The horses were a surprise… and other Thanksgiving stories

A few of you may know that I am the proud owner of a temporary dog while my friend Justine is away on vacation. Wesson is a 60 pound Pittbull mutt. Having him around is definitely an adventure.

He is a very loving, affectionate dog… inside. However, when we go outside, you never know what’s going to happen. I’m thinking he’s never really been socialized to be a city dog. He’s about a year and a half old and has only been in Chicago about a month and a half. He originally lived about an hour’s drive south of the city, probably in a much calmer, quieter environment.

When we go out for a walk and he sees other dogs out for walk, he goes completely bat-shit-crazy. Barking, snarling, pulling… like he’s going to kill the other dog. So I short leash him, push his head down to show him that I’m the alpha dog, until he calms down and the other dog owner and pet have a chance to make an escape with their very lives.

And once they’re gone, poor Wesson cries. I really think he wants to play, but as I’ve told Justine, it would be like walking up to someone all threatening with a gun and saying, “Play with me, or I’m gonna eat you.”

So yeah, Wes needs a little training I think. I always feel sad for him because when the dogs move away, he cries, like he’s saying, “Hey guys, don’t go… what gives?”

But tonight’s Thanksgiving adventure was very interesting. I was looking forward to walking him tonight because the city, and especially my neighborhood in the West Loop, is a ghost town during the holidays. So Wes and I have the city all to ourselves. Perfect.

So we went out. Wes was very good. No barking, very little pulling. So I decided it was safe to take him for one of our longer walks. Everything was going along fine until two horse drawn carriages passed by us.

Now Wes has probably never seen a horse in his young life. And I’m pretty sure he’s not afraid of anything. So I was curious to see what was going to transpire in the next three seconds.

1…. 2…. I think Wesson needed two seconds to size up the situation. Unfortunately, when we spotted the horses, I was bent over with my plastic bag picking up Wesson’s poop. Not exactly the best position for the beginning of a dog-on-horse battle.

BARK, BARK, BARK, SNARL, PULL

I managed to get me and the poop bag under control as the leash wrapped around my legs. I was preparing to be pulled down and dragged 10 yards to be stomped on by a spooked horse when suddenly the pulling stopped.

I looked behind me to find Wesson cowering near the curb under a car… for a few seconds anyway. Apparently, something flashed in his little dog brain that said, perhaps a full-on assault on the horses was ill advised. The horses continued to pass us and Wes decided it was safe to come out and begin the terrorizing again. But the situation was under control at that point.

So yeah. The horses were a surprise.

Earlier in the day I drove out to my parents house for Thanksgiving dinner and to see my sister and her family. It was a great meal and everyone had a good time.

As is usual when I stop by, there are a list of technical things that need attention. Today’s list included installing the new digital TV converter box, so my parents can still watch TV when analog is turned off in in February. The box actually worked pretty well. My parents now have a bunch of new channels to surf. For free. Take that cable!

I also installed some new software on their computer so when they call with a tech question, I can actually see their screen and move the mouse and help them through it. They do really well considering how many computer skills they’ve had to learn so late in life, but it will be nice to be able to show them something on screen remotely instead of trying to blindly describe, “Ok… what’s on the screen now?… Ok… Good… You see at the top of the screen where it says File?… Yes, move the mouse up there, and click, but don’t release the mouse bef… ok… let’s try it again… but this time, don’t release the mouse until the menu pulls down… right… yeah… there you go…”

So yeah. A good Thanksgiving. No horses were injured.

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