Bull, Meet China Shop

When Taylor and I leave in the mornings and evenings to brave the new world on our walks, I only have one fear. (Not carneys, though they can be frightful. Ask Austin.) We’ve spotted coyotes, and while we have a healthy amount of fear and respect for Wiley, not them either. And while raccoons scare the crap out of me, Taylor pays them no mind. However, on the other hand… Dogs that walk off leash? They scare the crap out of me.

Let me introduce you to my guy Taylor. He’s normally a gentle giant, the proverbial “bull in a china shop” – an almost 100 lb American Bulldog – though I wouldn’t call him a giant by any normal sense of the word. Great Danes and St. Bernards – they are Giants. Tay is dense, with solid frame and a block of a head and packs quite a punch. He’s given a buddy of mine a concussion cos all he wanted to do was play. He didn’t mean anything by it.

And so it was on an adventure recently one morning, we were walking down the hill when a dog in the distance was trotting up towards us, a considerable distance in front of his owner. We immediately did an about face, as my memories revisited a day a few months ago when that same dog went up that same hill that time also a considerable distance in front of his owner, who had no control over his dog. That day, he came up to Taylor and in a matter of a second, despite the fact that he was considerably smaller but because he was taller was able to bite my dog. I would only realize what happened after I got home, as Taylor didn’t even flinch or feign that the bite could have been hurting him. A three hundred dollar veterinarian bill added to my anger. Tay acted as if nothing happened.

That morning, as he did that other morning, Tay came back home, shoveled his food, played with his Kong, and promptly took a nap.

Taylor always did like to stick to his routine. And he literally feels no pain. I hope if he ever does, he will tell me.

“Bull, meet China shop.”

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a Walk in Sausalito

4 thoughts on “Bull, Meet China Shop

  1. I don’t have a dog but I do have a great dog-on-trail strategy. I get off trail an exaggerated distance away. As far as possible or 12 to 15 feet. I address the owner in a friendly voice, complimenting the appearance of their dog. Their dog knows something is up but can’t figure out what. The friendly voice is typically reciprocated. I am convinced that the dog completely notices the exaggerated distance that is far greater than the social distance that is typical.

    This is an analog to saying “Krup” every 3 or 4 words when speaking with Thai people. Yes, everybody knows that saying “Krup” is the polite thing to do. Saying “Krup” an exaggerated number of times drives home the point that you understand, share and respect the most powerful and important speech convention in their language and culture. It took me years and years to learn this lesson. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of practice and conversation with just as many new people and the only feedback I ever received was, “You don’t say ‘Krup’ enough.”

    Some say that language comes down to one thing. “You’re on my side or you’re not on my side.” I have yet to learn how to practice this in a general way beyond the two specific situations above. It appears that you, on the other hand, learned how to apply the general lesson a long, long time ago. That, to me, is the true secret of your success.


    1. Wow Dale, I’d never thought of that analogy before. Thanks for sharing! Having been to Thailand twice and appreciating their sense of politeness, I completely understand! And love your take on language!! Thank you for the complement! It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were sitting on the same side of the table in front of an IBM computer in class. But you’re right, I’ve always believed in inclusion and trying my best to put myself in another’s shoes to understand their perspective. It’s helped me understand that we are all on the same side. Thanks for sharing all of this!


  2. Ugh… I hate when people walk their dog off the leash. Maybe you trust your dog, but what if I don’t trust mine? Dangerous!   From: The Secret of My SucCecil To: n.lusink@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, March 6, 2015 9:01 AM Subject: [New post] Bull, Meet China Shop #yiv6214321179 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6214321179 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6214321179 a.yiv6214321179primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6214321179 a.yiv6214321179primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6214321179 a.yiv6214321179primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6214321179 a.yiv6214321179primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6214321179 WordPress.com | Cecil Puvathingal posted: “When Taylor and I leave in the mornings and evenings to brave the new world on our walks, I only have one fear. (Not carneys, though they can be frightful. Ask Austin.) We’ve spotted coyotes, and while we have a healthy amount of fear and respect for Wile” | |


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