When this event happened, my puppy was actually a full grown dog. Sadly, she's long since passed away.
This dog was a femaie Sheltie named Boots.
She was a fairly interesting animal. She'd originally been picked up by another family but returned when she didn't clear a vet check that discovered she had a heart murmur--probably a hole in her heart. As the breeder knew we were looking for a dog, she called my family and asked if we'd be willing to take her on and give her a good home. My parents talked with us about this because this dog was a replacement for one who'd passed away and they wanted to make sure that we understood she could die anytime but may also live a long life.
We got our cute puppy and she grew into a great dog. Some dogs run and run and run and run until the die. She would run until she got tired, usually panting when her tongue turned blue and that was it. She wouldn't budge. If we took her for a walk and she was tired she wouldn't budge. Then she'd raise one paw and wave it around like a fatigued southern belle. We often carried her home so we learned to circle the block instead of do a long walk. She loved the wagon I had for delivering papers. If anyone pulled it, she would come running, hop into it and recline like a queen and expect a ride. I could go on about funny stuff she did but I want to focus on something I always thought was odd.
One of her most redeeming features is that she was a really, really gentle and kind dog. She loved people. My parents weren't too distressed that she was a terrible guard dog because we always had a lot of kids coming in and out of the yard and everyone felt comfortable around her. We usually couldn't pass a person without Boots going to say, "Hi."
My parents had a motor-home and we used it to go skiing and stayed in the motor-home rather than a hotel if the ski-resort was far from town. We took Boots and she would stay in the motor-home and then come for walks with us around town.
One time when I was about thirteen or fourteen, I was walking Boots one cold morning at a town near the slopes. It was a cold and rainy morning. Not a nice time to be out but Boots had business. I wanted to get back and have breakfast. I remember a woman standing in a doorway and thinking to myself, "Great, Boots will have to have a visit and it'll take that much longer."
But Boots didn't want to greet this woman. In fact, she did her sit down and not budge thing. At first, I thought she had that blue-tongue tired thing but when I went to pick her up, I saw she didn't. Because she was wet and dirty, I gave her a tug and said, "Let's go!" She then put all the brakes on and shook her head trying to stay.
"Your dog doesn't like me," said a voice from the doorway. I looked at the woman. She looked about late twenties to thirties, wearing a plaid lumber jacket, jeans and sneakers, sandy shortish blond hair. I remember looking at her and wondering why my dog wouldn't like her to the point of having that kind of reaction. I figured she might be a lady of the evening or at least an all night heavy-metal party girl but I struck out the lady of the evening thing because that didn't seem quite right. Whatever she was, she had to be cold just standing in a doorway early on a wet, cold morning.
Realizing that I was staring I apologized and said, "She's not normally like this. She really likes people." The woman nodded like she'd heard that a lot.
I frowned at Boots, but somehow I didn't want to make the woman feel bad because my dog didn't like her. Fighting with my dog didn't seem like the way to do it. I put the lead on the wrong side and started to circle a ways around the woman. Boots complied immediately when she saw that she didn't have to pass on the close side of the woman. I apologized to the woman once more. She nodded and settled into the doorway again.
As I walked away, I wondered again what caused my dog to act like that. Boots never had a reaction like that to someone ever again and we did a lot of traveling in the motor-home and took her to a lot of places. I always wonder what my dog knew that I didn't.