Preventing Canine World War

Where were we?

Let’s see. I had shared with you some of the activities I have used to fill the time walking the dog, which included really terrible, useless punchlines, and pastimes of dubious entertainment value.

And, while I shared with you the weakest of my walking writing work, there have been other bits that have found success in other writing, most of which hasn’t been seen by anyone yet. That’s a really cruel bit of teasing there, and I’m sorry about that.

The sadder truth is that I can only devote part of my attention to writing, as the larger share needs to go to the canine, in the event that our path crosses that of other furry mammals. People are fine, but, cats, dogs, squirrels, skunks and raccoons are serious hazards.

This is where I tell you that the adorable little ball of white fur is a gigantic bully.

If she sees a fur creature, she will immediately start barking at it and charge it at full speed, risking dislocation of my shoulder in the process. It matters not if the creature is much bigger than she is, or if they are behaving themselves and offering no challenge, their mere existence is sufficient to merit aggression. My job is to prevent her from noticing them.

First, as much as possible, it’s important to go after sunset.  My walking companion is no longer a puppy, even if there’s no convincing her of this fact, nor would it be evident to an outside observer.  Her eyesight at night has suffered the effects of aging, and I’m not ashamed of taking advantage of this frailty if it means that I have help in keeping myself free of skunk stench. I also tend to choose routes that are in the most dog-free parts of the neighborhood, which means that the scenery is boring, and therefore, largely predictable.

Another weapon in my arsenal of preventing canine conflict is the retractable leash with shoulder harness combo. As soon as I see a potential problem brewing, I begin to shorten her leash, and if possible, perform an emergency re-route. If she’s seen the incoming target, however, re-routing will be nearly impossible, and it’s time to grab her harness, pick her off her feet, and carry her.  This is vaguely reminiscent of holding a large sack of loud, squirmy, scratchy pythons. I try to avoid the nuclear python option as much as possible.

Every night is an adventure in preventing the anarchy of canine fight club while trying to achieve the quest of eliminating biological waste.  It sure sounds better than simply “walking the dog” when you put it this way.