I’ve been writing over the past few posts about how I’m not as nice as I believed. I learned this on our vacation in South Dakota. I have further proof.
So, my husband and I had hiked with our dog, Max, from our cabin into town. That’s a story you can find on my last two posts. This is a separate story about the forty-five-minute walk home.
Clouds had rolled in, making the temperature more comfortable than the walk into town, but we hoped we’d make it before the rain came. About halfway there, I saw a woman striding from the other direction struggling to hold onto her Siberian Husky. Our lovable, adorable, puppy-face Australian Shepherd transforms into a vicious beast around unknown big dogs. I usually get his attention and divert him with a treat if we have to pass a big dog.
The lady approached and said, “My dog is friendly,” as the Husky pulled her toward Max. I noticed the body language of her “friendly” dog and knew she had no clue he was about to get aggressive.
I stepped in between. “Our dog is not good with big dogs.”
The Husky swerved around me, dragging the woman behind.
Our two dogs bared their teeth and lunged at each other. Thankfully, my husband had hold of Max and was able to keep them from getting physical. We went on our way, and I loudly stated to my husband, “Didn’t she hear me tell her that my dog was not good with big dogs?”
Okay, so this is something I don’t get. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people with dogs do this very same thing, and let their dogs come up to sniff Max. Even if their dog is friendly, shouldn’t they consider that maybe my dog is not friendly? To me, this is a no-brainer.
Max is great with people, kids and small dogs, but he was attacked by a German Shepherd when we first rescued him. Since then, we have been unable to shake his aggression toward big dogs. A treat works if a dog is passing by in close proximity, but not if the dog approaches him. It makes him feel threatened.
My husband and I caught our breath and headed toward the tunnel to get to our cabin on the other side.
It was then that I admitted it out loud. “I’m not as nice as I thought. I really love this small town in the hills, but I don’t think the feeling would be mutual if I lived here. They’re all much nicer and understand small-town life better than I. The owners of our cabin, the tourist at Custer State Park, the couple at the “smoothie bar,” and this lady with the Siberian Husky probably wouldn’t care for my straight-forward talk with well-meaning advice. Not to mention my lack of survival skills to be living out here in the woods.”
My husband chuckled. “Yeah, if there were a test you had to take to live here, I don’t think you’d pass. They’d politely direct you to a town like Chicago.”
We both laughed.
Yep, after twenty-seven years away, I’m finally home.