We seem to be people who acquire quirky dogs. Maybe all dogs are quirky. Maybe that is the second best thing about a dog. The first, of course, is their extreme loyalty all wrapped up in pure joy.
I have told you a lot about Bode's ability to chew and eat pretty much anything. He started right off by eating our plastic vertical blinds. That wasn't a good idea. He ended up with a partial bowel obstruction, which leads to all kinds of messy. A month or so after that, he did it all over again. We now have curtains.
Our last dog, Grady, was a wonderful family pet. He had one giant flaw, though, which caused us a lot of worry. He was a gentle boy with us but he seemed to think all other dogs were a threat to his territory or his people. He was extremely protective. That is a good thing if you have a dangerous invader situation. It is a bad thing if you order a pizza. He also thought most people were a threat, at least at first. He thought WE were scary as well, if we wore hats!
Anyway, with Bode, we really, really wanted to socialize him and keep him from being aggressive. Well, mission accomplished. Bode loves everyone! A lot! Sure, he will act protective with a stranger entering our home, but once he has met someone, they are soon his BFF.
Bode started out loving other dogs as well. He is crazy when our granddogs, Bumblebee and Betty come to visit. Early on, when out walking him, he wanted to greet all dogs and thought they would all be thrilled to play with him. Sadly, they sometimes had a different plan.
We often encounter loose dogs when out walking, even though we have a leash law. With our last dog, he would strain on the leash to get a fight started. He was fearless. Bode... Not so much. Bode may be playing it smarter, though. He simply freezes when approached by another dog. He lets them smell what they want. He does not make eye contact. It usually works out ok for him but it is sad too see him so terrified.
Mike takes Bode for a daily walk. They have a route they enjoy and they know which yards have scary dogs. Bode enjoy that walk.
Yesterday, I was off work early and we had a lovely day happening. I decided to treat myself and Bode to an afternoon walk. I upset him right away because I started off going the wrong way. He kept trying to explain to me that I was doing it wrong. It reminded me of a story about our daughter, Maria.
When Maria was 2 years old we moved to the Seattle area for two years while Mike was in college out there. One day, I was driving Maria somewhere and decided to explore just a bit. When she realized we were off the route she knew, she became worried and was questioning my navigational skills. Finally, the loud little two year old voice from the car seat behind me inquired, "Does Dad know where we are? "
Yesterday, I could tell Bode was wishing Mike was on the other end of the leash so he didn't have to be so worried.
I kept trying to walk with Bode on my left. He kept diving behind me, trying to get on my right. He was so adamant about it, I thought maybe Mike now walked him that way. I gave in to having him on my right and we continued on. He was fine for awhile.
When we crossed the street and my right side was on the inside of the street, Bode then scrambled to my left side. It kind of felt like he wanted to protect me from the street traffic.
I started to notice Bode's reaction each time we heard a dog bark. Thankfully most were behind a fence but Bode cringed and pulled away each time. It soon became apparent he wanted to keep me between him and the yards with dogs in them! Whatever, Dude!