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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gimli's crazy morning

I've realized I haven't posted anything on Gimli lately, so this post is allll about him!

He had a strange morning today...

Our staircase has two landings.  Its not a true 'boxed' in staircase, it has a slight curve as it comes down so there's 2 landings there so you don't fall on your butt as you descend the stairs.  Each area before the landing has about 4 or 5 stairs.  Gimli, in his infinite wisdom, because he is 'Looooorrrrd Gimli!', feels it is his duty to race down the stairs at break neck speed.  So much so that his front legs propel him downwards and his bunny butt is left hanging on for dear life and swaying like a rickety 18th century caboose that's been fastened onto a Japanese speed train.

This morning, he ran downstairs first and stood at the foot of the stairs looking up at me with that crazed 'feed me' look on his face.  I had forgotten something upstairs so I ran back up to fetch it.  He thought it was a game and ran back up with me.  When it came time to come down to go on the walk, he was even more excited and started down after me.  He reached the first landing and then slid fumbled fell down the 4 steps to the second landing.

I yelled at him, 'Gimli!' and we slowly went down the last bit of stairs where I felt him all over and stretched his legs to make sure there was nothing broken.  There wasn't, but I could tell he was a little startled by the whole experience.

We got ready and went on our walk.

It was blustery this morning and Gimli, being a little shaken up, was even more terrified because these frightening plastic trash can covers were spinning in the streets and threatening to get him.  Even the brittle leaves were scaring him, so much so he was less walking and more running/pulling with an air of, 'Let's just get this over with, hurry up woman!'  Normally I'm happy when he walks fast, but today it was almost a run to keep up with him, something I was not prepared to do because I am a lazy fat ass wasn't fully awake yet.

He calmed down as we turned the corner and slowed down a bit.  I happened to look behind us and saw the 'Golden Retriever Guy', (GRG), far behind us, but on our side of the street.

To explain a bit, neither Mike nor myself like this guy mainly because he's a bit rude and doesn't have a concept of personal space when it comes to him and his dog.  More on this later.

Gimli and I continued on into the park and we headed toward the bin so he could make his morning deposit.  After the bin, there's a small hill where the path dips down a bit and into the full park area with swings and a slide etc.  Gimli and I usually stop at the bin, then cross the grass back to the sidewalk, bypassing the full park altogether.  This morning, we ran into our neighbor from across the street.  She's a nice lady, with a senior German Shepherd, Pax (a male), and a puppy, I figure less than a year old, but nearly full grown.  We'll call her 2GS.  She's had the puppy for about a week so far, but we haven't met him yet because we haven't really run into each other and when we have, it hasn't been a good time to socialize.  Today was one of those days.

Gimli knows Pax and they get on well.  Pax is verrry mellowww.  We came upon Pax who was sitting on the path and Gimli said hi.  2GS was a little further away taking care of business with puppy.  As we reached her, the puppy was a little barky, mainly because he's never met us.  I somehow got Gimli to lie down in between my feet and he was behaving.  This normally never happens and I was pleasantly surprised.  Except I looked over to the left and there was GRG coming over the hill.

2GS then went into a bit of a scramble to move the puppy away from GRG because as she says to me, "He, GRG, told me his dog doesn't like puppies."  At this point, GRG was much closer and Gimli started acting up, mainly because his dog was getting closer and closer.  I heard GRG say, "Look, 2GS can't control two dogs.".

2GS started moving away and I stepped back with Gimli trying to get him to calm down before we started moving again.  I said to GRG as he was coming over, "Go ahead".  Meaning I'll wait here, you continue on ahead and cross the park to go to your house, which was directly across the street from where we were standing, so he could have just walked around where we were standing to go home.  He continued over to me, both of us trying to keep our dogs away from each other, and he says, "Is your dog a male?"  (Which he asked me before).

"Yes he is."

"Oh, well, I don't want them to meet because males will fight."

I knew what he was going to say before he even finished the sentence because he had said this before.  I brought Gimli next to me in a tight heel and walked away.  Gimli kept looking behind, but by the time we reached the sidewalk, about 20ft away, he was back under control.

I don't want this to be a rant or preachy soapbox ramblings, but some people just don't have common sense.  If you have it in your mind that your dog will fight with every other dog out there, then why bring your dog close enough to another dog?  Furthermore, why project this feeling onto yourself and by extension, your dog so that whenever you encounter another dog, that feeling is always there?

I'm not a genius and I'm not the world's best dog trainer and Gimli certainly isn't the most well behaved dog out there, but I know my dog and I know how I feel on any given day and if I feel like Gimli is 'off' or I'm 'off' or whatever the situation is, then on the walk, I avoid everyone.  I cross the street, I walk fast, I take detours.  I don't look for trouble, I don't see a situation and bring my dog into it with the pre-conceived notion that my dog is going to fight the 2 males dogs there.

I know there are 50 million ways to raise and train a dog and what works for me doesn't work for the next person.  But it would be nice if all dog owners out there practiced some common sense, awareness and respect people's personal space when on a walk.

Ok, now that's off my chest, pictures of Gimli!  I especially like the last one.

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