Our Best Friend was in a strange mood when we took him to the park on Monday. Normally he pays no attention to whatever dogs the girls play with. If he shows any interest at all, it usually mirrors ours; he likes the dogs we like. But on Monday he barked and lunged at at a sweet lab who was loving up the girls, not with intent to harm, but to intimidate. The poor dog backed off, shaking. I made OBF lie down and stay, and gave him what-for, but he was unfazed. I, of course, was embarrassed and annoyed. It’s bad enough when your dog is obnoxious, but it’s worse when you freeze your butt off at the same time. I didn’t sacrifice my personal comfort so he could behave like an idiot.
I took him back yesterday, and he did it again. He chased other dogs, running alongside and barking. He didn’t snarl, he didn’t snap, but there was something menacing about his behaviour nonetheless. Usually he only chases dogs that chase him, and it’s clearly in play. This time he gave chase first, and in an-overly aggressive way.
Ronnie came in with Brandy, Zara, and a brown poodle I’d never seen before. (“I was at my buddy’s, told him I was heading to the park, and offered to take his dog too.” Vintage Ronnie.) OBF sniffed Brandy happily and chased after her appropriately. But when her attention turned elsewhere, he became hyper and out of control once more.
Unlike Monday, yesterday was bright and sunny, though bitterly cold, and there were quite a few dogs by now. For the first time ever, I saw him join a whole pack of dogs, jumping and barking, and not in a fun way. Ronnie was closer, and called him over quite sternly; fortunately, he listened. He almost didn’t seem like Our Best Friend: first getting aggressive, then listening to Ronnie, whom he tends to ignore.
I left after that, not because he was acting up, but because I had to pick up the kids. I would have stayed to see how his behaviour progressed, and find out from Ronnie (who knows everything, of course) what to do about it. The snow has done something to our dog; he’s become a werehusky or something. I hope he settles down, or we may have to suspend our dog park days until the snow spell wears off.