Every morning (well, almost every morning . . . okay, okay–periodically) MSB and I go for a walk in our rural residential neighborhood. We pass fields where wild critters bound from view and pastures of cows and goats munching on the greenery, and we’re unharmed and unalarmed.
Until we pass “the house.”
Behind this ordinary pink-bricked ranch home is a dog with a deep throaty bark scary enough to make us glad he’s fenced in. We’ve never seen him, and I’m not sure I want to. On the front porch are what looks to be a toy Manchester terrier, bouncing from window to window interested in whatever the folks inside are doing, and a Chihuahua who couldn’t care less. A tiny Chihuahua who thinks he’s a Doberman.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re not afraid of him. At worst, his yipping interferes with our conversation. But he races toward us, undoubtedly believing he’s covering twenty feet per bound, and barks in a high pitch he thinks holds the bass timbre of a Bullmastiff. Even though he’d be lucky to catch my ankles, his eyes are on my jugular. Never mind that the vein is a full five vertical feet from him, he’s convinced he can reach it and down me with his death grip.
Until I turn on him suddenly, bare my teeth, and send him scampering back several feet (mean, aren’t I?).
This fact–that he does run from an apparent threat–is what keeps this miniature David alive. He’s aware of his shortcomings (pun intended), but he’s not afraid to face his Goliaths head-on.
Once we’re past his territory, he delivers a final bark: “And stay out!” and trots away with his tail high for a job well-done. He has protected his owners and his property. He is successful.
What a lesson we could learn from this five-pound giant!