Driving on Riverside Drive Monday, I happened to see this dramatic tableau:
A man was walking his dog, a little white shih tzu, on one of those leashes that allow the dog to run about 10 or 12 feet out, but will reel the leash back in automatically when the human wants the dog to return. As the two walked along, a big UPS van drove up behind them and the dog caught sight of it. The animal lunged, ran and almost caught the van, except the leash ran out.
The dog barked, and pulled on the leash, and the man pulled and tried to reel the animal in. It was a battle, but the human won, owing to the fact he outweighed the dog by a good 160 pounds.
The shih tzu was no higher at the shoulder than the bottom of the wheel that held the tire on the axle of the truck. Yet, the dog seemed to be without fear. It seemed not to care that the truck might squash it flat.
There is an old joke about dogs chasing cars and not knowing what to do with them if they catch them. However, for a dog, the joy often is in the journey. They chase cars because it gives them something to do, they are pretty good at it and it gives them exercise. If you don’t think so, you try chasing a car. Or, a UPS truck.
Also, dogs are inclined to try to protect their humans from any perceived threat. The dog shih tzu that saw the UPS truck and went after it probably thought the big brown van was up to no good.
Those little white dogs are tough. I know, because I have one, and it can jump higher than the Empire State Building.
“Aw,” you might say. “Don’t try to kid me. Your dog probably can’t jump more than a couple of feet high.”
That’s true. But I have it on good authority that the Empire State Building can’t jump at all.