Recently Willie the Pit Bull and I were just getting home from a long hot walk when I spotted this big reddish brown dog rolling around in the front yard. "Uh oh," I thought, "this is trouble." Willie is not going to appreciate a strange dog in his front yard and, from the looks of this dog, he was more than capable of claiming squatter's rights! I've been taught by Cesar Millan, the famous Dog Whisperer, to "make it happen," but frankly I just didn't want to apply that lesson today. It was too hot and sometimes--as President W could learn--not every potential confrontation is worth the sacrifice to the general peace and loss of blood.
So, my tactical maneuver was to boost Willie over the back fence, thereby keeping him safe and freeing myself to get past Big Red without a confrontation. That would be akin to the U.S. and alliance troops providing enough stability in Iraq for the warring factions of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis to have time to engage in a different, more peaceful resolution of conflict without the lightening rod Americans in the middle. Thank goodness, on Summit Court it worked. Willie didn't see Big Red and it took him a few minutes to get over his surprise at being unceremoniously dumped over the fence! I puffed myself up, again as taught by Cesar, marched up the sidewalk--not looking at Big Red, not demanding to know why he was there or what his intentions were. I didn't challenge and he didn't approach. Walk on, walk on. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him moving out of the yard. I got to the back gate and Willie, thankfully, didn't bark. Stability in the region!
From the safety of my living room window I could see that Big Red was hot--and probably lost. I was tempted to set out water for him, but that's not fair since I didn't want to encourage him to hang around. Nothing but trouble would have come from this. What happens if he's there in the morning when Willie and I make our trip to the newspaper box? Besides, if he's hungry and thirsty maybe that will encourage him to find his way home instead of depending on the false security and comfort that I would be offering.
How does the incident on Summit Court compare with the U.S. in Iraq? U.S. forces went into Afghanistan to ferret out Osama bin Laden. Meanwhile, President W decided that Saddam(the big red dog) must go and the Iraqi people must adopt a western-style democracy which contradicts thousands of year of governing based on tribal alliances and negotiations and ancient religious practices--it's not our way, but who says it can't be a viable other way? So, here's the difference: on a hot summer afternoon the situation--on the surface--demanded that Big Dog Willie drive off the uprooted and confused Interloper Dog. Reason-- in the form of quick thinking and a properly scared and respectful leader who was able to grasp the potential bad outcomes of the situation--intervened. The potentially warring factions were separated and the peace was secured. I still think about Big Red and hope sincerely that he made it home. But, I have to be realistic--I can't solve all the canine problems in my neighborhood and neither can we Americans be the boss and problem solver of the world.
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.