January 14, 2006


Our Higgledy Piggledy World

It's a higgledy piggledy world out there, neither safe for man nor beast. The other day I got mugged in the park - or chomped, rather. Right in the snout.

It was a little humilitating, actually. I wound up running back to Molly with a bloody nose, like a little kid on the playground after getting roughed up by bullies. I thought I was old enough to avoid such nonsense but I guess not. Still not sure how it happened. There were a lot of unfamiliar dogs squirming around, some of them trying to be all that. My back was up just a bit, perhaps, but not bristling. Yes, my legs were stiff as poles and my tail stood out like a slantwise rod. But I wasn't trying to seriously dominate, just hold my ground and lend a little order to the chaotic, commingling mess of cheek lickers and buttocks sniffers.

Well, somebody wasn't buying my status. Or maybe they just got scared. What I really remember was a quick turn and snap.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just getting old. Maybe I would have stayed and held my ground in a dogfight when I was four or five. But I decided discretion was the better part of valor and moved on. Heck, what's the point of trying to play the hero amid such rabble?

Better just to turn my bowed and bloody head to Molly, letting her voice her high-pitched concerns as she treats my wounds. Even at eight years old, it's good to have a den mother to care for you. The playground of pugnacious hounds can wait. Sometimes it pays just to sleep off a bad social experience on the couch in the afternoon sunshine and dream of a world where you're forever the top dog, the strong, fast-witted and never-challenged king canine who always somehow manages to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat.

PS - I'm not blaming any of the dogs in the posted picture. These four were around in the park that day but the photo is just to give you an idea of how we dogs like to mix it up.

Oh, poor Hank! You're so brave. I've missed you, please write more often.
hey hank! happy new year back! may your new year be full of happiness!
Hank! Who did that to you? I'll come out there and teach them a lesson! I'll give them the hairy eyeball and show my wolfy teeth! I'll tower over them and shed on them! I'll tell them you're MY buddy, and no one chomps on my budies! And if the dog that did this to you is bigger than me, I'll bring my friend Cody!
Sorry about the nose, Hank. At least it was a fellow dog. The only bloody nose Uma ever had was when a CAT scratched her. Oh the humiliation.
Those BASTARDS! I would have scratched their eyes out! I don't know many dogs; the one dog that used to live in my building was OK. She was smaller than me though, so we got along just fine. But, if I ever meet a dog that would try to hurt you (cause you're cool by me) I'd scratch their eyes out for you! In fact, if you want to send me a smell-o-gram, I'll send it out to all my other cat friends and we'll keep a smell out for the offending dog. *MEOOOOWWWRRRRR* -Zoe
I think you're right, the dog was scared of you. Next time you'll have him right where you want him. Feign submissiveness then pee right on his head - that'll teach him!

As indypindy says, Bro Mark and I would have helped you out too if we were there. How terrible of him/her to treat you like that. Howl!!!!

But I kinda like cal's idea too. Lol!

Take care.
Awww, Hank! That's terrible! I hope your nose is all better now. Lomax and his fellow future guides from GDA aren't allowed to go to dog parks, and everytime I lament that, I hear a story like yours and don't feel so bad about the restriction.

And I agree...Cal's strategy is a good one. Nothing beats a good fake-out & head-pee in terms of retribution.

jenny & Lomax
Hey Hank,

Sorry to read about your close encounter of the hurtin' kind. You've got to watch out for some of those sneaky ones. I have a scar on my beautiful face from an encounter at a dog park on the big water. The attack came from a little white dog. He came boundin' out of nowhere and snap! Maybe he knew I don't get a long with LWDs and just wanted to avoid the build up of tension and get it over with. Unfortunately there are a lot of LWDs around here. Kinda cramps my style.

A guess I wasn't socialized very well before I adopted my humans. When I'm on lead I can get a little rambunctious at times.

Dog parks can be good if all the humans know their dogs and can read their sutle signs. That's why I don't take my Dad to the dog park anymore. He needs giant neon signs to know what's goin on, if you know what I mean.

Next time just wear your Red Badge of Courage proudly until every dog goes home and THEN run to your human.

Good luck next time you dare venture out into the Park of the Dogs.


Hi Katherine,

Thanks! I did slack off a bit in the holidays but I'll try to get back to my once-a-week or so pace.

Hi Happy,

I appreciate it.

Hi Indypindy,

Thanks for the offer. It's great to have a pack to come to my rescue. And tell Cody thanks, too.

Hi Juliar,

I've had my fair share of cat scratches as well. But they were senior members of my house pack when I was more of a pup. One of them, a cat bro named Howler, would claw me one day and then lick the ruff around my chest the next. Even his affection made me nervous. These days, I miss old Howler and remain fond of the few scratch scars I've got from him.

Hi Simba and Zoe,

Thanks for the support! There's nothing that would terrify any would-be attackers more than a cat pack. I know from experience!

Hi Cal,

Ah, the old turn-and-accidentally-on-purpose-pee-on-the-head move. Great idea. I've never used that on any other body than Lucy Lou, my dachshund cousin, who sometimes treads where she oughtn't during our walks. But that was truly accidental, I'll always insist.

Hi Cream,

Thanks for your support, too. Looks like we could put together a pretty impressive virtual pack if we need to.

Hi jenny & Lomax,

I didn't know that about future guide dogs. Thanks for the information. Yes, dog parks can be a bit risky. Personally, I prefer my beach park, where a Lab can always go into the water to get away from the crowd. Usually cools things down quickly.

Hi Freda,

It's true humans aren't always too good with the signs. But, then again, I messed up on them myself this time. At least I get a scar out of it. It may help. When you're a Labrador, looking fierce can sometimes be a challenge.

approach the dog park with caution, hank...with much caution. -- endo
Oh, poor you, but being nurtured is the best, huh? And I am sure you take care of your family as well when they need you, right?
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