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Saturday, March 29, 2014

On The Wolf, Enemies, and Tactics, or, Ten Lessons from The Wolf

Jean Sexton muses:

The Wolf, a long-haired Chihuahua, is very different in many ways from any dog I have ever had before. I am learning a lot from him, as well as getting healthier by walking more. In the office he is busy wrapping us all around his little paws. It is good for us as he generally reduces stress levels. However, on his walks I am learning more about how he perceives and interacts with the world.

The Wolf has enemies on his daily rounds. The Deadly Duo of Dachshunds, The Yorkie behind the Fence, The Yorkies in the Yard, The Laundromat Dog, Public Enemy #2 (a large, tuxedo cat), and the Bullies are all regulars. Lessons learned include:

1. If the dogs (the Bullies in this case) are behind a fence, they are stuck there. You don't have to fight, especially since they don't have anything you want. Mark your territory, bark enough they know you are tough, and leave.

2. What was an empty fence last week may not be empty today. (Public Enemy #2 and The Yorkie behind the Fence have both surprised him this week.) Be ready to withdraw if the force has a better position and equal or better firepower.

3. The odds of two against one, especially if the two are each bigger than you, are not good odds. That doesn't keep you from showing the flag by barking.

4. Stay alert. That empty yard might have Yorkies sleeping in the bushes.

5. If you've seen Public Enemy #2 under a vehicle, remember to check it on your next pass by it; he might have returned.

6. Just because Public Enemy #2 was under a vehicle doesn't mean he is still there two hours later.

7. Look up! Public Enemy #2 might be over your head on the stairs.

8. Just because there is a Neutral Zone (the street) doesn't mean the enemy won't cross it.

9. Think big! If you only bark at safe targets (those smaller than you), you will be limited to barking at bugs.

10. If you do challenge a big dog, it doesn't hurt to have a safe port to retreat to. However, make sure the larger target knows you are retreating under duress.