Saturday, July 08, 2006


I've come to the conclusion that our neighbor dog, a tiny Chihuahua-Pom cross, is certifiably insane. Let me start by saying I love dogs of every shape and size and fur type (despite my particular attraction to the wirehaired types), and I seldom meet a dog I do not like. Even the grumpiest of dogs usually has a few nice qualities; and with dogs, as with people, I try to focus on the finer points and work from there. But despite my best efforts, I have yet to find any redeeming qualities in this dog.

Let's start with the fact that he barks almost incessantly when he's outside, and when any living being enters his field of perception, he barks with a fervor that suggests he's on the brink of a complete emotional melt-down. If anyone outside his family tries to approach him, even in the most unassuming, dog-friendly manner, he lunges at them like Cujo...his tiny lips curled back, needle-like teeth gleaming, frothing and growling in the deepest tone he can muster (which is somewhere between a gargle and the sound of stretching rubber).

"Don't go near him, he bites," I'm warned. "We don't know why he does that," says his owner, who is a sweet person with sweet children and other dogs who are friendly. "It's just how he is."

Ok, it would be tempting to say this dog is just over-compensating for his diminutive size. Or perhaps he is just a bit high strung and could, with some psychological counseling and medication, get to a point where he was tolerable. I'm not so sure. In any case, sadly, I've reached a point where I've given up on trying to establish a relationship with this little dog.

Originally uploaded by ScruffyDog.

Baxter has found his own way of dealing with the situation. Mini-Cujo provides a certain entertainment value for Bax, who has discovered he can wind up the little guy by running in circles around our back yard. Then, as Mini-Cujo reaches the peak of apoplexy, Bax runs up to the six-foot wooden fence that separates them and stands there, about two inches away from the slightly warped board that leaves a gap just wide enough for Mini-Cujo to stick his tiny snout through. All one can see is a snarling mass of tiny teeth with a little black nose on top. Bax just stands there, silently, and watches as the little guy threatens to rip the fence down, splinter by splinter, until either I come to get Bax or Mini-Cujo's owner comes out to get him.

Ah, the joys of summer.

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