Every year in Australia the RSPCA holds the Million Paws Walk to raise money. The idea is to show up with whatever pet you have and join in a mass walk, then enjoy a mildly dodgy sausage sizzle afterwards. The tv ad campaign tries to encourage animal diversity but usually only dogs come, and this year was no different.
Our puppies were very excited about the walk, but stayed reasonably well behaved all morning. We took bub along too (couldn't really leave her home alone!) and she had a fine time too. There was plenty for her to look at and she loves a nice perambulate. We started the walk 5 minutes late because she was finishing a feed and this meant while we caught up we had to negotiate many little 'landmines' along the route.
As dog owners, the conversation always comes up between Mr Accident and I about what if - what would our dogs do when faced with a certain situation? What if our family was threatened? Would the dogs realise and step in? Do the dogs know Baby is part of our family yet? Do they understand what she means to us?
Yesterday we had one of those questions answered in a very nice way. A massive Great Dane wandered over to say hello to our German Shepherd, Baya. They had a nice chat, then the Dane headed towards the pram to meet the baby. Our little Cavalier King Charles, Archie, who was about one tenth of the Dane's weight, manned up and threw himself between the pram and the strange dog. He was obviously very very scared, but was not going to let that giant touch his new little baby. It was very a nice validation of his affection towards us and Bub.
We have already experienced Baya's protective nature. When Archie was a little pup, about 3 months old, he bumbled over to a sausage dog to say hi. The grumpy little wiener whipped around and snapped at my pup, causing him to squeak and tumble backwards. The owner offered a half hearted apology of "Oh, sorry, he doesn't like strange dogs." I was very gracious, and replied "no worries, this will teach him not to be too forward....". While this occurring, Baya had heard the pathetic little puppy squeak from a distance and was powering through the crowd, dragging Mr Accident, surging in to protect her little friend. She arrived over the sausage dog a split second later, growling, teeth bared, and scared the tail off him without a single touch. I said "....and this is his big sister, she doesn't like strange dogs either." The owner was speechless, and kept mumbling "Alsatian.....Alsatian..."
Baya loves her family too.
And really, who could snap at this little fella?