Daily Dose of Cute

Dudz, completely spent from chasing his BFF Sam, lies on the ground panting until he hears another dog coming into the dogpark. He rolls up into an alert position, but can't be arsed to actually get up. He watches the front gate with interest, panting. As the new dogs come in—another greyhound, Rocco, and his little brother Hugo, a border collie-great dane mix—Iain and I talk idly. trying to identify them from across the park. As they run in, Dudz stands up. "Go get 'em, Dudz," we both say. "Look, there's Sam, Dudz," I say, as Sam chases a ball in the background. "Go see Sam!" The wind blows. Dudley licks his lips, then suddenly takes off like a shot to the center of the park, where Sam, Rocco, and Hugo have convened. "There he goes," I say, as his tail windmills him to a stop in the distance.
An interesting thing happened at the dog park this weekend: First, on Saturday, an English bulldog got inexplicably fixated on Iain and just started barking at him, not threateningly really, but aggressively annoying. Dudley was having none of that, and wandered over from where he'd been lolling about in the grass to sternly bark at the bulldog in return. Just enough to shut him up, and that was that.

Then, on Sunday, a guy came in with an 8-month-old border collie who likes to JUMP! and JUMP!s like he's made of springs, and also JUMP!s right at your face in order that he may LICK! it. The pup's frenetic jumping (which was not exactly discouraged by his owner, who shrugged it off with, "He likes to jump," to which Iain replied, "No kidding!") sent all the Two-Legs off-kilter, which of course made all the dogs unhappy with the collie. I just stood in my spot, projecting calm in the hope that it might infect the collie.

Well, he liked my calm, all right, and decided the safest place in the park was right at my feet. Big dogs crashed into me in pursuit of the collie, and I nearly fell over. The collie ran and JUMP!ed some more, and got chased some more, and came back to my feet again. More crashing. More almost falling. It was all a matter of seconds.

Dudley was displeased. He came over and stood beside me and blocked all dogs from further contact, nudging the collie away. Not aggressive; just firm. "That's enough of that," his expression seemed to say, and I swear if he could have raised a single dogbrow in smug displeasure, he would have.

He's not a jealous dog: Iain and I pet and play with other dogs at the dog park all the time. He is, however, apparently protective when he needs to be. He just never needed to be before.

Good to know.

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