23 August 2006

Stand by Your Dog

23 August 2006
6 miles - 48.48 minutes. Evening run, quiet, sunny, pleasant

We were ambushed today from both sides of the lane.

At mile 3 of my usual daily circuit there is a house with a spaniel. Most of times we see him lying with a bored look behind a strong new fence. And every time we pass the place as soon as he sees us the spaniel starts chasing us up the fence until he crashes into the gate post. I let my dogs chase him up the length of the fence too. They feel victorious, because they run on with me, and the spaniel too, I'm sure, feels victorious, because he always manages to chase us away.

The next house on the left has three spaniels. There is no gate and only a flimsy low garden wire fence. The dogs there are mostly kept in a little run behind the house. But because it is such a gorgeous Summer evening the people are having drinks outside, and their spaniels are on the front lawn too. All three dogs rush towards us yapping. I know these dogs, they only look agressive, and I let my two do their usual thing: stop, stand fast and stare the spaniels down until either the adults call them back or they send out the children to hold them. We then 'bonjour' each other, and I go on.

But today was different. A new house has just been built on right, opposite the spaniels', and people with a young boxer bitch moved in. The boxer is often lose outside, and I don't know what to expect, from the dog and from the new family. As Nala and Strelka were having their stand off with the three spaniels the boxer jumped out on the road, snarling and ready to have a go at my dogs from behind. I was pretty sure that she was about to bite Nala, so I let loose the long end of my lead and waved it in the air making a loud swishing sound above the boxer's head. She backed off, and by that time my dogs were done with the spaniels, and having realised what was happening behind them went after the boxer. Now the new dog was scared blind. She made a dash back to her garden while looking back at us, and, because she wasn't looking she crashed herself into the high bank of the lane, covered with nettles and brambles...

So we had a big victory today. After the run I put an egg in the dogs' milk as a special treat for protecting me and for bravely beating five dogs on one run. And, I thought, because this made me feel special: I stood by my dogs and didn't let them being ambushed from behind.

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