Monday, January 20, 2014

German Shepherds

One of the greatest short stories of all time is Orson Scott Card's The Princess and the Bear. The story explores the fact that most of us wear facades that we drop in times of stress.  We drop the burdens of pretending and our primal selves, our strengths and our weaknesses, are displayed in their stark nakedness.


Hercules is Belladonna's dog.  He is a German Shepherd, sort of.  We bought him in a part of town where all business is transacted in cash-money.  We got to see his mama and papa.  His mama was sleek, blonde and affectionate.  His papa was dark, fluffy and a bit skittish.

Herc has a bad hip, singular.  I backed over him with the truck when he was about four months old.  The ball on one femur was sheared off just outboard of the growth plate.  The blood vessels feeding the growth plate were compromised.  The vets pinned the growth plate and sliver of bone back onto the femur with three pins.  The sliver of bone reattached but rather than a beautiful, spherical ball, it looks more like a peanut.
What Belladonna thinks she wants

What she got.  A dog that jokes around and lets the Boston Terrier think he is one of the "big dogs"

Belladonna is anxious that Herc will not protect her if she ever needs him to.  With our family he is loving and playful.  He is affectionate and loves to be cuddled.  He also has a sense of humor.

Last night

Last night about 2:00 AM, Herc became agitated.   Belladonna was sleeping over at a friend's house.  I let Herc out of her room and he did a very credible "sweep" of the house.  He went from room-to-room.  He "squared" each room, walking the perimeter and doing a sniff-sniff in each nook and cranny.  Once cleared, he purposefully went to the next room.  Nobody ever trained him to do it.  He either learned it from TV or he has real police dog instincts.

After clearing the house he walked to the door he told me that he needed to go outside.  He  still had a businesslike posture.

I took him to the kennel where he did the compass needle swing and locked onto "North".

Then, from just beyond the military crest of the roll of land to our north came two "Bark, bark, ka-yippy-yi-yea."

Coyote?  Dog?  I don't know.  It was definitely an adult and he had very healthy vocal cords.

Herc megaphoned back, "You come over here or threaten my people, I will kick your ass so hard you will have to wipe between your ears after you poop."

I was impressed.  It is a pity that Belladonna was not here to watch and hear her gladiator protecting the family.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.