obvious ("Because you are a jerk with a big aggressive off leash dog") "She can be really mean," I said.
"Why do you have her in a public park, then," she asked.
Let us stop here. This is my favorite part. Don't you just LOVE Miss Skinny Tattoo? Her dog is off leash. Her dog is attacking my dog. And I somehow am the cause of this problem.
I am imagining her as a mother in the principal's office with her kindergardner: "Principal Skinner, I want you to tell me why all the other kids keep sticking their heads in the way of Johnny's wooden blocks."
I said "Why is your dog off leash?" and of course she did not answer. She grabbed her dog's collar and went off muttering and then I heard her whining again to her male friend "She was FREAKING out."
Yes, I was. And I will freak out again if I have to, to protect my lovely Goldie. Spiritual mastery will have to take a back seat to preventing another $1600 emergency vet bill.
I continue to pimp my new blog Linkateria. A perfect mixture of salty and sweet.