Remembering An Honest Dog And An Alpha Queen

"German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound mix breed laying down"

Suzy, dearly loved and sorely missed

I’ve been writing, rewriting and editing my story about Suzy and it’s been a slow process. Each time I thought I had a sentence finished, I’d reread it and take out a few words, move others around and delete more. When I didn’t think I’d ever get it done, words began rising to the surface and suddenly, I had the ending. Well, at least the ending for the essay that’s going to be a part of my first ebook.

Ten years of Suzy stories. After all of this time, I still miss her.

I miss the problem solving element of working with her; that piercing look in her eye that was part of her work ethic.

I miss that she was an all weather dog: she loved being out in the snow, rain didn’t phase her. No synthetic dog coats for her, she had her own stylish, double-coated fur.

I don’t miss that human feeling of always having to be on my guard for what might happen if we came across another dog – an off leash dog trailing a stupid dog owner somewhere out of sight – because the dynamic of Suzy being on leash and my fear traveling to her down that leash combined with that loose dog charging towards us was enough to set up a dog fight.

All it takes is one to set the stage for every walk to follow because Suzy was an honest dog and an alpha queen. Had she been off leash too, she’d have used her own direct dog behavior to put that other dog in its place without bloodshed. I’d watched her do this many times with our next door neighbor’s black lab, before we fenced the yard. She did it with body posture and that incredible eye – In that respect, she was like a border collie controlling sheep.

She could lock eyes with any dog and by the sheer force of her will that she poured into that glare, she could make that dog freeze in its tracks. There was no release until Suzy made that decision or one of us (my neighbor or me) interfered.

Suzy was a fear biter – and she was that before she came to us and only if you were a small human – a child less than 10 or 12 years old. She was completely trustworthy with my young son. But other small humans were always suspect in her eyes.

This can be part of what a second-hand dog brings with it to a new  home. You never know the whole story of why a dog ends up homeless or gets turned in to an animal shelter by owners who simply don’t want the dog anymore. If you know how to read a dog’s behavior, to watch their physical movements to see what they will do in a given situation, you can come up with a few educated assumptions about a dog’s past.

Dogs will tell you all of their hurts if you know how to listen to what they have to say.  [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]


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