I’m always on the lookout for animals in distress and not necessarily by choice. It’s as if I have a telescope that precedes me wherever I go.
Walking away in regards to the four-legged, is not all that easy.
This is how I met Colonel, the Doberman Pincher.
I was tooling up Columbus Avenue in search of a cookie when I hear a whimper and a snarl. Seems the Colonel just had words with a black Lab named Itchy. Not sure of the particulars, but Itchy wasn’t too thrilled when the Colonel felt compelled to push him off the sidewalk.
Moaning and groaning, though no harm done, Itchy made such a big deal that his owner burst out in tears. A young girl in her 20s wearing skiwear with no slopes in sight, started screaming at Colonel’s owner, that his dog tried to eat hers.
Where have I heard dog eat dog before? Chinatown, the Staten Island Ferry…my mother’s dinner table where she was known to eat her young?
As a bystander, I felt this was a bit of an exaggeration, but kept it to myself. That of course didn’t keep me from watching what would happen next.
Colonel’s dad, a nice looking man in his sixties in overalls and a hoodie, apologized to her and even bent down to pet Itchy, who in my estimation since busy licking his balls (or where they once were), was already past it.
When they left...whew…he decided to address what happened.
“Colonel, you can’t keep doing that,” he said, quietly but firmly raising his hand so this poor guy would roll on his side in doggie remorse. Uh-oh, my light flipped on…he better not strike him if he knows what’s good for him.
When it comes to aggressive doggie training, all bets are off at Camp Susannah.
So I dug in my Manolos to see.
But instead of a smack or snout pull, he rubbed Colonel’s neck with great patience and affection. The dog stayed in this subservient position not moving a muscle making me see we’ve been here before.
It was only then this guy noticed me watching, waiting to be convinced all was well, before I could comfortably take leave.
When our eyes met I said, “You know sir, don’t be too mad at him. He can’t help it. He’s a Doberman. To conquer and quell is in his blood. And let’s face it, Itchy’s a wimp…who can blame him for givin-em a little shove.”
The man’s face broke out into a grateful grin…like when the sun suddenly appears on a gloomy day.
He said, “I love this dog so much. I’m just so afraid something will happen and then what will we do?”
I pondered this for a minute then said, “I guess it’s a little like being Italian…or a prize fighter with fast fists…you just need to accept who you are conducting yourself responsibly.”
“I get the fighter part, but not sure of the Italian reference,” he said, as the Colonel finally sat up.
“If you knew how many times I want to hit someone with a big pasta pot but manage to hold back..it’s my idea of running some idiot off the sidewalk…Right Colonel?”
“Woof,” Colonel said, without missing a beat.
“Yeah, I knew you’d like that.”