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Looking for Mr. SlackLeash

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It does happen, occasionally. You see someone with well-trained dogs. Look at this. They are digging Chet, but their leashes have all kinds of slack in them. Slack to burn. Grrrr. This lovely woman was walking her Brussels Griffons near South Lake and Peck Avenue on the Chautauqua grounds. I was frantically running over the pictoral encyclopedia in my head. Many of the images are more than 40 years old. Petite griffon de bassett? Durrrr.... Griffon kept coming up in my nearly overloaded memory. At least I had the operative word by the time we spoke. "Petite Griffons?" I muttered. "Brussels Griffons," she ofered. Ahhh. Cute, in a monkeylike way.Gee, do you think I need to keep a tight grip on Chet's leash? He comes on like a steam locomotive where other dogs are concerned. He's not aggressive, just interested beyond all reason. This is why he wears an extra stout collar, meant for large breeds, and thick leash. This is why I have Wonderwoman arms. He's a bundle of enthusiasm, barely contained in a shiny seal brindle coat.This poor little gal silently submitted to a thorough examination. I hauled Chet in before it became a full pelvic with Pap test. He's so helpful.

I met the coolest pair of brothers while walking Chet. They were about 8 and 10 years old, riding their bikes from Boy's Club. It turned out that their mom shows Bostons. We met Miles, their show dog who's well on his way to championship, a couple of nights later. He was tiny, with a pushed in face and perfect markings. He was petrified of Chet. Well should he be. Chet is Magic Johnson to his Barney Fife. On a whim, I asked this 10-year-old boy, who's been handling little 13-pound Miles toward his championship in numerous show rings, to evaluate Chet. He was succinct and professional.

"Nice stack. Nice head. Big. Real big. Good feet. Tail's too long."

Smothering a chuckle, I thanked him for his evaluation. I know all that. I also know he's canine me. If I'd wanted a toy sized dog, I'd have bought a show Boston. I wanted a pet, the finest pet anyone could ask for except for the pulling which we're gonna fixFor those of you who don't do showring lingo (and I barely do)--THIS is a nice stack. Dang, look at those lines. That tuxedo. He does it naturally. It makes it easier to pull on the leash. The female model is my adorable sister Nancy.

I am sick of all this talk about pulling on the leash. Here I am with a perfectly slack leash. There are no Brussels griffons or bunnehs in sight. And for the moment, I am calm and composed. Can we go home now, where I can run free? I have Bunneh Patrol to do. They are running wild in your gardens without me. I am not a show dog, or a leash dog. I am a country dog, and your best friend. Do not forget that.

I won't, Bakey.


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