"Not My Dog": Tales from Puppy Raising

Monday, August 20, 2007

One way to hush the puppy

It was a beautiful day yesterday, so Andrew, Nettie and I went for a hike. We hiked about 3 1/2 or 4 miles at Bradbury Mountain, which is a pretty easy climb.

It's a popular area for families and dogs, so Nettie got lots of dog exposure, including to some not-so-well-behaved members of her species. One family had two German shepherds, one of which was growling at us as it approached. I simply moved off the trail, put Nettie in a sit-stay and calmly told the owner to keep that dog away from my dog and boy. (And of course, they had it on one of those retractable (non) leashes.) "Oh, he's just a puppy and he likes to talk," the clueless woman babbled at me. Yeah, right, lady. That's a future dog-bite in progress. This "pup" was full-size already. We heard him growling at every dog he saw at the summit.

Nettie was gold through this encounter -- she was like a statue and didn't seem fazed. Andrew's also dog savvy enough to declare that that lady was going to have big problems because she didn't make that puppy mind when he was little!

Nettie also greeted beautifully and quietly when we encountered a little boy, maybe 10, who had Down's syndrome, who asked to pet her. I think dogs sense they need to be good around special needs kids, because Miss Nettie was so gentle with him.

Back to the headline -- no barking this morning! Now if only I could win the lottery and manage to spend every nice afternoon hiking in Maine's gorgeous scenery!


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