Confession: I Love a Bad Dog part III

The mat at the front door says it all. As much as we like people and enjoy visitors to our home, the front door mat does not say  “welcome”. Instead, it is small brown rectangle with these ominous words:

“‘Don’t Make Me Come Out there.’

 The Dog”

If anyone, and I mean anyone, dares approach our humble abode, Jack is livid. He sits on my daughter’s bed and keeps watch. The moment anything human or canine appears, he springs into action, clawing at the window, growling and barking, pretty white teeth exposed. If he gets no response, he heads out the doggie door to the back gate, where he endeavors to breach the fence and fill his mouth with the flesh of the intruder.

I suppose one could argue that Jack’s bark is worse than his bite because, once the visitor is allowed entry, Jack does not actually bite. He intimidates by barking his fool head off, sharp teeth dangerously close to exposed ankles. And he doesn’t let up. He yaps and yaps until somebody takes him away from the situation. He even does this to people he has known for years. There has not been a treat invented that will take his attention away from a person who might have come to attack his pack. I’ve tried the trick of having the person trun away each time he barks, but if I really followed through with that we would have no guests ever.

So, we have discovered that we can take him outside on his leash while a guest sits down on the couch. After half a block of walking, we turn around and come back inside. Suddenly, he has forgotten that these people were intruders and considers them part of the family. He’ll offer to give a kiss or curl up in a lap if the affection is desired, or he’ll sit adoringly at the newcomer’s feet. All is well until the guest arises to leave. Then the whole shenanigans starts over again.

We like visitors. Really we do. If you happen to stop by, simply give us a moment to struggle for control, and please love our bad dog. He will love you back if you let him.

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