Walking through our neighborhood is always an adventure. The route to OctoBoy's school, in particular, is fraught with interesting sights. Panther is among them.
Panther is a mutt; he appears to be a cross between a Black Lab and an AMC Gremlin. He is the neighborhood "mean dog." Walking by his house, you're taking your sanity and hearing in your hands, because his yard is roughly half a block long, and he will bark his balls off for every inch of that fence. It's not a very secure chain link fence, either, so it rings and sings as he hurls his body against it in an attempt to devour you. A trip past Panther's house is a good way to be sure your adrenalin gets pumping.
The only one Panther will not bark at is Bruce, because Panther is not stupid.
On the way home from school, Ginger Beastie and I girded our loins for a second trip past Panther's domain, and ran in to Bruce again. He was amiable enough, as Ginge was willing to share her fishies with him as we processed by.
At one point, the sidewalk narrows, and Beastie and I nipped in from of Bruce and his owner to get by; at this point, Panther went bat-shit. He jumped at the fence, slobber spraying, barking apocalyptic-ally. Ginger Beastie began to wail.
Bruce barked. Once.
I've never heard Bruce bark before. Holy shit. It was a deep, meaty, from-the-chest bark that sounded like Ragnarok.
Panther did a snap-roll backwards and lit out for the far side of the yard, still barking. Ginger Beastie goggled at Bruce comically, then laughed and dropped another handful of fish.
We may have to time our walks to coincide with Bruce's more often.