Friday, June 29, 2012

The Big Guy Doesn't Always Win

Years ago, for a brief time, I lived in Mesa, Arizona, I used to walk around the neighborhood, and when I did, always avoided the street where a huge mastiff lived and threatened all who passed by.

One day I was out walking with my little wire-haired Fox Terrier, Teddy, suddenly remembered a forgotten appointment, so was in a hurry, and had to go down the forbidden street. I tried to scurry past the house before the mastiff caught sight of us..

But we didn't make it. This huge canine beast came menacingly down his driveway looking as if he would like to eat Teddy for lunch. I had a moment of real terror. Teddy was about one-eighth the size of the mastiff, and I was sure was no match for him. But Teddy was having no part of my imagined scenario, and took off toward the giant dog, barking so ferociously even I was impressed. My normally loving, docile, friendly little Teddy had turned into a diminutive personification of anger and defiance. The mastiff took one look at that fuzzy bundle of fury, stopped in his tracks, and turned and ran back down the driveway and disappeared into his own backyard.

As soon as Teddy saw he had won the day, he lost all his ferocity and trotted happily back to my side wagging his tail, and became his usual docile self once more. It was as if he had said, "Well, that's how you do that---nothing to it!"  I was dumbfounded.. Teddy was a friendly, loving version of a terrier and had never before ever shown his fiesty side. More than that, I was full of respect. He seemed not to have had even an ounce of fear.

After that, whenever I walked with Teddy, I never hesitated to go down that street. If the mastiff happened to be outside as we approached, as soon as he caught sight of us he would turn tail and run to the safety of his own backyard.

For me, it was a good life lesson. Being huge and strong doesn't alsways win the day, The spirit to stick up for oneself regardless of the odds, often seems to mean more than size, strength, or importance.This is not only true of terriers and mastiffs, but of human beings  as well, as I found out later in life in some confrontations of my own.

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