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January 23, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

She doesn’t deserve the reputation she has.

The giggles and shrieks seep in the window. She sees. Wiggling with excitement, she runs – her eyes pleading, “Please can I go play? The others are.”

Knowing she would be crushed. Knowing she would be shunned, I pull out other toys to amuse her inside.

Grateful, but not deceived, she selects one and returns to plop down by the window, chin on the ledge. Sighs. Sad eyes.

It’s obvious: I am the meanest mommie on the block.

It is almost spring-like – with butterflies. The pale green rye grass keeps the backyard from being a mud hole. And she has been happy there until she realized the others are all out front: Youngsters wild as march hares chasing balls up and down the block even though it’s January. It’s not fair.

Perhaps a break for a walk to the mailbox would do?

Not Disneyland or the park.

With a sense of purpose and importance, we parade past. If she notices the others were all called across the street, she made no comment. Not a glance at their shushing and hushing. WE didn’t have to stay within calling range. WE were leaving the block.

She doesn’t deserve the reputation she has.

It’s not accurate.

It’s not fair.

It happened again yesterday. This time at the mailbox.

Quietly waiting while I wiggled the key in the stubborn lock, she stood appreciating the sun. Then a meteor of yipping fur flung itself out the door from across the street.

Somewhere in the flying fluff was a dog.

A new friend hurrying over!

The German’s tail started helicoptering. If she was a lesser dog, the enthusiastic tail would have easily rotated her aloft. With grace, the German performed her best yoga-dog Downward Dog pose – nosing forward, graciously, to see eye to eye with the height-challenged newcomer . Her thick tail thundering against the metal mail boxes.

But what is this? An ADHD pup?

Pivoting, the German twirled like a joyous ballerina still trying to greet the energetic powder puff who circled very much like a determined mosquito. Generously chuckling at the confident yaps, the German congenially sat. Not perturbed by a sudden lunge and nip at her front paw. Obviously, it’s just puppy playtime! Eager to join in, she springs up and bounces like a lamb forward. Once. Twice.

Oh, too much.

The silky mop skittered backward and squealed in terror: broadcasting a massacre commencing. The German, appalled, looked around to see who could be terrorizing her new pocket pooch friend. More panicked yelps echoed down the street. Out runs a woman. She scooped up the quivering manic creature. Flustered, she tried to apologize while the irritable little bully snarled, snapped, and  struggled to get free. The German, confused, huddled close while looking at me as if asking “Why is she hurting my new doggy friend?”

Deciding it’s time to move on, I started down the walk. Reluctantly, the German walked in tandem – but not without a backwards glance. Over the owner’s shoulder, the fluff-dog’s psychotic button eyes seemed to sneer, “I’ve fixed you, I have! Wait and see!”

Notice: not a trace of massacre!

We didn’t have to wait long.

We saw as we turned the corner.

They all stood together – just as elephant moms in a circle guarding their young.

All the neighbors’ dogs now on leashes: held tight and close.

Staring. Glaring.

Pointedly showing they had heard all the noise.

Lips tight. Eyes hard.

Snapping judgements.

Silent accusations. Harsh condemnations

“That German!”


No, you can’t play. Come inside.

No, it’s not fair.

You are a very good dog.

We know.

Fun, but no substitute for a friend.

Staying above the fray,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Related posts in The German’s saga

(Click the “Animal” tag in the sidebar) 

The German: Homeless at heart

A German’s Ode to Joy

A German Waits for Christmas

Warning: Granny Bites


  1. Pat Bean / Jan 23 2012 3:48 pm

    So sad, but so true. I know because I walk Maggie often and it’s always the tiny, cute things that want to attack her. Actually, while she doesn’t attack, Maggie, who weighs 25 pounds, will always growl when a much bigger dog approaches. She completely ignores the tiny yappers, and only wants to play with dogs her size.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2012 4:26 pm

      The German has several very small friends at the dog park – she is delighted to play gently. Little dogs can be so feisty! We adopted a Westie who had a bad reputation for attacking any large dog. We called him a big dog on short legs. Thanks for telling us about Maggie.


  2. PiedType / Jan 23 2012 4:18 pm

    Dog behavior. At least as fascinating as cat behavior. Our pets bring so much to our lives.


  3. The Hook / Jan 23 2012 4:40 pm

    “Staying above the fray,”
    I LOVE that line! Well done.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2012 5:30 pm

      “Let’s give ’em something to talk about….” beginning to identify with that. Thanks for dropping by


  4. Homestead Ramblings / Jan 23 2012 4:43 pm

    Poor baby, she needs a hug.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2012 5:35 pm

      She really is heartbroken we won’t allow her to run wild in the streets with the others (despite the leash laws here). Thanks for reading


  5. robstroud / Jan 23 2012 7:17 pm

    Well told. I feel like I was there. Of course, always having a dog myself, I’ve lived out a number of variations on the theme too!


  6. sportsattitudes / Jan 23 2012 8:18 pm

    Our neighbor has an adorable, tiny little poodle that is part shy, part protector. She will let her guard down if you approach her politely, but if you make any kind of strange or unusual moves she will defend to the end. This goes for other dogs and humans alike. She barks when barked at. If you don’t get hostile, she remains docile. Perfect temperment to “get along” on a block…featuring both dogs and humans of course.


  7. Very Shabby Chick / Jan 23 2012 9:31 pm

    *Sighs* … the poor German – I’d love to lavish her with affection right now, as having owned a large dog myself I know how easy it is for their actions to be misinterpreted. Actually, this story reminds me of another about our Labrador. Back in the day before leash laws, he was similarly enthusiastic for doggy company, and was ostracized by the neighbourhood, just like the German. As a result, we had to lock him in the backyard every day while we went to work and school.

    After quite a few lonely days, you can imagine our surprise one day when we came home to find one of the neighbourhood terriers in our yard, playing with our Labrador! We later found out that the terrier had actually climbed our fence in order to get in the backyard to visit his mate, because we saw him doing it on another occasion when we were at home. They had many more non-arranged play dates like this one, and we were so happy that our Lab could have company while we weren’t at home.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2012 11:23 pm

      Large dogs are generally congenial (if brought up with good owners). In her original home, she was well know for playing well with others. At our old house, we actually had a loose board that we could swing aside to let their lab play with our Bouviers. It was great. Thanks for sharing the terrier story.


  8. MJ, Nonstepmom / Jan 23 2012 10:02 pm

    We have the same issue… My poor baby cant help she is a rescue staffie/ pit bull and looks like she could (and deservedly so) take down Michael Vick!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2012 11:47 pm

      Oh, you do have a baby there. Any bred can be aggressive. We’ve found rescued dogs are eternally grateful. Thanks for understanding – and stopping to chat.


  9. rumpydog / Jan 23 2012 10:05 pm

    I read this on my phone but couldn’t leave a message then. This hits close to home. I get the same response with Rumpy. Rumpy, the sweetest dog in the world, but is spirited and sees everyone as a playmate. I have a fenced yard, but I wish I could give him much more, but it’s hard.

    I have to be careful when we go to the local dog park because even though small dogs and children aren’t allowed in the large dog area, they’re there. And Rumpy actually knocked a child down once. Not being mean- he was playing and isn’t used to kids. But it happened.

    That is a big reason why I take Rumpy to daycare. Honestly, I wish I could take him every day, but I can’t. But he does get to go once a week and play with other dogs without a leash, without clueless humans nearby.

    DeDe doesn’t go, because it’s not her thing. But for Rumpy, it was the best thing I ever did for him.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2012 11:34 pm

      Your doggy daycare sounds great! We have a couple of dog parks nearby and friends to meet there. She is actually shy around large dogs but loves the terriers who are tireless. People alway comment on how gentle she is (she always introduces herself with yoga dog pose to other dogs) and how well behaved she is. We go when it isn’t crowded.


  10. LifeAsModernWife / Jan 24 2012 12:42 am

    Thanks for reading my Peru feature on Lesley Carter’s website today 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2012 1:07 am

      Enjoyed it! Always looking for a good read – plan to stop by your place and check out other posts. Thanks for visiting today.


  11. truthaboutmornings / Jan 24 2012 3:29 am

    She’s German! She needs not care of gossip and height challenged creatures… they don’t speak her language anyway… 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2012 2:40 pm

      Exactly. (Although she does show concern for the welfare of the little ones.) I’ll share your encouragement with her, thanks.


  12. Danlrene ©2011 / Jan 24 2012 4:59 am

    My Jack was thought to be bad when we got him from the humane society. He is part great dane and part dalmation and was abused by college kids. They warned me when I went to look at no..don’t look him in the eye he is alpha. I got out of the car and he came straight to me and allowed me to look into his eyes and rub the sides of his snout. He does have agression issues when scared and makes this sound like he is growling but is really snorting through his nose and saying in his way…hey you are making me nervous. We have had him over ten years and he is the best dog but we can’t let him go out and play either. but he sure is spoiled here on the inside.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2012 2:46 pm

      What a great dog! Sounds like he found the right home. (I know that snorting nervous look, too). Thanks for introducing us to Jack.


  13. jannatwrites / Jan 24 2012 6:16 am

    I feel bad for your German. The big dogs can be misunderstood sometimes. Having a bigger dog (our rescue Golden) and little dogs (Yorkie-Poo & Yorkie) I can tell you my experience has been that it’s the little dogs that have the ‘tudes. We can’t take the Yorkie-Poo for a walk because she’ll bark aggressively at any dog that passes by…and then run behind us!

    Our Golden is super sweet. She chases our cats, but if she catches up to them, she stops. It’s like she’s confused and doesn’t know what she’s supposed to when that happens.

    I hope your German is able to make friends in the neighborhood. She needs to stay away from the runt crowd, I think!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2012 3:09 pm

      Big dogs usually are pretty calm. That’s funny about the cat confusion. Glad you stopped by.


  14. preobrazhenskii / Jan 24 2012 1:03 pm

    An awakening and one in which we can identify with.


  15. robpixaday / Jan 24 2012 7:40 pm

    Oh, no…………….so unfair. Poor baby. The other dogs are envious of her FANTABULOUSNESS; can’t control their desire to bring her down.

    But no matter what the reason, it must be incredibly difficult for her and for you.

    Beautifully crafted post, too.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2012 9:51 pm

      The German is infatuated with the black pug across the street – and elderly gentleman who is polite, but prefers to stay aloof. (You know how it is with girls: if you want them to like you, just ignore them!). So she is perfecting her tennis ball catching style (so to impress him?). Nose bump from the German – and thanks for the (delivered) hug!


  16. Bongo / Jan 24 2012 7:51 pm

    German, I wish I could come over and play with you. Some dogs take it wrong when I want to play so my person keeps me away from most of them.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 24 2012 10:09 pm

      Bongo, you know how it is, some dogs run up and are quick to growl, nip, and lunge, but run off if ya’ want to romp, too! My person says we have to ignore them and they should be on leashes. So I’ll just play with my half-grown lab pal and a really smart Australian shepherd I run with at the dog parks.(but not on weekends – it’s too crazy then.) Sometimes we go on trails…not as nice as yours, but fun. Bouncing and nose bump to you, Bongo.


  17. kathryningrid / Jan 25 2012 9:39 pm

    Interesting, isn’t it: bullies among both humans and dogs are parented by people who *always* assume it’s the other’s fault and that their Precious Little One would *never* provoke or attack. And at the same time, it’s always assumed that whoever *looks* the most impressive or intimidating or self confident is the tough guy in the scene. Sigh. You handle it well!


  18. livingforjackie / Jan 26 2012 4:35 am

    Thanks for visiting my blog and “liking” it….it was nice to know someone read it and enjoyed it…even tho I didn’t say much. I’ve been gone from blogging for months but am going at it again. Liked reading some of yours. I’ll be sure to visit again and read more.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 26 2012 4:01 pm

      Everyone needs a little encouragement sometime. (and like to discover interesting stuff) Thanks for stopping by and blog on!


  19. Sunshine / Jan 27 2012 4:48 am

    I would like to give German a HUG
    Thank you 🙂


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