They say about Irish Wolfhounds: "Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked."
And it seems there is no dog sweeter or more gentle than happy young Blake. For example, Blake is extra gentle, very mindful, and careful around children and people who are disabled. I'm hoping he has a future as a therapy dog.
Last night, however, I saw the "provoked" side of my sweet boy.
It started with a great commotion around 9:30 p.m. in our Canyon. I had let Blake out in a small fenced yard behind my house, before I brought him in for the night. The neighbors' dogs were barking frantically, and amazingly, so were a pack of coyotes. Usually when the coyotes are having a teasing exchange with the neighbors' dogs, they cackle and howl. This time, however, both wild and domestic canines were barking ferociously. What was up?
In less than 10 minutes, I heard Blake barking and growling as I have never heard him before. I ran out to the yard and Blake was standing in powerful majesty at the fenceline. In the porchlight, all his fur seemed to be standing on end. He was gazing into the dark wilderness, the national forest beyond our fence. When he saw me he immediately placed himself between me and the fenceline, his barking and growling continuing all the while. There was little moonlight to see what was out there. In the darkness, there was ... something. I called and he came to me.
This morning my neighbors said it appeared that a bear had knocked over other neighbors' very large and heavy trash cans. And when I let Blake out in the morning light, he ran to that same spot near the fence, growling and looking around. Then he stopped and came to me with a wolfhound grin. He was satisfied that the danger was gone.