Beware of dog!

Nittany, our twelve-year old Lhasa Apso – Bichon Frise dog, stood at attention on the armrest of the sofa glaring at the intruder. She looked at him the way a detective sneers at a career criminal, trying to get him to confess to a string of burglaries. Her eyes never let him out of her sight. She was ready to pounce should he exhibit any unexpected or inappropriate behavior. 

The HVAC technician pointed to Nittany and asked how old she was. He was trying to get on Nittany’s good side, and she was having none of it. She continued staring him down. I told him she was a 20-pound mutt who thought she was a ferocious attack dog. He laughed and then put his life in danger by reaching out and putting his right hand up close to Nittany’s face. 

I was going to ask if he had a death wish, but thought better of it. I guess he put it there to let her smell it. I’m not sure why. I just know I wouldn’t have done that.

I feared for the worst. 

I worried about Nittany getting surprised or scared and deciding to rip into his hand like one of her play toys. My heart flickered in place until he pulled his hand back and went back to his job giving our furnace an annual check-up. Of course, Nittany’s heart didn’t start up again until he had left the house, got into his truck, and was gone for good. 

Nittany worries me, but I shouldn’t be too worried about her. If she got aggressive with the technician or any one of our neighbors who like to walk their dogs by our house, she would inevitably bark a few minutes and then cower in the corner. She’s all bark and no bite. She’s like one of those bullies we all come across in our life. She acts like a ferocious pitfall, but is really a pushover.

Oh, but show her a little love and she’s eating out of the palm of your hand. 

Related columns:

A different kind of doggy daycare

Coming up empty in my search for doggy kisses

A dog’s request: Time for bed

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