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My dog Maxine does not like collies. She hates them, as a matter of fact. I think it’s their little needle noses. Maybe it’s their beady eyes, too close together, that kind of thing. She’s part border collie herself, according to the shelter where we got her. Maybe that’s the problem: self-hatred. Joe thinks it is possible that her collie relatives abused her when she was growing up. We will never know. All we know is that whenever she sees a collie of any sort — border collie, big fluffy Lassie-type collie, miniature “toy” collie, whatever — she attacks. She’s not this way with any other dog. Generally, she’s what you would call a “good dog,” if you met her. Unless you were a collie, or were with one.

Maxine is the one with the teeth. I think she thinks you are a collie.

Yesterday at the dog park, she attacked a miniature collie. Collies are fairly rare around here. It had been so long since this had happened, I didn’t realize it was her at first. I heard a dog fight break out, and kept playing “the Facebook” on my iPhone, because my dogs don’t fight. By the time I did realize it was her, the woman who brought the collies was holding Maxine by her hind legs, keeping her away from the cowering little collie.

I said the stupid thing that all dog owners say: “She never does that!”

The woman ignored me.

After I got Maxine onto her leash, the woman spent a great deal of time checking her dog for injuries. I stood there, just in case Maxine had left some damage, so that I could either defend my dog from an unfair accusation or deal with the consequences of a fair one.

After a while she said to her dog, “You’re okay, go play.”

When the woman stood back up, I smiled and said, “Sorry.”

She continued to ignore me. She walked away.

I don’t know what I think about that.

I’d rather she ignore me than be a crazy person haranguing me about something that was obviously a weirdness. Frankly, in Louisville, you’re much more likely to get some crazy redneck going on and on and on, screaming at you for something your dog did, so that was nice. She, too, obviously realized it was a weirdness, and didn’t try to make me feel guilty or bad in any other way, either. I appreciated the lack of drama, the efficiency of her dealing with the situation.

But, on the other hand, being completely ignored felt, well, un-Southern-ly. It was like I was back in Brooklyn, where people only deal with you if they have to, and only specifically on the matter at hand, out of necessity (because there are so many people, and so many matters, that there’s no way to account for them all in a single lifetime).

Maxine also hates squirting water, but that’s a story for another day. She either hates squirting water, or loves it, actually. It’s hard to tell.

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