Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vicious Muffy


Muffy. Okay, she got bigger . . .
We lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for eight months.
It was a beautiful city.
It just wasn't home.
But, in support of the breadwinner/student in our family, we packed up our household and moved.
Now anyone who knows our family, knows that we are completely enamoured (good word) with Old English Sheepdogs.
Hair and all.
So when I say that we moved bag and baggage to Winnipeg, that includes our dogs.
Plural.
Because what's one dog without another dog, right?
And both of them need a dog . . .
Okay, my husband didn't get it, either.
I should point out, here, that OES (see above) are extremely gentle and friendly.
Though they can be protective.
But that is another story . . .
We lived in a townhouse.
Having moved from a mobile home in Alberta, we were overjoyed with all of the extra room.
But that townhouse had a minuscule yard.
Or, in other words, tiny.
I would let my dogs outside, and they would turn to me, doggy faces frozen in shock, as though to say, “What? You expect us to run in here?!”
I would point and tell them to 'go run!'
They would sigh and trot to the far (I use this term lightly) fence.
And back.
In about 3 seconds.
I would shake my head and close the door, leaving them outside for a little while to get some 'exercise'.
Yeah, it didn't make much sense to me, either.
One morning, I had put Muffy outside by herself.
She wanted to go.
And no one else did.
This isn't rocket science.
A few minutes after I put her out, my phone rang.
Cool. Someone wanted to talk to me!
I answered.
It turned out to be my letter carrier, calling from the nearest phone booth. (Cell phones existed only in the minds of Science Fiction writers at this time.)
She couldn't get into my yard because of the vicious dog guarding the gate.
There was a vicious dog in my yard?
How did it get in?
And where was Muffy?
I dropped the phone and hurried to the door.
Swinging it wide, I peered outside cautiously.
Muffy, standing beside the gate, turned and looked at me.
And then I realized that the vicious dog spoken of was my 35 pound stick. With hair.
It's true. An OES, shaved, looks like a toothpick.
On toothpicks.
Yep, the dog world equivalent of a 98 pound weakling.
While I'm in information mode, I should also tell you that OES don't have tails. They are nipped off soon after birth.
Thus, when the dog is happy, or excited, or hungry, or tired, or worried, or . . . you get the picture . . . they wiggle.
Their whole back end.
It's quite a sight.
And that was what Muffy was doing.
So this pile of hair, back end shaking like a hula skirt was what had frightened the letter carrier.
Okay, I guess I can understand.
Someone who isn't used to dogs could certainly be intimidated by the sheer size.
And the motion.
But, to me, it was funny.
That anyone would be frightened of Muffy . . .
I grabbed my dog, apologizing profusely and dragged her away so the carrier could complete her mission.
Then I explained that she was extremely gentle, and even introduced the two of them so Muffy would know that the woman was a friend.
And vice-versa.
All was well.
Until I received a notice from the postal company that no more deliveries would be made to our house if our vicious dog was in the vicinity.
Okay, this had gone a little far.
I looked down at my 'vicious' dog, currently the bottom of a game of 'dog pile' with my boys and sighed.
But we complied.
Yard time was moved to the afternoon.
To avoid any conflict.
And letter carriers.
P.S. I completely understand that not everyone likes dogs, and that some of them even have a terrible fear of dogs brought on by attacks and/or experience that they really can't control, so I apologize to them for this story. I'm the same way with guard-chickens. But that is another story.

15 comments:

  1. Oh my... that is kind of sad... she must have really had a terrible experience with a dog in the past. Your Muffy looked sweet ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've talked to letter-carriers and they've all had 'experiences'. Sad that she missed out on knowing Muffy!

      Delete
  2. Always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to dogs...no offence, I love them too, but still...one must be careful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just ignore them Muffy. Not everyone relates well to us dogs. I just ignore them and continue my nap. Hope you get a more relaxed letter carrier who carries treats in her pocket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS Muffy, I saw your picture on Pearl's blog and you are extremely beautiful!

      Delete
  4. Even the title is an oxymoron!!

    Your description of the "pile of hair, back end shaking like a hula skirt" is priceless! Great story, Diane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P. S. THOSE FEET!!! I LOVE THEM!!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Jenny! Yep. The feet get me every time!

      Delete
  5. Well for some reason dogs don't like post men.
    lol
    Mine barks loud and scares people even when they are in the house.
    I think people just like to complain.
    We had two policemen in our yard and one with a dog chasing a criminal. They scared the day lights out of my dogs.
    Good thing he couldn't get to them because they would have shot him.The police say they have right of way even in a fenced yard.Only police dogs are allowed to defend it seems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How sad! I love that my dog is on guard. Even when he's lying, sleeping in front of the door . . .

      Delete
  6. I'm having trouble matching that photo of Muffy with the word vicious.
    I feel sorry for people who are afraid of dogs. Wary of unknown dogs I understand, but fear of the species as a whole is sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. 'Muffy' and 'vicious' just never did go together . . .

      Delete
  7. Oh! I want to hear about the guard chickens!

    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete

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