Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cujo Claren

When I was growing up, one of my uncles had a dog that was part Labrador retriever and part Rottweiler. Ragweed was a wonderful dog, but she had a smile that looked vicious and she no doubt scared off plenty of people.

I guess Claren can look fierce from the right angle; mostly, I think, she is kind of goofy-looking, especially when she is playing (Imagine this object just rolling back and forth).

She apparently did not look harmless and goofy to a kid this afternoon – she was more Cujo than cuddly. It's my fault, but I am not sure what I'd do different next time.

Claren and I were out by the edge of the driveway, playing ball in the field, which is our property even if it is sort of seen as a park. I saw this man and two kids approaching, so I stopped throwing the ball and just waited. They got up to me and introduced themselves, and at some point Claren must have decided the little boy wanted to play because I looked up and she is loping after him and he is running. I thought everything was good until the dad yelled something like, It's OK, and the kid was crying.

The kid disappeared into our garage and the dad went in to comfort him. My little sister came out to settle things down and I took hold of Claren's collar.

I guess I could have grabbed her collar as soon as I saw them, but Claren does not make the first move. But I did not see the kid try to grab her ball or suggest somehow he wanted to play. Maybe if I could hear well I would have realized that the kid was not having fun and could have yelled at Claren.

Several relatives have said they came in to our yard. While that might work legally, I need Claren to be better than a regular dog. And I need to be a better-than-a-regular-dog-handler. One of us is falling down on the job, and I don't think it is her.

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