A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were scheduled to see our vet for a wellness checkup on Syrus. When he was adopted, we were given a bunch of paperwork showing that he has had all of his shots and has a clean bill of health. Due to this paperwork, the vet visit was simply routine.
The time spent with the vet went just fine. Syrus received a clean bill of health and is expected to peak at about 50 pounds. Before seeing the vet, however, things were not so honkey dorey. Upon entering the waiting room, Syrus laid eyes on an older Black Lab and immediately started growling and barking. Being visibly shaken up, I took him over to the far end of the waiting room and sat down.
Syrus continued to make all kinds of noise and made numerous attempts at getting away from me. Eventually the mature Black Lab was taken into the back to see the vet and Syrus calmed down. At this time another dog came in which sent him into another frenzy. Same as with the Lab, once the dog was out for the room Syrus was calm and playful with the staff.
This intense behavior went on for a series of three dogs before Syrus had to be physically picked up and carried into the doctors office. Once away from the other animals he was cool once again. We explained to the vet that my wife and I had signed Syrus up for a group obedience class and we were concerned with him acting the same way towards dogs in the class.
The vet recommended that we get in touch with the class instructor and inform them of how Syrus behaved and see if they still felt comfortable with him in a group setting. Having spoken with the instructor leading up to the class via email, contacting them was easy. The following day I received a response that it sounded as if Syrus was being reactive towards the other dogs and not aggressive. However, there is no way to know without seeing it first hand. The verdict was that they would like Syrus to attend the class and feel that they are capable of working with his behavior due to his age (8 months).
So now that you know the back story, your probably wondering where this Chihuahua Scare came from? Well that was an incident that happened about two hours ago and had me very concerned. A few minutes prior to the incident my wife asked me to carry a load of stuff down to her car for her. Before doing so, I put Syrus out on his leader, I planned on staying outside with him after loading up the car.
About fifteen feet before I hit the sidewalk, I see one of the neighbor kids from down the street. Walking nonchalantly in front of him was the families pet Chihuahua. This dog and I have met before, I would sometimes be growled and barked at as I made my way to my car at 5:30 AM. It seems this pet is allowed out among the neighborhood unleashed from time to time.
This Chihuahua generally doesn’t bother with my yard, but today it decided that it was going to take off and adventure around. As soon as he went into my yard I stopped dead in my tracks and told the boy to please get a hold of his dog as I have one of my own up towards the house.
I received a bit of a blank stare before he called for the dog and it bolted. I dropped my wifes things and sprinted up the hill towards my house. I yelled back at the kid that he needed to get up here and get this dog (which he did not attempt to do). The first thought that entered my mind was that Syrus was going to maul this tiny dog due to his behavior at the vets office.
Before I knew it the two dogs were nose to nose, a split second later and Syrus had this Chihuahua on its back and buried his nose into its chest and face to get a good sniff. I stopped running changed my pace to a walk while calmly telling Syrus “Be Nice”. He lifted his head to look at me and the Chihuahua took off back down the hill.
It ran down the lawn, did a lap around the child and made a b-line righ back up towards Syrus. After a minute of herding the Chihuahua back down my lawn, the kid picked it up and began walking home. He didn’t get too far before my wife began informing him that the event scared the hell out of both of us and asked that he get a leash and use it.
After the car was loaded up, I kissed my wife goodbye and she went on her way to visit a friend. I walked back up to the house, took a seat on my porch steps and called Syrus over. I gave him a pat on the head and thanked him for not swallowing that tiny dog whole, although I’m sure he had no idea what I was saying.
In the end, my wife and I walked away with an adrenaline rush, Syrus met a new dog (although not how I would have liked it to happen) and the Chihuahua went home without a scratch on him.