Most of the time, I’m very proud of Our Best Friend. He’s come such a long way. When we first got him, he’d go nuts barking if he saw a dog blocks away. It was such an embarrassment. And if we tried to shut him up, he’d growl and snap at us. Now he can greet another dog with an appropriate sniff and tail wag, and only goes bonkers occasionally.
Our Best Friend does not play with other dogs. I joke that he has Asperger’s; he doesn’t get doggie social cues. When other dogs play-fight, he jumps around them, barking madly, like a canine recess monitor convinced that two kids are about to hurt each other real bad. Puppies annoy him; when they jump on him, or attempt to lick his face, he barks them off. He’s given a few dogs a bad fright, but he’s never hurt anyone. I can usually count on him to leave other dogs alone. Most of the time, he just does a lot of sniffing, and sometimes he’ll play a short game of chase. But every so often, he takes a shine to another dog, and his behaviour can be… inappropriate.
Last time we went to the park, none of my friends were there. There was no standing about chatting; I just walked the oval path around the park, with Our Best Friend trotting along. And then he decided to make a friend.
There was a lovely brown short-haired pointer, playing in a group of dogs. OBF went over, sniffed him, and must have decided he liked the smell. Because then he proceeded to hump him. When other dogs try doing that to OBF, they get warned off pretty fast. For whatever reason, the pointer– who was clearly male, by the way– didn’t seem to care. He just stood there placidly, as if nothing was happening.
“OBF!” I yelled. “Stop that!”
He didn’t stop until I walked right up, at which point he jumped down and gave me a sideways, guilty look. I hustled him off. I didn’t know who the dog’s owner was, and no one said anything to me, so we just continued walking.
Now remember, the park’s an oval. So we walked around again… and once more, OBF went straight to the point(er).
“OBF!” I yelled. “Stop that!” And again, he didn’t stop until I was close enough to drag him off if necessary.
In all the years we’ve been going to the park, I don’t think OBF’s displayed this behaviour half-a-dozen times, and certainly never more than once (maybe twice) with the same dog. Yet he went after this poor dog at least four or five times. That pointer must have been wearing steak spice cologne. Sadly, there was one person there I know but don’t care for, because in subtle ways she makes it clear that she has a low opinion of OBF. And there he was, confirming her opinion of him as a doofus.
Other than Lady Snotball, no one reacted. Not the dog, the owner never came forward. Thankfully, no one was getting hurt, but still…. I’m sure that’s not what the pointer came to the dog park for. That’s not why anyone goes to the dog park. Not why I go, anyway. Maybe OBF has been waiting for the right dog friend for years.
Obviously there are no pictures of this event. This is a G-rated blog (most of the time), and I think if I’d pulled out my phone and said, “Wait! I need a shot for my blog! Keep going, OBF!” that might have provoked a reaction from someone. Nothing like the owner behaving as inappropriately as the dog.
So tell me– what does your dog do to embarrass you?