The dog (pictured above in moody lighting that fails to hide her need for a haircut) hates all other dogs. All of them, world-wide. She shows this by curling her lip, sometimes showing some of her 8 teeth, and when really pushed, snapping at the over-friendly mutt that can't take a hint. Usually this works, and I am left to apologise and explain. Usually owners take this with a good grace, the dog being rather small and her antisocial response rather amusing, especially if the other dog is something huge that could snap her up in one swift mouthful and ask for more. And it often leads to friendly chats between us dog-owners, so I suppose Miss Snooty provides a community service of sorts.
But not all dog owners seem to understand the impact their dog has on others. Last night's scene:
Small, beautiful, long-haired dachsund living nearby, who has a surprisingly big deep bark for his size, has been pushed out regularly into the back yard for hours since the baby arrived some months ago. He stands at the top of the yard steps, next to the locked dog-flap, and barks.
He's very good at it, because he puts in lots of practice. And his voice carries well, so that we can hear him 3 streets away. Sometimes he sets other dogs off, but they aren't allowed to duet for long.
Yesterday, after more than 4 hours of this, I asked his owners (sweetly at first) if they could take him indoors now, as we had listened to his barking for quite long enough, and got a great deal of theatrically astonished arm-flapping in response. To condense the ensuing exchange:
"But he barks indoors!"...."How am I supposed to stop him barking?"...."He wakes the baby!"....How is it my problem?"... "How is that inflicting him on the neighbours?"
Exasperated, I said that they were likely to get complaints if they continued to leave him outside to bark for hours (neighbours mutter about calling the RSPCA, the council, the police, but no one ever does because it feels mean when there's a small baby in the house) and stomped off to fulminate about the general stupidity of some people. But they did let the poor dog back indoors, so despite the risk of busting a blood vessel, I suppose I could say I got a result.
The owners call him Dobie, because they thought he would grow (from a dachsund puppy) into a doberman, as he was black with brown eyebrows. Maybe that says it all.
I don't bark, myself, but I do go "Grrrrrrrrrr....."