Igor, the sensei

For all the time I’ve had her, my pooch Igor has been to me a friend, a boss, a pain, a joy, and unwittingly, my sensei.

For more than a dozen years, Iggy has been the “queen” of the neighborhood — meaning, to her, the neighborhood is her oyster.

Should another canine enter or even approach her “territory” Igor’s vocal chords get a vigorous workout.

Should we, or any of our neighbors receive a visit from a local fast food chef, the same scenario plays out; as it does when UPS, Fedex, or the U.S.P.S. delivers a package to us or anyone in the territory.

Oh, I should also mention that motorcycles are on her “I’ll take care of you” list.

Yet, before anyone thinks ill of my furry friend, her bark is much worse than her bite, which is nonexistent.

Children in the hood love to come see her and pet her thick, soft coat. When that happens, she immediately assumes the “belly-rub” position.

When she sees any of my neighbors, her tail immediately shifts into overdrive, as do the rear hindquarters to which it’s attached. On on the other end, her ears are pinned so far back, it looks as though she’s facing upwind in a hurricane.

But there are certain non-human critters that Iggy doesn’t get along with.

She loves to snap at bees and wasps; something I routinely discourage, but in 12 years she, thankfully, hasn’t been quick enough to learn her lesson.

Then there are the rabbits. When she saw one, Iggy would make a beeline towards the big-eared intruder, nearly ripping my arm off at the shoulder.

The rabbits learned to stay away when Queen Igor was outside.

But through the years, the rabbits either became more courageous, or Iggy became less interested, because now, like the proverbial lion laying down with the lamb, Igor and rabbits coexist peacefully in Igor Land.

This is where Iggy’s sensei skills kicked in and taught me a lesson. Despite her instincts to chase rabbits, she’s recently come to the realization that it doesn’t have to be that way. They are both creatures of God, and that instinct is stronger.

Now rabbit and dog stay within feet of each other on warm summer days. They are no longer mortal enemies.

Isn’t that what God expects of us. Isn’t our instinct one of love and respect, and not hatred and divisiveness?

As so often is the case, humans can learn a thing or two from animals; and it’s no surprise that dogs make some of the best senseis.

Igor, this “grasshopper” bows to you in thanks for the latest lesson.

Now if we could only work on your relationship with delivery people.


© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts