Take a good, long look at the face in the picture you see here. Is it the face of a killer? Of a ferocious canine? Of a beast that would tear apart you limb from limb?
Of course not! It’s the face of Toby the Puppy — who happens to think he can do and be all those things I mentioned.
He’s none of the above. He weighs all of 12 pounds, as of his most recent visit to the doctor, which was about a week ago.
However, I have concluded something about Toby: The larger the dog he meets on our many daily walks, the bigger he thinks he is.
Toby is far from the smallest dog we’ve ever seen. However, at 12 pounds, I would rank him as a featherweight in the weight classification of puppies. He acts much more aggressively to middleweights up to heavyweights than he does toward dogs more his size.
Look at it this way: Who would win a fight between, say, the great featherweight champion Willie Pep (126 pounds) and, oh, Muhammad Ali (220 pounds)?
Toby the Puppy thinks that his size doesn’t matter any more than the size of whatever dog he thinks he wants to tangle with.
To our puppy’s ever-lasting and enduring credit, he responds quickly and correctly to our instruction to settle down. It’s as if he knows his bark is far more meaningful than his bite. And as I’ve noted before already, he does have an outsized bark, which sounds as if it should come from a much larger dog.
But it doesn’t. It comes from our 12-pound family member who makes us laugh every single day. Even when he thinks he wants to mix it up with much bigger puppies.