There is a Chihuahua a few houses down from us that I affectionately refer to as the “rat dog.” If you see him you know why. This one is as yappy as most chihuahuas, and every time I walk by with Punky, he runs to the end of his yard, standing on the curb, and barks at Punky to tell him who’s boss. Lately he has even started crossing the street toward Punky.
In return, Punky does something that is incredibly unlike him — nothing. He doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of the rat dog – he doesn’t appear to notice the barking, doesn’t look at the dog, it’s like there is nothing there.
So Saturday, as I had Punky out for his walk, rat dog came out and did his thing. I decided to see what happened if we introduced them to each other, and turned to face him – as soon as rat dog saw Punky looking at him, he literally turned tail and ran inside his house.
We walked over to chat with the owner who was tending the lawn – there Punky was, standing on rat dog’s lawn, quietly sniffing the grass (paying no attention whatsoever to rat dog or his owner), and rat dog was standing inside, peering out around the door, dead quiet.
After the chat, we turned and started to walk off – and rat dog ran out onto the lawn and started barking like mad. We turned around, rat dog ran right back inside.
I guess Punky had already known everything he needed to know about rat dog. I sure wish as people we had the same instincts.