Defying the stereotype

Greg and I took Eleanor and Abe on a walk last night. Greg pushed the stroller, and I held Abe’s leash. A few blocks from our house, Abe turned and started to pull me backward. I looked and saw a rottweiler running toward us. No owner in sight.

I’m not generally afraid of dogs, but Abe is terrible around bigger dogs. In his younger days, he used to like all dogs, but somewhere along the line he became defensive toward big dogs, so I always panic when we come upon a loose dog.

I immediately handed Abe’s leash to Greg, knowing that he would be better able to control Abe. The rottweiler gave Abe a sniff, and Abe, in his brilliance, began to bark and snarl at the rottweiler. Yes, Abe, let’s pick a fight. Good thinking!

I, being nearly as smart as Abe, grabbed the rottweiler by his collar. It was like trying to restrain a bull. I should point out that this dog was larger than your typical rottweiler and most definitely outweighed me (because, you know, I could certainly handle your standard rottweiler). His tags didn’t have an address but did have phone numbers and a name. Ivan. Of course. What else could he be named? Attila, perhaps?

Well, Ivan turned out to be a teddy bear. He was so happy to be petted that he didn’t give Abe another look. Ivan began to drag me across the street toward a house. I followed, figuring he must be taking me to his home. He galloped right up to the front door, and I rang the bell. A teenage girl answered, and Ivan pushed past her and ran into the house. Hurrah, Ivan was home! But when I looked back at the girl in the doorway, her eyes were dinner plates. No, wait, this was not Ivan’s home.

“Are you missing a dog?” I asked, my voice filled with neighborly goodwill.

“He’s not ours, but I know who he belongs to, and I can return him,” she said.

And so I’m happy to report, this is not the story of how Abe got eaten. Though it may be the story of how a neighbor’s house got destroyed.