I’ve noticed something. Oh sigh… rant ahead!
(Penny, this is not directed at Lucy the Wonder Weinie.)
Little dogs attack Jake. A small man, uh, I mean small dog complex?
The smallest dogs come after him. Teacup chihuahuas. They are the worst. They nip at him like mosquitoes. Usually Jake ignores them unless they persist. If pushed beyond endurance he will turn on them with a snarly face, although he doesn’t bite them.
The problem is once Jake lifts his lip the small dogs’ owners all throw a hissy fit. So it’s okay for their dogs to bite my dog, but if my dog raises his lip at their dogs, he’s bad? And I should get yelled at? If Jake ever reacted and injured a small dog, even if Jake was on leash and the small dog was off leash and initiated the contact, who do you think would get the blame? The big bad German shepherd, of course.
The fact is Jake is very polite and kind. He has been known to bark at certain people and squirrels, but he’s nice to older dogs and little dogs. He won’t start a fight. He minds his own business. He can walk past leashed dogs on the sidewalk, greet them, no fuss. If a dog is across the street he doesn’t pull me after the dog, we simply walk on.
He and I cut through a neighborhood park almost daily – it’s an on-leash park. I am usually the only dog owner there with my dog on-leash. Many of the dogs mind their own business, but lately we’ve had some unpleasant encounters.
I love dogs. Don’t misunderstand. And I love open-space off-leash parks. Love to let my dog run and play. Jake and I had a great time at the beach earlier this week. A perfect time. He played off leash with a bunch of other off leash dogs. But owning a large dog is challenging. People are afraid of large dogs and they assume a German shepherd is dangerous. I try to be a responsible dog owner. On the other hand, people think that because a dog is small it’s harmless. Not so. I’ve been bitten twice in my life, both times it was by a small dog – a chihuahua and a Sheltie and believe me, that Sheltie meant business. This was not a herding-type playful nip on the ankle. This was a teeth sinking into my calf I’d kill you if I could bite.
Oh well, rant done. I know the people who own small dogs love them every bit as much as I love Jake. I just wish some people were more realistic about dog behavior. Small dogs are still dogs. Not children, dogs.
Saw the mountain lion again on Tuesday — We headed down a steep trail and Jake vanished. I called and called and soon I saw a deer running up the far ridge, followed by the cougar, followed by Jake. Ah well. Took twenty minutes for him to make his way back to me. It was a big wildlife day – since we had an unexpected rainstorm and Jake and I were the only two domestic creatures in the park. (We did get soaked to the skin, both of us. Eight hours later he was still wet.) We spotted big flocks of wild turkeys with their babies, a pair of peregrine falcons, rabbits, lots of deer, and of course the cougar.