After 13 days of living in our house, Cali is doing better. She’s still shy in certain situations, like the gardeners making noise, but in other situations, she is more confident. We can walk her around the block now without burning through a pack of dog treats, and she’s less fearful of barking dogs and other outside noises. Or, at least she can walk away from them, tail down, instead of planting herself.
Clearly, the only thing separating Cali from Labrador greatness and more confidence is me.
Example: We walked her to the pet store tonight to socialize her. All went well and she was doing great. Then, as we stood there debating whether to buy the $5 or $3 clicker, a man with a large Malamute came up to us.
“He’s half wolf,” he said.
“Is he friendly?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
My wife held our yellow lab and she let her sniff the Malamute. The man made some comment about the dog not being trained. Cali put her nose over Luna’s body to sniff the dog. Bold little pup. Good sign. I noticed the owner held the leash tight, transmitting tension to the dog.
Now here’s why I should wear a t-shirt with “I’m an idiot” on it when I’m out in public.
Giant wolf dog. Strike one. Untrained giant wolf dog. Strike two. Man holding leash of giant wolf dog tightly. Strike three.
A full moon moved from behind the clouds at that moment or the wolf dog became jealous of the Disney-happiness of our two labs because it growled and snapped. Wolf-dog’s owner must have expected this because he reeled him in with both hands, fast, like a swordfish on the line.
He apologized and I ignored him, as I was irritated.
Friendly, my ass.
I have no doubt the man will wake up one morning with one leg missing and wolf dog grinding away on his femur.
So, Cali freaked, of course. And I felt like an idiot, a common feeling. But a she seemed to recover quickly. We won’t know how much impact it had until the next time she meets a new dog. We signed her up for puppy classes with my daughter, which will help socialize her with other dogs, as long as they’re not part werewolf.
So, as of today, the dream of owning two Labradors has been realized and is as fantastic as I thought it would be. It feels good to be lucky some days, even when it’s accompanied by stupidity.