Sunday, June 13, 2010

Small dogs

As if I need to tell you, small dogs are not the same as big dogs. Anyone with small dogs can back me up here. As much as Rigel acts like a big dog, when your 90lb black lab starts tossing him around trying to sniff his bits, Rigel is going to snap at your dog. It's one thing to play, Rigel is all about chasing a ball or barking and running around. But when they decide to stand over him and mess with him, he will snap at your dog. Small dogs can feel overwhelmed by hyper big dogs fairly easily. Maybe not all small dogs, but Rigel gets anxious when big dogs start tossing him with their big noses.

There is an older man that lives in our apartment complex. He has 3 big dogs that he tries to walk all at once on stretchy leashes. He never has control of them. And one of them is a very young lab puppy. The guy does not listen to me, and when I think he has, he doesn't comprehend much. I have started being very rude to this man hoping he gets the hint that I don't want him to come talk to me and have the puppy rush Rigel. Rigel is almost 4 and is very stuck in his ways. He has already bit this puppy on the nose once. The puppy hit Rigel so hard it rolled him over. So Rigel hopped up and bit the puppy. I felt so bad. But the old guy didn't seem to care. So last week this guy sees us outside on my lunch break. I'm trying to get Rigel to use the bathroom quickly so I can get back inside for lunch. And this guy starts heading towards us. So I promptly turn the other way and start walking away. I go so far out of my way to avoid this guy. But here he comes up behind me. And the dogs are all the way out on their leashes, 15 to 18 feet. The leashes are all tangled and the dogs are pulling to get to Rigel. I'm on my way back towards my apartment and he cuts across the lawn so his dogs can get to Rigel. The puppy is getting pretty close. The puppy is pulling so hard, it's gasping for air because the collar is choking him. And the amazing part of all of this, Rigel is trying his hardest to get away from these dogs. He's doing his best to avoid the situation. He's such a good boy!! So I pick up my dog and turn around to the old man and ask him again to keep his dogs away from my dog. And without even missing a beat he starts telling me how his dog has a tumor and is being put down this week. Well, he's been telling me this since I moved here in December. So now I think he's also a compulsive lyer too. He got the new puppy and tells some people that it's his, but others that he's dog sitting for his sister. He's told me both stories.

I feel really bad about complaining about this guy. He's just some dumb old man. But if Rigel hurts his dogs, it's my fault, even if his dog starts it. So it's my responsibility to keep his dogs safe?

We have another big dog in the neighborhood, her name is Roxy. Her owner's name is Beth. Roxy is calm and very gentle. She sniffs Rigel, lets Rigel sniff her, then they roll around in the grass together. I dont worry about Rigel or Roxy. This is what happens when you train and socialize your animals. Rigel was raised with big dogs, in fact, one of them was a 110lb German Shepherd. He's fine around big dogs, unless the dog wants to toss him around.

I know many of you are great responsible dog owners and dont need to hear this from me. But I needed to just put it out here for the people that have only owned big dogs and dont know about the small dog anxiety.


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