Fear and Trust

Most of you know my little dog, Bella the bichon, about 11 pounds of marshmallow fluff, doesn’t make a sound, not an aggressive bone in her body. Would not hurt anything or anybody.

We were taking a short walk on this beautiful calm evening, enjoying the fresh layer of white that covered all the dirt from the roads today, just enjoying the silence a quiet snowfall produces. In the corner of my eye I saw a small woman walking, or rather being led by, a very large long haired German Shepherd. One of my favourite breeds. We groom several at the shop.

This boy though had very little training and a very sad excuse for an owner. I am sorry to write this, but please, if you decide on a breed and discover that it is likely to outweigh you by at least 20 pounds, commit to training it from the beginning. The dog pulled it’s owner, barking furiously, closer and closer, until she fell on her bottom in the snow, all the while just saying the dogs name over and over, no command, no objective. What she thought was disciplinary was in fact praise for the dog. She said his name, over and over while he barked at and pursued me and my little dog down with intensity.

He didn’t know though, that although he could do serious damage to my dog or myself if he bite either, I wasn’t afraid of him, at least not on the outside. I took one step forward, stomped my foot in the snow, growled ‘Leave it!’, with my arm outstretched before me.  The dog looked me in the eyes and backed down, all the while his owner is saying sorry, sorry. He still barked, but no longer pulled his owner, the leash now gone slack, and his place in the world a little more defined. I am no stranger to bullies, and I won’t back down. Bella? Well, I don’t even think she noticed. She just stopped sniffing the snow, with complete trust in me to protect her, just stood there, looked up at me when I growled leave it at the other dog.  We continued on our way, the rest of the walk uneventful.

Reader Comments

  1. Ruby Hillier

    Yes like us dogs need training. And it is unkind to allow a dog to be the boss. It is not their fault- they need to be gently taught. Some just want the animal to somehow catch on by itself. I watched my then 3 year old grand-daughter do some training. The dog was snarling- a family pet not hers- she raised her arm pointed at the dog and told the dog to sit and he did – then she went and got him a small treat and patted him on the head and said ‘good boy and his name”. And both were just fine. She has had dogs in her family since she was born. I am glad you knew what to do and that noone was hurt. Some maybe should not have pets if they do not take the time to help them see their place in the world. Love you- Aunt Ruby

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