My sister and her family recently spent ten days in California and Oregon. I called them after they returned home, after our earthquake, after we had power, and I got my nephew. I asked how their new crazy golden retriever puppy fared while they were away.
He said, “He did okay. Didn’t do anything stupid.”
So I asked, “His philosophy is don’t do stupid shit?”
My nephew said, “No, his philosophy is don’t roll in stupid shit.”
Their poor deceased golden loved nothing more than to roll in stupid shit while eating it. She was a remarkably talented dog.
Jake never rolls in stupid shit. Although I am always amazed by the fact that a dog who has no interest in the delicious food I leave in his dish possesses such a voracious appetite for rabbit shit.
But there are times when I wonder why it is people do stupid shit around dogs. I recently had to take Jake to the vet’s office for a vaccination. Nowadays he’s very good at the vet’s. Lays at my feet, waits to be called, goes into the back by himself, gets his shot, no muzzle required. The girls like him lots. But still, it’s the veterinary clinic. No dog in his or her right mind wants to be at the veterinary clinic. So the smart thing is this – Don’t do stupid shit around strange dogs at the veterinary clinic.
The last two times I was there, a strange woman (two different women) went all squeaky on me, said, “Oh, he’s so cute…” because he is cute, and then approached him uninvited, stuck out a hand and asked, “Can I pet him?”
Jake didn’t move a muscle either time, but of course I said no. When each woman looked all sad and insulted, I added, “This is a stressful situation for any dog. It’s not a good time to meet strangers.”
Each woman said, “Oh, right. Yeah, sure. Sorry.”
Believe me, Jake is a cutie pie, and he gets all kinds of compliments, guys even honk when they drive by– guys in pickup trucks. They yell – “Niiiiiiice dog!” It’s pretty funny. Most of the time Jake is sweet as sugar. But he comes from a long line of protection/working dogs and he can be touchy under certain circumstances, like when strangers crowd me or walk right up on me unexpectedly. He might give a little warning back-off growl the way he did this morning when a woman and her Doodle walked right up behind us as I was opening the car door after our walk. She came within a foot of my open car door just as Jake was about to jump in. Because she thought Jake was cute and she thought her dog would like to meet him.
I give strange dogs space. Many dogs don’t like German shepherds. They just don’t. The sight of a German shepherd rubs a lot of dogs the wrong way, makes them defensive and although Jake likes most other dogs he doesn’t like all other dogs. I find it hard to understand why you’d walk right up on a strange German shepherd.
So… I told Jake, “Quit.” Said, “Load up.” He jumped in the car and I shut the door. I turned to the woman. Shrugged. “Sorry.” And I drove away. End of story.
Don’t roll in stupid shit around dogs. It’s a decent philosophy.
Here’s Jake this morning and tonight. I snapped a couple photos of the worst upended sidewalk in the neighborhood. Jake was enthralled, wanted to climb up and over but I didn’t want to risk him.