Thursday, May 10, 2012


The other day, I performed a Fus Ro Dah.

No, really. I was out walking Heath, my Shepherd-Labrador-Mutt mix, and we passed by this house where lives Lady, a full German Shepherd. Unfortunately, the garage door was open because her owner was doing something with the car, and so when we passed by Lady decided to come investigate.

Now I should point out that I don't think Lady was being aggressive; she wasn't charging and so far as I know wasn't growling. I think she was just trotting out to see who was walking down her street. However, Heath is a big ol' scaredy-dog when it comes to most other animals, and he tends to panic and try to climb onto my back in situations like this.

Heath is ~80 pounds. Him trying to climb onto my shoulders is not fun. In fact, it hurts like hell. Plus, there's that whole thing dogs do where they go "Oh, this one is scared, that means I'm above him in the pack hierarchy and must dominate him" because, well, dogs are just wired that way. If you run, they will chase; if you submit, they will dominate. But a scared dog is likely to lash out in fear, and the last thing I want is for any of us (but especially myself) to get bitten.

So Lady is coming toward us, but because she's still on her driveway I don't do anything except put myself between her and Heath. As long as she stays on her property, we're all good. Her owner is also calling to her, and there's a possibility she might stop at the street.

She doesn't, and in seconds is too close for my liking. Without even thinking about, I lean forward and ROAR.

I don't recall what I said. It might have been "Go home!" or "Get back!" or something similar; I just know it had two syllables and that I shouted it at such volume that my voice was hoarse afterwards.

Have you ever seen a dog skid to a halt? I have. Lady locked her legs, threw on the brakes, and just froze in place. I don't know if she was scared or just taken aback at the crazy-noise-human in front of her, but it had the desired effect: she stopped advancing long enough for her owner to come get her.

Lady's owner was VERY apologetic. I half expected her to lay into me for yelling at her dog but I guess she realized that the moment her dog left the property that she was in the wrong. As she went back inside, she laughed and said to me, "Next time I need a bodyguard, I'm hiring you!"

And that is the story of how I performed a Fus Ro Dah.

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