Our Adventures With Retired Racing Greyhounds, Truly, Maggie and Walker

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Looming" Soprano Style

I'm a big fan of the Sopranos.  I wish I could do some of what Tony does.  Understand, I do not want to be a New Jersey mob boss who finds himself trudging through the frozen Pine Barrens on a clandestine mission to rescue wayward hit men.  Nor would I value the opportunity to tote around the severed head of a wise guy gone bad in a bowling ball bag.  I have to admit, though, that the ability to ellicit respect simply by virtue of physical presence would be cool.  (I guess this may be natural for those of us who have been gently described as "vetically-challenged.")
In one Sopranos episode, Tony is at his therapy appointment with Dr. Jennifer Melfi, his psychiatrist.  Tony gets angry about something revealed during the session and his resulting behavior shocks Dr. Melfi.  She scolds him for his aggressive behavior.  Tony defends himself saying something like, "Well, I didn't hit you."  She says, "No, but you loomed!"
That's what Truly does at the local dog park when any dog interrupts his usual activity - smelling every square inch of the ground.  He faces off with the culprit, assumes a rigid stance, extends his neck and ears upward and he demands respect - even from the great danes. We know now that he has no intention of attacking, but he sure seems to enjoy the posture and the effect it has on those who dare to intervene in his dog park smell-fest.
So how does this looming greyhound get along with Paulie Walnuts?  (Yes, Paulie was named for the Sopranos character.)  We were told that he was "cat and small dog tolerant" when we adopted him.  The big question was, would Paulie really be safe?  Here's Paulie:
Their first meeting was tense.  Not for them, for me.  Truly had to wear his muzzle and he was leashed.  I brought Paulie to him.  They sniffed each other . . . then Truly indicated a deep and urgent desire to  .  .  .  .  go do something else.  We had Truly continue to wear the muzzle a little while longer - just to be safe.
In Truly's case, we now know "cat tolerant" really means "cat ambivalent," "cat-I could not care less," or "Cat?  What cat?"
Once in a while, Truly will "corner" Paulie and loom over him.  Then they'll have a quick game of chase.  Then - they're done.  So, yes, Paulie Walnuts continues to sleep safely and soundly.

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