Regular readers may know that I have taken against very few dogs that we meet, but that one such is a very dark, rather shaggy alsatian who gets walked in the Rec at dusk, and whom, if she looms out of the dark or mist at me, I can't resist charging. I shout and yell, and the alsatian kicks up a din back as I chase round the poor dog walker hanging onto the lead and the alsatian dances round in circles trying to get at me. It's a din that can be (and has been) heard the far side of the Rec.
Well, readers, let me teach you a humbling lesson in why a dog should not go by first impressions - or indeed a human (Dad has to hold his hand up to having thought dark thoughts and muttered mutterings about badly behaved unsociable dogs and owners who don't properly socialise their dogs when they are pups.......)
Tonight, it's a foggy evening but Dad (for the first time since before Christmas) is back in time to walk us our entire walk in daylight (all be it foggy), so we're in the Rec and I'm chasing the yellow frisbee, then a tennis ball, then having a chase about with collie cross Ben (I'm getting very muddy below the plimsoll line at this stage), and then the two Bichons we know - Billy and Bugsy.
Out of the mist looms the said dark shaggy alsatian, with owner, and I spot him, freeze, then charge. But the dog is off the lead, so she can lunge back at me, and there is a very brief shouting contest, but now she circles round and allows me to sniff her bum (like we do), and suddenly we three westies, and Ben, and the alsatian are all quiet and getting to know each other. I'm not saying we're all bestest mates, but we are in the same bit of Rec and not killing each other.
The bloke turns out to be nice and friendly, and comments that "There! I knew she'd be much better off the lead!" The dog we now know is Lucy, a Battersea Home rescue, who was 9 yesr old when the guy rescued her, and who he has now had for 2 years or so. Coming to him with "issues" she's been slow to socialise, hence he always has always walked her away from places and times when most people walk their dogs.
It also gives Dad a chance to apologise for my "attitude" (oh the shame!) and the humans agree that "There's always one! - These two (indicating Meggie and the H) are as chilled as anything and always have been, but Deefs here (indicating me), 2 years old and full of it!".
So, now we know the human and the dog and we are suitably humbled and apologetic for our intolerance.
Still reckon she needs telling!