While we were out walking on Sunday morning, Elvis, Mia and I met a beautiful female golden retriever. She was on the other side of the road from us, exploring her front yard while some people congregated around a car in the driveway. She didn't see us for a while and I was hoping we could just get past without meeting. I actually like Mia and Elvis to meet other dogs, but not without a person to control the other dog. Elvis doesn't really seem to know how small he is and more often than not he’ll launch into aggressive barking at a much bigger dog. Then I have to drag him away, or if the other dog reacts, pick him up before he gets chomped. It's just not very dignified.
Anyway, this dog did see us, and the people there knew that and called her to them, but she bounded across the road to us anyway. I turned around to let the dogs meet her, but got ready to grab them if necessary.
The retriever approached Elvis, straightaway got down to the ground in a crouch, and then rolled over onto her back. I was amused and amazed. I have seen a dog do this before, but only while playing with a bigger and more aggressive dog and only after being forced into it. This retriever did it before Elvis even had a chance to bark.
Elvis sniffed around her a bit but didn't seem to know what to make of it all. Finally he rapped out a few sharp barks, and so I started to pull him away. Just then one of the people came across the road. “She'd cross a four-lane highway just to meet someone”, he said with a laugh. I wasn’t sure if this would be an animal someone or a human someone, or maybe she’s not too fussy.
Elvis was pretty puffed up after that. Instead of being his usual compliant self and bounding along from one interesting smell to the next, he became very decisive for the rest of the walk. I’d be planning to go one way, Mia would be pulling me in another and Elvis would suddenly sit firmly on the kerb, ready for my command to cross the road in a different direction altogether. Ah, well, he’s a funny little dog and he deserves the odd King interlude.