Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wrangling the Dog

This dog kind of looks like Tuck, but with darker eyes

It may be common knowledge never handle a dog who weighs more than you do, but it was common knowledge that escaped me this Tuesday morning. Alas, this did not bode well for me. 
Since the school I go to is a private school, they're allowed to bend the rules a little bit. One of the ways they bend the rules is letting the teachers' dogs roam everywhere. The teachers walk them during their free periods, let us all pet him, and even occasionally brings them to class (only certain teachers take advantage of this rule, but still). My one teacher usually drops her dog off with another teacher, but that teacher wasn't there. The only place for this dog, Tuck, was in the classroom.
This was all well and good. Everyone in the classroom loved dogs and Tuck got plenty of pets even as the lesson went on. At one point, he seemed especially fascinated with my feet for some reason, at first sniffing them and then licking them. He wasn't in my figurative doghouse yet, though; I actually thought it was cute.
Alas, this cuteness would not stay for long. Tuck, it would seem, had other plans. 
It was all because I had free period next, of course. My teacher, realizing that the other teacher was in, asked me if I could bring Tuck to that other teacher. Of course, not  knowing what was in store for me, I said yes. She gave me a leash with a smile.

I started out the door. Tuck immediately started dragging me in various directions, pulling me along as if I were the one on the leash. I tried to drag him back, but he was too strong for me. At one point, he turned in my direction and just leapt on me. Did I mention that Tuck is absolutely gargantuan? When he leapt on me, his paws reached my shoulders and he was as tall as I was! I have been told I should have kneed him, but that's always seemed cruel to me and he's also not my dog to knee; I pushed him off instead. Eventually, my teacher came out from her classroom and tried to help me out. Tuck proceeded to jump on her, muddying her white pants (my own clothes fortunately did not suffer the same fate). After she had calmed him down a little, I tried again.

So it was a rough start, admittedly, but after that, Tuck calmed down significantly. He was walking with me on the path, walking in a straight line like a normal dog. We passed by people who pet him, but even then he kept his cool. I really did think I was going to get to that other teacher's office.

As I said, Tuck had other plans. For whatever reason, he lost it, as if he had been replaced by some sort of demon. He started to run as fast as he possibly could and I was no match for him. Instinct forced me to let go of the leash (which is a good thing, because otherwise my shoulder would have been dislocated).

Unfortunately, that meant this crazy animal was on the loose! Being as I agreed to take him on, I had to go get him, so I ran after him. Some other good Samaritans did as well. This caused quite a bit of commotion, so much so that said teacher finally had to come outside. Tuck ran right to her.

I went to her, emotionally and physically exhausted from my ordeal and said, "I tried."

"It was a valiant effort, Tori," she said before going back to class.

Thankfully, yet another teacher passed by and agreed to take him. Decidedly stronger and more masculine, she seemed like a much better fit for Tuck and he instantly respected her. She walked him on a short leash.

"When it comes to dogs," this other stronger teacher said, "you have to show them who's boss."

Then she walked away.

Usually, I try to do this through brute force. All of the dogs that I've tended to have been decidedly smaller than Tuck. They tug; I tug back. I couldn't do this with Tuck. Anyway, how am I supposed to make him think that he's the boss when he has the power to kill me if he so chose to? Labs might be stupid sometimes, but not that stupid. 

"Do you forgive him, Tori?" the teacher asked after apologizing to me, although too lightly for my taste.

I sighed and said, "I don't know." The truth, however, is that I'm a total sucker, though. I know I should be mad at him, but I can't. There's something about dogs that makes my heart melt in a way that it can't with anyone else. I'm probably going to pet him and let him lick my foot again, and I will have (almost) forgotten his deviousness.

What happened, but black lab version

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