So I will admit it now, I have always had a thing for lions. It has many roots in my childhood. One of my first stuffed toys was a lion which amazingly I still have today - all sewn and patched up with vivid orange thread which doesn't match anything. The lion - who's name was mylion - is carefully tucked away to preserve it from Bizz and his never ending desire to claim all things stuffed as his own. Not sure what is going to happen to my Santa and Snowman collections this Christmas.
I also adored the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. I was convinced he was from New Jersey with his accent and I loved his curly mane. I dressed as him for two Halloweens but from what I can tell not a single photo of myself in a Halloween costume exists from my childhood. And of course there was Elsa, the lion from Born Free.
So why do I talk of Lions when this blog is about my little white dog? Well I think at his heart Bizz is a lion with more than a hint of the Cowardly Lion in him. This thought started the other day when we were out patrolling the neighborhood and came across a neighbor attempting to entice his very large (bigger than Bizz) Maine Coon cat into his house. Now Bizz goes absolutely nuts when he sees a cat - pulling on his leash, whining - all to beg me to let him attack. This cat however marched right towards us and Bizz froze - staring intently. The cat came right up to him, his huge paws with their six toes fascinated me. The cat walked right up to Bizz and stared him straight in the eye. They were less than an inch apart. I whispered to the man I was worried about his cat, he told me to be more worried about my dog. As they stared - you got it - Bizz flinched. He walked away - tail in the air but he kept glancing anxiously over his shoulder. Yep, the cat won.
Then this weekend Marina and I returned to my favorite place - dog heaven- Fort Funston. Bizz was of course overjoyed. He did his usual running up to larger dogs that were tusseling, barking, then running back to stand or sit between my legs - very much an "I told you to break it up and if you have a problem with it talk to her". At one point we were taken aback when I huge white dog came running up to Bizz - bigger than a german shepherd. We were worried the dog was just going to slam into Bizz but amazingly Bizz held his ground and the dog pulled up short. So maybe he's not that cowardly with his own species.
But my favorite moment was during one walk Marina and I came to a fork in the road and we definitely went the wrong way. We were walking in a thick grove of trees and as she and Bizz proceeded ahead of me I found myself having to stoop lower and lower as the tree branches were thicker and lower as we progressed. Marina finally saw the break back to the main path and proceeded. I was at the point of getting down on my hands and knees and in my mind I could hear the chant of lions and tigers and bears oh my. However, that was disrupted when Bizz discovered I was at his level and proceeded to sit in the midst of my path to block me and thought this was perfect play time. Marina quite enjoyed the conversation she heard from in the brush - I believe I kept saying _ Not now Bizz, would you please move. When at last we were free Bizz returned to running about.
I realized how long it had been since I had left the beaten trail and done a little exploring in the weeds so to speak. And how much I love my little Lion dog - who is brave in the face of incoming danger but not quite sure how to deal with a face to face threat.