A Not-So-Brief Story about a Briefly Terrifying Beast

I came home from work early today because I’m still trying to get rid of the tiny bit of head cold that I caught from my husband (in spite of banishing myself to the guest bedroom to avoid his icky germs). Since it is a gorgeous day out, I decided that some vitamin D would surely help me recover better than hiding inside on the couch, and the dog and I headed out to the backyard with a good book and a cold beverage.
Penelope was tied up, because I am a responsible dog owner (even though I know that she won’t wander off. We don’t talk about “running away” around here, cause well, that would involve “running” and that’s a pretty rare occurrence.). She was sprawled out on the patio next to me, seemingly dead to the world. The nearly-teenaged boy next door and his friend showed up next door with a baseball and a bat and I briefly considered putting the dog inside because the ball regularly ends up in our backyard when they are playing. But I decided that Penelope is such a chicken that it would be good for her to get used to strange people running around.
And then it happened. The ball rolled into our yard (by about 6 inches), and the non-neighbor-nearly-teenager ran over to retrieve it. Penelope reacted more quickly than I could have dreamed possible. She leapt up from nap and bounded across the patio, fur on end all the way down her back, barking wildly, startling the all of the humans nearby, including me. Then she noticed that the non-neighbor was still moving towards her and she panicked and hit the ground before turning around and running back to me. And seriously, all of that happened in about 2 seconds. But apparently those 2 seconds were scary enough to ruin baseball and the boys headed off to play elsewhere.
My feelings on this are mixed. On one hand, I don’t want the neighbors to be afraid of my chicken of a dog and I don’t want her to give big dogs a bad name. On the other hand, I’m really proud of her for considering the option of protecting her space (and a pretty disappointed that as soon as her sleepy instincts wore off she was SO afraid of the kid coming towards her). On the other, other hand, it IS her yard and she was tied up, and even if I hadn’t yelled at her, she would never have made it to within a foot of the kid because she was SO afraid once she realized what was happening. So we’re doing everything right, and I don’t like it when the neighborhood children wander through my yard all the time, but at the same time, I really don’t want everyone to be afraid of my dog. (and I think the neighbors on that side already are afraid of her, which makes me sad, cause she’s so sweet and I want everyone to love her)
Conveniently, I ride the bus with the nearly-teen’s dad, so I can apologize to him and talk to him about how she’s truly not a terrifying beast. We’ll see if he believes me. And if he doesn’t… I’ll have to decide if I care.

Penelope Birthday 07
Terrifying beast? Where?

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5 Responses to A Not-So-Brief Story about a Briefly Terrifying Beast

  1. becky says:

    I agree — Penelope is such a sweetheart! Although she has startled me when I’ve asked her to “speak.” =)

  2. Mom says:

    Hope the sun helped. I did a little reading outside yesterday myself. Penelope does tend to scare people just because of her size and she has a loud bark! Next time take her for a walk over to have the boys meet her. She will still be afraid but the boys might feel better but still stay away from your yard.

    Talk to you soon. I think you look lovely!
    Love, MOM

  3. Jennifer says:

    Mike’s going to post baby pictures on your blog as soon as the kid is born, right?

  4. Kim says:

    UPDATE: I talked to the neighbor and he said his son isn’t afraid of my silly dog and I shouldn’t worry about it. neat.

    As for baby pictures, Mike would need some lessons in camera/blog interaction as well as remember how to log in to the blog, so probably you’ll have to wait for me to have a moment free to post. But I will have my laptop with me (so I can watch movies that are on DVD), so I promise to do my best to post as quickly as possible. =) (we’ll see how fast that is…)

  5. Sarah says:

    If I were RUNNING by your house and saw such a terrifying beast, I would probably have a mini-heart attack, freeze in panic, then yell for help! If that didn’t work, I’d probably do what some have advised and try to gouge her eyes out. I might also flag down stangers in the road and hitchhike to safety (did I tell you that story?) But that’s just me :) Your blog is fun to read by the way.

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