Envision the scene: Shiva and I are standing on the corner, waiting for the light to change. It’s a “less pretty” part of North Dartmouth, with a gas station and a pizza delivery place just a few steps away. As I wait for the walk signal, Shiva sniffs the light standard to my right. A creepy-looking guy with a hood walks towards us on the left.
Creepy guy: Heeeeeyyyy, what’re you up to tonight?
Me: *raising an eyebrow* Walking my dog.
At the sound of a strange voice, Shiva stops sniffing and moves beside me. She gives the hooded man a long stare.
Creepy guy: Whoa! No one is gonna bother you with that fella around.
The man turns around and walks away. Shiva gets steak for dinner.
It’s so weird to me how Shiva’s presence alone can scare people off. I don’t know how someone can take one look at her speckled face and think she is a demonic beast. Yet about half the strangers we run into give us a wide berth. Most of the time she isn’t even looking at them, preferring to choke down random Tim Horton’s cups or potato chip bags.
One man even flipped out at us for walking toward him on the sidewalk. “Get that dog away from me!” he screamed before running away.
It was an odd experience, to say the least.
All of this is fine by me. Sometimes I wish the other half of the population would see her as a monster as well. Shiva still has issues with most strange men. Not all, but most. Men in hoods are her least favourite but I suspect that is partly because they tend to make me nervous as well. I will never give her flak for barking at those who walk directly toward her, staring in her eyes. She is allowed to set her own boundaries. Besides, it’s a great excuse for me to get out of there. Alternatively, there have been some strange men Shiva immediately likes. There must be a sort of signal certain people give off that makes her at ease. Most women, for instance, Shiva appears to trust right away. But every once in a while, there will be one who puts her on edge, even if she isn’t looking in her directon. It’s hard to say.
But it’s interesting.
While I didn’t adopt a dog for protection, if Shiva serves as a creep-repellent, that’s more than okay with me!
A few weeks in to the contest, I thought I should give you all an update on the Current State of the Antler. You may be shocked to learn she has not done that much damage. It’s not for lack of trying either. Last night we actually had to take it away from her when my PH noticed her aggressive chewing was causing Shiva’s gums to bleed. That’s right, my dog is willing to wound herself for her readers. She is that dedicated.
Alas, despite all her sacrificing, the antler is still quite large.
Has she finally met her match?