This is breaking news, people. I visit my parents twice a month and the dogs go crazy in the backyard (living in an apartment makes my dogs sad). Their neighbors recently adopted a dog who was labeled as a Labrador Retriever but who's activity level is inconsistent with every single 2-yr-old Lab I've ever met. He's calm, for one. I mean, like lazy, laid-back, life is meant to be savored calm. He's definitely a mixed breed dog, but just like pit bulls, any dog who is black, chocolate or yellow, with short-medium hair, floppy ears = LABRADOR RETRIEVER. Fact.
To understand the importance of what happened yesterday, you must understand Mina's tempestuous relationship with Retrievers. I would not say she loves them, per se, but she is obsessive about them. No other type of dog holds her fascination and intensity like a Retriever. She's most partial to Labrador Retrievers, especially if they love chasing balls. There have been a grand total of three Labrador Retrievers who have tolerated Mina's insistence that when you chase a ball, she should chase you, bark at you and possibly rudely body slam you as well. She's really responsive to another dog's correction, in that she'll pause for a grand total of 4.5 seconds, then go back to whatever she was doing before. But most dogs and their guardians do not appreciate Mina's behavior - I don't either, really. It's a reason why I won't let her play with hyperactive Labs (there aren't many around where I live, so it works out fine, I guess).
So there I was sitting outside, reading a book when I hear a loud argument between two dogs. *light bulb* Ah, one of those barking fiends sounds a lot like an old lady pit bull I know. Calling to Mina when she is in the middle of a heated discussion/argument is useless. I got up and headed to the side-yard where I find a Mina body. Her head is missing, poking through a loose board in the fence she had head-butted open. Panicking, I thought perhaps she and Jack, the Lab mix next door, had gotten into a fight and Mina had been hurt or Jack's nose was missing. When she noticed me, Mina popped her head back in, wagged her tail and conveyed the message THERE IS A DOG OVER HERE AND WE TOUCHED NOSES!!!
I strolled over all nonchalantly and crouched down. There's Jack with a wagging butt and happy grin on his face. Noticing he had all of his facial features intact, I sighed happily and started to coax Mina away from the fence. Jack was having none of that. In three seconds flat, he popped up the loose board and shimmied his way into our yard (which is impressive since the opening was like eight inches wide). Now if he was like any Lab I've ever met, he would have leaped in joy, wagged his tail and butt, acted like a doof, and would have inspired neurotic behavior from Mina.
But he didn't. He and Mina were all, "yo" and "oh, it's you" and "let's check this out". Real cool like. Mina followed Jack everywhere and Jack took ownership of her yard. As he approached the sliding glass door to get into the house, I had another moment of relief that Celeste - my people loving, adorable mixie dog - was inside. She had a fit when she saw Jack - a crazy, snarling, barking fit. Mina was quite confused by her behavior and couldn't understand why on earth she was reacting in such an offensive manner.
Our neighbor came over quickly and confiscated Jack, and his guardian/owner promptly repaired the broken board. No more secret liaisons for these two. This is tragic, according to Jack. Mina thinks it's fine, so long as she can talk with him through the fence.