Pet Tips 'n' Tales

The Bully And The Bodyguard

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Sometimes a sense of humor is all the protection you need in an awkward situation, but having a Rottweiler like Roth is an added bonus!  Sherry is glad her husband, Dr. Geoff Simmons, is alive to tell this story and that his humor did not land him in his own hospital.  


Once you read this story, just like the Simmons's family, you will forevermore refer to it as "The Costco Story" and immediately laugh.  Even thinking of this story, sitting in a quiet room all by yourself,  you will break out into little fits of laughter! And possibly from now on, every time you see a large parking lot you will start giggling!

"Everyone loves my Costco story," said Geoff Simmons, M.D.  "I never tire of telling the story because it always produces unbelievable belly laughs."

Besides Dr. Geoff's general practice, he is an adviser for the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) regions of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho; the coordinator for Eugene's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT); Vice President of the American Academy of Disaster Medicine (previous Governor); and an author. His book, Common Sense and Disaster Preparedness, was published in 8/2011, by The Journal of Emergency Management.  He is known for his ability to remain calm during an emergency.

"Our family has three dogs whose combined weight totals more than three hundred pounds!  Pure solid canines, two of which are Rottweilers," said Dr. Geoff.  "Roth, the largest of our Rotts at 112 pounds, is a huge, huggable teddy bear; he'd rather kiss you than anything else, rather cuddle on the couch than play outside, loves visitors, loves everyone.   I've always known, though, that as lovable as Roth is, he would never hesitate to come to my rescue should he ever have to, possibly while embracing the perpetrators and/or holding the flashlight for them.

One rainy, cold day in Eugene, my wife, Sherry, and I, drove to Costco to shop.  As we were checking out Sherry said she didn't feel well, so I hurried to get the car, while she finished up inside.
When I got to the car, I saw that Roth was sleeping soundly in the back seat, although his favorite spot in possibly the whole world is in the front seat, beside me. Our other two dogs were left home because they literally rock the car with their barking when a motorcycle or anyone wearing a hat, passes by. Roth is the best behaved by far so he gets more car rides.

I was concerned about Sherry, and I no sooner double-parked my car by the grocery carts, near the front entrance, when someone blasted their car horn behind me. I double-checked my spot and decided that there was enough room for two semi-trucks to pass each other, so I chose to stay put. The man, who really should have been driving to an anger management class instead of to Costco, hit the horn again, and again, and again. I continued to ignore him.  

Soon, this forty-ish, heavyset, bully pulls his car up next to mine, signals for me to roll down my window, and viciously snaps, "You're blocking traffic. You'd better move."

My answer, "There's plenty of room to drive by me."

"You're blocking the flow of traffic and you HAVE to move," he barked.

I calmly responded, "Show me your badge and I will reconsider."

In an ever-escalating rage and low growl he snarled, 'I'll show you my #!&%'. Then, he pulled his car fifty feet in front of my car, parked, and hurriedly walked toward me. In his best 'tough guy' or 'mad dog' posture he pulled his pants up over his big belly, indicating that he was preparing to fight.  As the bully approached, I thought, 'I'm going to have a major problem unless I come up with something very quickly', and thankfully, I did. Not having a weapon nor any expertise in fighting, but having a natural instinct for self-preservation, I simply and calmly said, 'Roth, up front.'

Roth could hardly believe his ears. Joyfully, he bounded over the seat into his favorite position.  He was smiling and as happy as he possibly could be, all 112 pounds of tight muscle hidden under a shiny coat of fur.  Because of Roth's grin, his tongue hung out over all his beautiful, sharp, bottom white teeth.

The angry bully saw the big black dog with it's mouth loaded with teeth, sitting beside Dr. Geoff and noticed that the dog was taller than Dr. Geoff.  The bully, or actually, the now-coward took a left and 'high tailed' it into Costco 'with his tail between his legs' and has never been seen since.

Dr. Geoff, wellknown for his sense of humor, says, "Having our family's story in the newspaper is way too fun!  Our son is so tired of hearing this story again and again so we plan to frame the printed article to give to him as a Christmas present!"
On behalf of the rest of the human population who are as tired as Roth is of parking lot bullies speeding and/or honking, a big "Thank you!" Dr. Geoff, for sharing your priceless story with us.


The moral of the story: Bullies beware! Anger is a self-destructive trait. It is better to take an anger management class than to confront someone with a "loaded" weapon - be that a gun, or a dog with sharp teeth ready to defend it's loved ones!
Tips 'n' Tales proofreader Beth Vento is available for professional proofreading:, with a reference to proofreading in the Subject line.
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