Just four little words that I said yesterday…
I was taking Graham for a walk and, as we came to the area as close to the road as he’s allowed, we saw a dog. A large dog. A large Rottweiler actually.
The dog was trotting across the street from us and, when he turned and noticed us, Graham dropped into the customary posture he adapts when he sees large dogs – he dropped down onto his belly in the grass with the goal of becoming invisible. Maybe it was because I was right there with him, actually choosing to be friendly with the dog, but his ploy didn’t work.
The dog turned and started to trot accross the road, checking us out and, seeing his positive gait and knowing he wasn’t going to be a threat, I whispered down to the brave cat laying between my feet, joking “don’t worry, I’ve got your back”.
As soon as I said it, Graham hopped back up onto his feet (err…paws) and took a determined step forward. The dog stopped in the middle of the street for a moment, cocked it’s head, and started walking towards us again. And, wouldn’t you know it, the little furball decided to show off his bravery. Just as the Rottweiler touched our side of the road, Graham let out a growl that completely surprised him, stopping him in his tracks. He took a few more steps along the side of the road, looking at us, but no longer prepared to come directly at us.
Then, after a moment, he decided to take one more step toward us, Graham let out a hiss and charged.
Somehow, I managed to catch the little guy before he’d gotten very far, going down to my knees before turning to see what the dog had decided to do. Fortunately, he’d taken a few steps away from us, not wanting anything to do with the challenge. Then, Graham turned to look at me, gave me a look that said “what are you waiting for, we can take him!” And with that, he pulled away from me, hissed as loudly as he could, and took off. And so did that dog. Just as fast as he could with a furry orange streak in his rear view. He wanted nothing at all to do with us. He probably thought we were crazy…
Sure, I’d stand up to a 50-lb Rottweiler for Graham. And that’s a good thing for him to know in life. After all, you’ve always got to have someone who’s going to be there for you through anything and everything. But I’m going to have to teach him the next part of the lesson – don’t go picking fights just because you know I’ve got your back. We don’t actually have to fight. I’m more than willing to pick you up and carry you into the house to get away from potential trouble.
And then we can tell everyone stories about how brave we were later. We can even tell them there were two Rottweilers. Whatever story you want to tell, I’ve got your back.