We all complain about how we’re “losing it” as we get older. Not my male dog, Manny.
He’s close to 13 years old, but most would never accuse him of slipping in any way.
I see more than they see. I know his appetite isn’t what it used to be and he needs encouragement at mealtime.
I realize he’s much more clingy to me, especially at night.
He hasn’t, however, lost his fire when it comes to giving heck to strangers.
Some friends were over for breakfast. We went crazy and had steak and eggs. Manny and Marcie were barricaded away from the guests but easily accessible should anyone want to offer them a bite.
One guest did. He gave them both a few bites of steak. Did that clear the way for a new friendship? Of course not. A mere bite (or five) of meat isn’t enough to sway Manny away from his better judgment about people. Even after receiving several bites of steak and stealing a few bites away from his sister, he still felt it necessary to growl, snarl, drool and threaten the hand that had fed him.
Manny’s best recent show of strength, however, was this summer, when I was having some work done in the yard.
The worker told me his digging was taking him close to the fence that surrounded the dogs’ area and that Manny was getting dangerously close to him. He asked if I could take Manny inside soon.
“Sure, I will in a minute,” I told him.
He resumed his digging and Manny resumed his barking. The worker’s behind was firmly pressed against the chain link fence behind him and Manny’s toothy, gaping jaws were just as firmly pressed against the other side of the chain link fence — and against the worker’s behind.
I couldn’t help but laugh and agree that Manny needed to be put in the house immediately.
It might seem like something you’d hear said on an episode of “The Addams Family,” but the truth is I know Manny’s threats toward strangers, and sometimes my friends, are simply an expression of his need to protect me. It’s his way of showing he loves me and I can get behind that.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.