Monday, September 17, 2007

The Dog Whisperer?

This past Saturday, a boy stopped in to get some water for his dog. I happily filled the dish for him and asked if he was driving. He said he was "out" and they needed to stop. I thought well of someone taking care of their dog while out walking, but nothing more of it after that.

About a half-hour later, Tim, from the record shop next door, said, "Do you know who the dog outside belongs to?" Apparently they had stopped to eat upstairs.
"Uh... a boy..Why?"
"He's not letting people past!"

I went outside to assess the situation. Nice looking lab mix hooked to the far end of the patio growling and barking at anyone approaching. He seemed more scared and confused then anything, but I had a line of customers to attend to, so I said, "I'll be back." And went in to take care of our customers.

After going back out, the dog looked and quietly growled but did not bark. I walked right up to him and stopped, letting him approach me. He continued to growl slightly and I stepped forward and pointed at him, "Quiet! Down!" He took a step backward and after a moment of hesitation, flopped down. I immediately patted his head and scratched his ears. At this time someone was walking by, and although he now felt safe with me, he still had on his mind "stranger!" and he jumped up and barked at the passerby. I grabbed his mouth and sternly looked at him and he calmed down. Right then, about seven or eight people came out through the doorway and he quietly lay there absorbing it all. Once he understood it was a safe environment, he was content. About an hour later, the girlfriend of the owner came downstairs and I told her of the incident. "He's such a big teddy bear," she said.
He was, he just needed someone to reassure him for a moment.

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