Today I am mostly talking about my fraidy-cat of a dog (so much so that I'm thinking of changing that phrase to 'fraidy-dog'). As I think I’ve said before, he’s scared of many, many things. Cows were the thing we noticed first; mainly when he dismembered the dog guard, vaulted the back seat and tried to become a lap dog with me in the front and no amount of coaxing would return him to the rear until we'd passed the fields of bovine (thank God I wasn’t driving at the time).
However, then we added sheep, horses, goats and hail to his list. Of course this was swiftly followed by more...ahem.....bizarre items like my squeaking wheelchair, plastic bags, geese, swans, the wind (if it’s blowing in the trees) and leaves (if they move). He doesn’t like sticks and, if you throw one, he just looks at you as if you’re mad; if you tell him “fetch!”, he merely gives you a withering look and wanders off (well, as far as his roving lead will let him).
We have now added a few other items to his ever growing list of 'things our dog is scared of': puddles (the kind that splashes up on the car windows as you go through them), rain (when it hits the windscreen) and, most recently of all, the dark.
Here I have to admit that he isn’t the first dog we’ve had that’s afraid of the dark – our late Spaniel Cross was also a real scaredy cat (dog?) when it came to the dark; indeed if you were getting ready to go to bed at night and turned all the lights off in the living room before she’d got to the door, she would just freeze wherever she’d reached until you turned them on again. More than once we were only alerted to her being stuck in the darkened room when we heard a loud whimper, and hurried down to get her - she was usually so grateful to us for 'freeing' her that we felt awful for forgetting her in the first place.
Thankfully our current King Coward isn’t quite that bad; he at least makes a run for it – the only trouble is we’re all like so many skittles when he goes cannoning through us to escape up the stairs first. Probably so that way the brain eating zombie he obviously thinks is behind him will stop to kill us, thereby giving Mr Dog the chance to escape - you can't argue with logic like that really can you?
Of course he’s not scared of everything; well, as much as we’ve discovered so far anyway. He tries to chase ducks (well, it’s either that or he’s trying to be friends with them) it's just that we don't let him and he also dislikes small dogs. Not that he has a go at them first; no, it's usually them laying on the hate.
In fact in the early days of him moving in with us he loved all dogs – but after my father’s two Yorkies tried to bite him (more than once), and then at least six different White Westies tried to take a chunk out of him on six different occasions, well, you can kind of understand his reluctance to be friends with small hounds that are obviously furry serial killers in disguise. Mind you, why it’s only the white Westies and not any of the black ones we haven't been able to fathom thus far.
He doesn’t mind fish, though he doesn’t like them splashing, and so I figure he’s not a complete and total coward.....yet. Of course he’s only three and so there’s still time. In his defence, and as far as we can ascertain, he was beaten by his old owners before being kicked out – no one knows what he might’ve suffered as a stray either – so really it’s kind of understandable that he’s a little, well, eccentric.
Still, that kind of fits in with us as we’re not the sanest family I know. Besides, perhaps, just like Dorothy’s cowardly lion, he’ll get some courage when he needs it one day. Until then we love him to bits, however much of a coward he is; and if he suffers from a little separation anxiety, we give him a little leeway there too and lot of love and training to help him over it.
Most of all he’s one of the family and if he’s as nuts as we are, including the cat (and thereby hangs another tale; quite literally), then we wouldn’t have it any other way. After all, love me – love my dog.
This is Simi, thanks for reading.......