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The Mistake No Dog Makes Twice

Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Yellow Lab

Dogs, like people, are accident prone. And like us, their accidents tend to happen a number of times before they’re corrected. There’s the innocent accidents of puppy going through house-training,  and the not-so-innocent accidents of a dog who thought when you told them not to eat your shoes you were only referring to that one specific pair.

But there is one accident no dog makes twice. That mistake? Messing with Penny. Penny is a one girl wrecking crew, so normally my job at the dog beach is to make sure she minds her manners. However, every once in a while a larger dog will target Penny for some roughhousing. My guess is that they think her relatively diminutive, lean frame makes her easy pickings.  Penny quickly disabuses them of that notion. I love to photograph the moment the big dog realizes they’re in way over their head.

Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Yellow Lab

It begins in a crescendo of triumph. After pawing Penny’s head down, our would-be-victor jumps on her back

Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Yellow Lab

“I AM THE MOST POWERFUL DOG IN THE WORLD!” he roars triumphantly

There, in the instant between two shutter clicks of my camera, the pup realizes Penny not going down to the sand. She’s rising up to meet him.

Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Yellow Lab

“Wait, let’s talk about this!” he says.

Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Yellow Lab

“Hey, hey, hey, why don’t you just let me go?” he continues.

Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Yellow Lab

“Happy to.” Penny replies

Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Yellow Lab

The face of a dog who will never make that mistake again!

We later learned this playful lab is named Dexter. He’s a big sweetheart and he’s a new addition to a daycare group we regularly see at the beach. He and Penny have a great time chasing each other whenever we see him, but these days he sticks to playing tag.

Dogs, like people, make mistakes. But it also turns out that dogs, like people, know that Penny is quite outside of her mind.

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