So my dog, Emerson, is a handful. He really is a sweetie, but some days his exuberance and energy are a bit much. I knew this before we got him, and I’m not really suprised, but some days on the ground are on the exhausting side.
But yesterday he really earned his kibble (plus treats). The kids, Emerson, and I were in the front yard messing about when Emerson suddenly took off barking his “threat” bark — straight toward (I thought) one of the Ranger School students. I can often call him off if he’s worried about a person, but he didn’t call off when I yelled. A moment later I saw it was actually a strange dog. Emerson had headed him off at the edge of the yard, and they were going through the usual dog get-acquainted rituals, when the strange dog made a beeline toward my kids. I had no hope of stopping of blocking him, so I just watched apprehensively. He was streaking toward them in that purposeful way a dog will take off after a deer or a rabbit or something, so I really didn’t know what would happen.
Know what happened? Emerson decided he didn’t like what was going down. So he ran alongside the strange dog and herded him away from the kids. Stood between the kids and the strange dog. Herded him away again. Again. Again. Until the dog’s owner successfully called him away.
I don’t think that strange dog was a true threat (saw him again today). But Emerson correctly assessed the situation to know that the dog’s intent was unclear, and he took the initiative to take care of business, using the least force needed. He was effective, serious, and in control of himself.
In short, he was fabulous.