Thursday, October 01, 2009

He doesn't like you. I don't like you either.

Max went batshit insane today, just as there was a nice big storm blowing in. Normally, Max does not go batshit insane with storms; he instead scratches apologetically at the door and asks to be let in.

Not today, though. Today was growling, snarling, barking, howling insanity in the back yard.

Now, I have to set this up for you:

Imagine the biggest German Shepherd you've ever seen.
Cross that with something that's mostly blonde, much stockier than a G.Shep, and equally as furry.
Add a healthy dose of Mellow.
Toss in some love for kitty-cats.
Slap on a couple of pounds of happy, add a schmear of totally unflappable, and take out all the ditzy, weird, spooky behavior that overbred dogs can have.

You'll end up with a mutt who, like Max, is normally the calmest, most Zen being on the planet. He barks, yes, but it's understood that he's not really barking at the postman; it's a formality on both their parts. The postman regularly comes over to the fence to scratch Max's ears. Likewise, he'll bark at dogs wandering past (and bay at his girlfriend the basset hound), but he would never growl at or bite your average dog that comes right up in his grill. He's mellow, you see. He's kind of a Southern-California type dog, taking each day as it comes and chilling out.

So, when he went absofrigginglutely batshit insane, I let him in. I figured there was something out there that I needed to be aware of, and better he's in the house than out of it.

Sure enough, the doorbell rang.

Max went straight to the door, ignoring my "back" and "sit-stay". He stood at the door, looking interested. This is normal. Ignoring "back" and "sit-stay" is not. I opened the door.

On the doorstep stood a clean-cut young man who was obviously there to sell me an alarm system, or offer one for free for a limited time only! or beg me to put his company's sign up in my front window.

Max stalked forward, ears up, hackles rising, legs stiff, normally-curly tail straight out behind him. There was a low, almost-sub-audible growl that I could feel but not quite hear coming out of his chest. The guy on the porch said nervously, "Uh...nevermindseeyoulatersorrytodisturbyou" and left as quickly as I've ever seen a person leave who was not actively being pursued by an unholy combination of fire ants, cicaida killers, and door-to-door evangelicals.

Max got some cheese. ("Cheese? I LOVE cheese! How 'bout some bay-cun too?") He's now lying calmly under a tree in the back yard, grooming his hind feet. All the doors and windows are locked.

Let it never be said that I don't know how to take a hint.


danielle said...

My daughter's huge Akita mix - a sweetheart of a dog - would always be at my side when I answered the door. She would jsut sit there next to me....unless the person was Hispanic....and then she would act jsut as you described Max! We still have not figured out why she doesnt like Hispanics!

Luis said...

Jo -- we'll call that good and buy him a pound of steak.

Danielle -- perhaps the dog has a bad history with someone who looked Hispanic. I've seen doggy racism once in a while, but it's not very common. What I usually see is "This dog hates men", typically because some idiot man kicked him around. Thanks. Now your lovely dog hates and fears me for no reason.

woolywoman said...

You do not mess with two signs from the universe: one is batshit crazy behavior from a good dog, and the second is a patient who looks at you and says " I am worried that I am going to die".

Anonymous said...

Smart boy, Max!! You tell momma you deserve some bacon, too! I have had two dogs who definitely check out all visitors and almost always settle down...
one time the dog wouldn't settle for the stove repair man, so i crated dog to allow the work to get done....he did settle then, and i let him out on a line under my control...and when the repair man leaned over toward the lunged forward and clenched his jaws around the man's harm done as he was heavily clothed...and he was not acting upset about it..but i never called that repair company back, either!
realized then that i need to be very careful anytime i ignore or override what the dog is telling me.

Karen said...

I love a good dog. My big guy has only done that once. He got between me a dude he'd not met yet. Once they met he was 'okay' with the dude. I've never worried about an intruder with the Quasmo around.
That said...nobody barked the night my car was stolen. Obviously, the dogs are not very materialistic.

R said...

Attaboy, Max!

What's his history - is he rescued?

I ask because it may just be possible that he was once abused by someone who used that guy's aftershave, or shoe polish...

I'd kinda rather it was just his sh*t-hot instincts defending you from someone potentially scary than that he was mistreated as a little'un, but it's worth bearing in mind.

Jo said...

Becca, he was rescued. He actually tried to die in the vacant lot two doors down from my house...but that's another story.

I hope it was his hot instincts, as this is maybe the second time he's ever acted like this.

pelican said...

Sounds like you already have an excellent alarm system, and a better deterrent than any sign, looking out your windows and over the fence to your yard.

I would have taken Max seriously and locked up, too. My big guy was also Mr. Mellow, with a very few exceptions. He trusted my judgement when I told him to do stuff, so I figured I'd trust his judgement when he told me stuff, too.

Laura said...

But the most important question: did Max take the guy's arm off with a lightsaber?