I really feel that I owe an explanation to every human being that sees me out in public over the course of the next week or two. I have a horrible bruise on my left arm. It goes around the entire inside of my arm and across the top of it. Right now, it is a yellowing gray… it’s awful. It looks like someone tried to break my arm in half.
That’s because someone did and it was, of course, my dog.
Mugen and I went to a park earlier this week. I sat down at a picnic table to eat some lunch and was using the remains of a hamburger to bait Mugen into ignoring the squirrels and paying attention to me. This worked for a while. We were having a good time, and this was good practice for Mugen since his CGC test is coming up in 3 short weeks.
Things were going pretty good.
Little did I know that the squirrels in that park were plotting my demise.
As I reached for a piece of bacon off of the cheeseburger, a squirrel snuck up behind us and poked his head out from behind a tree. He looked straight at Mugen who’s hackles went up in a fully body mohawk that spread from the back of his neck to the base of his tail. I felt the leash tense and I turned to look at Mugen and adjusted it so that I had a better hold on it. I told Mugen “Leave it.” and he came back to his spot at my left side and sat in a heel at my knee. I praised him with the piece of bacon and then I went to reach into the bag to grab a couple of french fries while simultaneously grabbing my soda with the other hand (and yes, I am a bit ambidextrous).
What happened next, I can only theorize. I didn’t actually witness it, but was merely a victim of it. What I do know is that the squirrel must have taken off from behind the tree where Mugen had seen it originally and headed for the tree that was directly in front of us. He took off very, very fast and must have counted on my leash grip on Mugen to save his annoying little life.
Mugen stood up and bolted for the squirrel with the full force of his 70 pounds of almost entirely muscle… and this caused the leash to slip out of my fingers and down my wrist to the middle of my arm where I swung my arm up and pulled it toward my chest so that Mugen wouldn’t shred a squirrel in a spray of blood and gore in front of the toddlers that were playing in the park in plain sight of us.
It hurt like hell and the pain must have knocked the wind out of me because I had no voice to correct Mugen with.
Mugen continued to strain at the end of the leash and I finally managed to catch my breath and said, “Leave it.” Mugen turned back to look at me and cried. I said “No. Leave it.” and he came back to me again and sat down.
He’s really a good boy. Reilly would have continued to strain at the end of that leash until I bodily drug him out of that park and put him in the car. Mugen walked away from that picnic bench and did not look back after I said the words “Let’s go.”