This is my talented nephew, Bridger’s puppy, Dozer. This photo was taken in October.
The aptly named, Dozer, is now at least four times as big and still growing. To my son, Nic, he is a welcome addition. Dozer’s hair is as soft as the finest fur. He’s full of puppy energy and best of all, loves to be with kids. Nic is ecstatic and cannot wait to see him again.
For Emma, however, Dozer is a furball nightmare come true. He’s bouncy and teething so he nips and grabs hold of anything that moves. His actions are erratic – he seemingly comes out of nowhere and jumps to lick, usually the face. That he is adorable is completely lost on Emma. All she sees is black menacing fur in the shape of a not so small bear, rapid movement, wet tongue, drool and sharp teeth. To say she is terrified of him, would be a vast understatement.
When Emma went up to the barn one day while out in Aspen for the holidays, Dozer came out to play. Emma was terrified as Dozer bounded toward her at a rapid clip.
“Pick me up!” she screamed.
Emma now weighs over seventy pounds, so picking up a writhing, screaming, terrified body is not an easy task.
“Pick me up!” she screamed again, pulling at my arms.
I tried to shield her with my body, but Dozer was so fast, he was able to bounce around me, giving Emma an enormous, wet “kiss”. Only to Emma it wasn’t a “kiss”, it was nothing short of an assault.
“Mommy! PICK ME UP!” Emma shrieked, her fear palpable.
Eventually we managed to get to the barn and locked Dozer out where we could hear him pacing up and down, trying to find an alternate means of entry. Add a creepy sound track and you have nothing short of a scene from a horror movie.
After twenty minutes or so, we peered out the door to see if an escape was possible. There Dozer was, lying in front of the only door, his enormous body draped across the exit, making any attempts to leave impossible.
Emma began to fret.
“It’s okay Em. I’ll pick you up,” I reassured her.
“No Dozer. Dozer go back to Bridger’s house,” Emma said desperately.
“It’ll be okay, I’ll carry you down the road and Dozer will go home,” I said.
Except when I picked Emma up, she is so tall now, her feet dangled not far from the ground, an easy grab for Dozer, who comes up to my hips. Emma screamed and tried to “climb” up my body. The whole thing would have been comical had I not been trying to hold onto her, while pushing Dozer away, somewhat like trying to move a stalled car, as we made our way down the ranch road. “It’s okay, Em. He’s not going to hurt you. He wants to play, that’s all,” I told her.
Any time I saw Dozer’s attention stray, I would take a moment to rest by putting Emma down, where upon she would immediately scream, attracting Dozer’s attention again. Back he would race to see what he was missing. It was a laborious process and poor Emma by the end of the trip was repeating over and over again the same ineffective words – “Dozer! NO! You have to go back to Bridger’s house! You have to stay inside!”
Only Dozer had no intention of returning to an empty house, he was having far too much fun with this odd child and her fumbling mother.
Later, in the safety of Granma’s house, Emma stared out the window and said, “No you cannot go up to Bridger’s house. Dozer has to stay inside. It’s okay. It’s okay. Dozer has to go home.”
Now Emma is safely back in New York, home to millions of dogs, but very few Newfoundlands, so perhaps she feels safe, finally.