Nine times out of ten, dogs warm to me. And the feeling is mutual. The only times that isn't the case--and it's not on every such occasion--is when it comes to smaller dogs.

HIGH-STRUNG LITTLE DOGS

I'm reminded of Great Aunt Edna (although, to be fair, most everyone who knew her wouldn't use the term "great" under any circumstances) and her toy poodle she used to bring with her from Detroit when she and Uncle Authur (yes, it was "Authur", not "Arthur") would come down for Christmas. And it wasn't very often. And for that, those of us who had to deal with her high-strung little pooch were very grateful. He didn't like anyone and proved it repeatedly.

There have been other instances where small dogs lit it up when I was nearby. I'm not sure if it was because I'm so tall or just because I was a stranger.

One such occurrence jumps out at me more than the rest, and for obvious reasons. I can avoid eye contact with pups that bark a lot, but this time--and I'm not kidding--I had to involve the police.

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ARE ALL CHIHUAHUAS UPTIGHT?

I was leaving my sister's apartment and heading to my car. She was walking with me and we were chatting when a chihuahua belonging to a neighbor's guest began approaching us and snarling.

I thought I could just stomp my foot and it would back off, but that didn't happen. It got angrier and started moving toward us a bit more quickly, although it didn't charge. But the snarling was intensifying. While I could have just gotten in my car and left, my sister was unable to get back to her place without the risk of being bitten. So we DID get into my car and, well, I called the police.

I told dispatch how silly I felt, but I also told her that this dog was not backing off and really looked intent on biting one or both of us. She told me there was an officer nearby and sent him over.

CALLING THE POLICE ON A CHIHUAHUA

Here I am, 6'5" tall and needing a police officer to help with a dog not much longer than my foot. But I did, nonetheless. And, boy, did I feel foolish when I saw how he handled the uptight little monster...he just shined his flashlight into the dog's eyes and it backed off. After he issued a friendly warning to the dog's owner, he left.

Then I left and went home and watched Cujo. No, I'm kidding, but it WOULD have been appropriate.

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Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.

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