E.J. and Me

Yesterday, I told the story of the wonderful bond that Hubby and his police dog, E.J. had.  But I also mentioned that E.J. wasn’t crazy about me.

Hubby always told me that it was in my head that E.J. didn’t like me.  And he said he believed the whole root of the problem between us was that E.J. could tell I didn’t trust him and he was reacting to those negative vibes he was getting from me.  Yeah, right.

Anyway, one day Hubby decided that this was the day that E.J. and I were going to become friends.  And we were going to accomplish that through a medium we could both relate to — food.

Hubby cut a hot dog into five or six pieces and put them on a plate on the table next to where I was sitting.  Then he told me to call E.J. over to me … but DON’T PUT YOUR HAND OUT TO HIM.  Of course, he said that because that was how I and others had previously received warning bites on our hands.  So he instructed me to just call E.J. over to me and then to tell him to, “Sit!”.

I did and he did.

Hubby reminded me to not act intimated by E.J.  Okay, I’m sitting there looking straight into the eyes of a not very friendly 200 lb., big black dog and “not being intimidated”.

Hubby next told me to pick up a piece of the hot dog, hold it out to E.J., and then after he took it and ate it, pat him ever so gently on top of the head and say, “Good boy.”

Okay, I could do this.  I held the first piece of hot dog in my fingers and offered it to E.J.  He took it and ate it.  I then patted him ever so gently on top of the head.  “Good boy!”  Hey, it looked like this might be the start of a new warmer relationship between us!

So I gave him a second piece and then a third, patting him ever so gently on top of the head and praising him after each.

I really was feeling more confident.  Maybe Hubby was right.  Maybe it had been me who just hadn’t figuratively reached out to E.J. before!

Then I gave him the fourth piece of hot dog.  Then I reached out to pat him again (eveeeeer so gently, of course) on the head.  Then he grabbed my hand in his trademark not to hard, but firm I-don’t-want-you-to-touch-me bite.  End of experiment.

I gave Hubby my best I-told-you-so look and went to do other things –things I was more successful at like sweeping and doing laundry.  Things that were alot more “fun” than trying to convince a big, black, grumpy dog that he should like me when he was obviously not going to change his mind about me, even when I was bearing hot dogs.

So, E.J. and I never did develop a close relationship, but I did love that dog because I knew that he always had the back of the man I loved.  That was enough.

6 Responses to E.J. and Me

  1. Hilary says:

    I would have felt challenged to win the beast over. There’s always filet mignon where hot dogs fail. 😉 I totally understand your love for the creature because of the nature of his business and love for your hubby. I also love that he was serious but gentle with his warnings. Once he was retired, who ended up with him? And do you know if he lived out the rest of his life in the right home?

  2. Sandra says:

    Hilary — Because E.J. was a donated dog, we were never sure how old he was, but he was a mature dog before he even started on this “career”. So he was old enough that he was having health problems by the time he retired, and had to be put down soon after that. But I think if he could have talked he would have said he had a great life.

  3. Linda says:

    Like Hilary, I probably would have tried to win E.J. over. But I think all efforts would have failed. He was clearly a one-person dog. But that probably made him the best possible partner for that one person.

    I found a video on the internet of a policeman and his K-9 partner trying to chase down a perp. The K-9 was no E.J. He apparently thought it was a game. He would run to the perp, circle him, and return to his handler, all the while jumping excitedly. He did that several times, and the perp apparently escaped.

  4. Sandra says:

    Well, Linda, you know I love pets, but E.J. just wasn’t warm and fuzzy like a pet is. I’ve never found a better explanation for his standoffishness than Jim’s — that he had sensitive skin. But for whatever reason, he just didn’t like to be touched! A really unique dog who was a very important part of our lives for a while. We’ll never forget him.

  5. Vicki says:

    I’ve often wondered if police dogs could also be pets! What breed was E.J.?

  6. Sandra says:

    Vicki — He was a pure bred german shepherd. He had been bought as a pup as a family pet but his grumpy personality when he became an adult didn’t work well with the family which included small children. So they donated him to the K-9 program.

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