Two Bad Moments

I did nothing. Noth-ing.

I did nothing. Noth-ing.

We went to the vet today. Bordatella shots for all the dogs because we’ll be going away at some point in the next few weeks. The hardest thing for my wife to understand about deerhounds is that they aren’t just bigger, hairier greyhounds. So we had Raebert, Molly, and Eloise in the office all at once, transported in two cars no less. Everything was cool. A vet tech leaned over the gate and said mirthfully, “And a partridge in a pear tree.”

Then a cranky old male golden lab came in and looked crosswise at Raebert. Who said something back. Something Scottish. My wife was horrified. We shushed him. He subsided. He’s twice everybody’s size, you see. No hint of aggression can be tolerated. But he knows that because he’s a smart boy. Why he got A’s in obedience school, even if he forgets his manners now and again.

Then they’d had their shots and I took the sighthounds out to the car while my wife did the business part with Eloise in tow. But no sooner had we reached the top of the steps than we saw, at the bottom of the steps, a gorgeous young Swiss Mountain dog. He took one look at Raebert and did that aggressive male bark we’ve all learned to recognize and dread. “Who. And. What. The. Hell. Are. You?”

Oh God, I’m thinking. You really really don’t want to know. We had an escape route. A ramp, a 40 ft detour to avoid the steps. I led Raebert and Molly down the slick first half, and the slicker second half in the opposite direction. Raebert was absolutely cool. Molly was only a little frantic, the way she always is at the vet’s.

I didn’t tell my wife right away that the ramp caused the leashes to get fouled and when I went to put them in the car Molly got out of her collar because Raebert had his leash wrapped around him to the point no one but Molly could move. “Molly, stay,” I commanded. She didn’t know what I was talking about. Why I was able to slip the collar back on her while I belatedly stood on Raebert’s loose leash. Everything under control except my heart…

“What a gorgeous Swissie!” my wife told me when she returned with Eloise.

I’m just reporting here. Raebert didn’t go all Braveheart on anyone and Molly didn’t bolt like a deer into the trafficky suburbs. Total victory. And Eloise was a little angel for the whole ride up and back.

Why my weekend is already a complete triumph.

6 thoughts on “Two Bad Moments

  1. Glad to hear it. Coincidentally, I went to pick up my little dog & big dog from the vet this evening, also. Forgot both of their proper leashes so had to use the lame Petsmart ones they give you. I have to wrap the end around my hand twice to keep the big dog from bolting away and the little one goes nuts trying to jump up and chew his off. I also had a bag of medicine and the 25-page receipt one gets from a Petsmart visit balanced in my arms while Little Dog danced in, out & under Big Dog and we passed by no fewer than three other dogs on the way to the car.

    But we all made it back home safe & sound and the Caps won in OT. Life is good.

  2. Okay. Two dogs dodged a bullet today. A lab and a Swissie. It wasn’t all comedy. Sorry if I gave that impression. Raebert’s a perfect storm. Fearless, incredibly smart, and once he’s decided, unstoppable. What we live with. Our only edge. He loves us. Without that, we’d have a problem that couldn’t be solved. He’s just MORE than most dogs ever are.

  3. I can sympathize. Last weekend I took my dog down to the campground where I picked him up as a stray a year ago (no tags, no chip in his back). Tied him up to one of those metal screws you auger into the ground, the first time I’d tried that with him.

    It went well for a few hours. Then I decided to play with him a little. I threw pine cones at him. When I reached for his face to take a cone from him, he growled like a dog possessed. But it was a friendly growl, if you know what I mean, which I’m sure you do.

    Friendly or not, though, it was more excitement than he was accustomed to, and during those few minutes—after days of no contact with other dogs—one of the other guys at the campground decided to parade his own dog nearby. Max went after the other dog and casually pulled the metal screw right out of the ground.

    Between the other owner and myself we got them separated, with no damage to either dog or either owner. But it did look like Max was out for blood. I don’t know the breed of the other dog; maybe part Lab. A good-sized dog but timid and sweet. I’ve had Max for a year and it was the nastiest thing I’ve seen him attempt.

    I gave him a smack on the ass, but a gentle one, because I suspect I’m one of those palookas who doesn’t always know his own strength, and I do love my stupid dog. Then I tied his line around a tree trunk, which served well enough for the rest of the evening. I’d love to let him run free, but it’s against campground rules and I think he has that greyhound trait you mentioned, that of being too dumb to find his way home.

    Anyway, my point is, I think I know what you went through.

  4. It’s been a few years, but I can absolutely relate. My heart was in my throat when I read your story, and I’m glad their was a happy ending. A bad ending… that’s real bad.

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