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.
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.