Monday, August 06, 2007

No-one will notice me

This morning Husband and I were discussing Harvey's behaviour with other dogs.

When out walking, if he saw a strange dog approaching - strange as in one we didn't know rather than one with five legs or fangs dripping blood - he adopted the Statue Response. He'd stand stock still, barely breathing, as close to the edge of the path or the trees as he could get, in the belief that, 'No-one will notice me like this.'

Now you know - you've seen photos of him - Harvey was a big dog, and golden. He didn't easily blend into a woody background.

Small dogs with a Napoleon complex were the biggest threat, but the worst Harvey ever did was accidentally stand on one that was running between his legs.

On three or maybe four occasions during his lifetime, he was forced to defend himself when set upon by a vicious big dog: he was well able to do that and never came off worst. But he much preferred not to have to.

On one of those occasions I had assured him that the other dog didn't pose a threat: 'don't be silly, Harvey; he's a nice friendly dog.' The look he gave me afterwards said it all. 'Well, that's shows how much you know. Next time I'll stick with my own instincts.'

We sometimes called him a big soppy coward but he wasn't that at all. He had power; it just wasn't his nature to use it.


Anonymous said...

A nice post, Liz. I enjoyed it.

Age is All in the Mind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Age is All in the Mind said...

t's fascinating what must go through their minds and of course we always try to relate it to how we would think.
My son has a Labrador who has always, when spying an approaching dog, immediately laid down and would not move until the other dog has passed.
No matter what they have tried he still does it.

Mauigirl said...

I'm glad you're starting to tell the Harvey remembrance stories. When we lost our previous dog, I sat down and typed up everything I could remember about all of her little ways. I have about 3 pages worth of things to remember about Alice. Also another two or three pages of all the words she knew. It makes a nice way to remember them.

Now I've started that "words" list for our current dog, Diva. I keep having to add them!

Anna said...

At the vet the week before last, Holly and I sat to a nice-looking man with a small, shaky terrier. "She may be small, but she'll still have you," he warned Holly as we sat down. "Her last victim was a Great Dane."

Holly and I moved along into the corner and huddled by the wall...

Elsie said...

"He had power; it just wasn't his nature to use it" because he was a true gentleman, for a dog, that is. Good to read about Harvey, Liz.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

AAh, he was a gentleman of a dog. We all miss him too.

Liz said...

Thanks, Steve.

Ageis, labrador/retriever - same family, same tendencies to avoid conflict.

Mauigirl, Harvey knew words and clothes. He knew straightaway if I came downstairs in my walking gear.

Was he joking, Anna?

Elsie and welshcakes, he was a gentleman.