Let me preface this post by saying thatI like to think of myself as a reasonable human being. If you don’t actually know me, there’s a chance you may believe that. But sometimes the unreasonable gets the edge in a most public manner. Usually it involves my children, but not this time. Not this time.
I walk my kids to school, and I often carry the smallest on my back in an Ergo carrier. Yes, I am one of those. A blog for another time, perhaps. We’re fairly new in the neighborhood. The houses tend to be quite spread out, so we haven’t met all of the neighbors yet. Or their dogs.
The first time I encountered the little wretch, My eight year old and I were on our way to school. As we were passing a house about a quarter of a mile from our home, a miniature poodle came barreling out from his hiding place behind a bush, snarling, leaping, kicking up dirt with his hind feet like he was all that and a bag of kibble. My first thought was “Come ON, little dude! You have a sculpted pompom on your butt. How big a stud can you BE?” But he kept coming. I did what I always do in such situations. I stood my ground, looked him in the eye and said “NO!” in a very firm tone of voice. He tried to sneak around behind me to snap at my ankles. I stamped my foot, yelled “No!” again, and started toward him. The little coward slunk to a neighbor’s yard where he dropped his calling card, teeth bared and snarling.
And he was there to greet us in the same way nearly every day. Some days he was accompanied by his counterpart, a fat little female with bug eyes and faded yellow fur. And she was really sneaky. My biggest concern was that they would bite one of my kids. Yeah, I know they weigh less than a housecat, but it doesn’t take much to instill fear in a toddler.
And then came the day. Chalk it up to exhaustion from being up with a sick child all night if you will. Or to frustration at a neighbor who clearly has no interest in keeping his nuisance dogs up. Whatever the reason, I guess I had had enough from the little turd. I have no memory of the encounter, but I guess I must have lost it. I never touched him, though if I’d have gotten my hands on him, I’d have carted him to the pound. I am assuming that I screamed at the little turd and charged his scraggly hind-end in an alarming way. For weeks afterward, the nice lady down the street gathered her yorkie in her arms whenever she saw me coming. But whatever. It worked.
The next time I saw my nemesis, he charged like a raging lion. I looked at him and said “Are we going to have this discussion again?” And he displayed canine behavior I have never before seen. His eyes widened , and he practically left skid marks on the pavement as he recognized me and brought himself up short. He cocked his head to look up at the sky as if he didn’t see me and tiptoed sideways back to his own yard. If he had lips, he’d have been casually whistling. He melted into the shrubbery, and I didn’t even see him again for 2 weeks.
I had won. I had terrorized and crushed the spirit of a 10 pound miniature poodle. I AM the man.
And what is YOUR most stellar moment?