A dog growled at me on Wednesday. It rather hurt my feelings because I think dogs are generally a good judge of character. (I will eventually get over it…probably.) The dog that growled at me always seems frighted, so I’m trying to console myself with the thought that he would have growled at anyone in a similar situation. But I have to admit I wasn’t in a particularly good mood, so maybe he was picking up on something about me. Or he might have sensed my potential to become a super vilain once my super-hero powers kick-in fully. (I’m not going to be able to hide it forever right?) But for now I’m going with he knew I was in a bad mood.)
Then the next day I saw a dog on a leash, stretching away (to the limit of its leash) and walking sideways to avoid a man on the sidewalk. The owner hadn’t given the man a second look and the man had ignored the dog, who in turn had equally ignored every other pedestrian, but something about that man freaked that dog out. Lots of my friends have stories where their dogs, generally friendly creatures, have growled or acted defensively towards a stranger for no apparent reason. The general consensus seems to be that they are picking up on something about those people. Maybe ill intent, maybe not, but their owners generally seem grateful for the protective sentiment.
Both canine reactions got me thinking about how dogs see us.
Consider the story of the man above. Why do you think the dog was so dedicated to avoiding that man? Was it some sort of hormone he was putting out that warned of danger? Were there subtle postural cues that told the dog to stay away? Maybe he smelled bad to a dog nose, or someone had put out a warning on the twilight bark network. Spend ten minutes exploring the dog’s reaction and what might come next. Happy writing.