Sunday, September 30

Dog drama

The best of dog-owners:

One night last week Hubby and I went for a long walk before dinner. As we were out on our stroll, we passed a neighbor who was walking his dog and his cat.

The cat apparently thinks he's a dog, goes for nightly walks, and protects his dog buddy (a tiny Lhasa Apso-looking pup). Both critters are happy, well-adjusted pets who want nothing more than a good scratch behind the ears. You can tell they have a happy home and are well-loved.

Source: via Ruby on Pinterest

That kind of pet story makes my day.

The worst of dog-owners:
Dog's thirty foot leash
Heedless dog walker on cell
My ankles not safe
~Haiku I composed just after the doggie drama
Later in the same week, I went out for an early morning walk. As I was strolling along, I came upon a man and his dog...


Unfortunately the man was a loud-talker on his cell phone, and the dog was testing the limits of a 30-foot retractable leash.

For background reference, two-lane roads are generally about 22-24 feet wide. A 30-foot leash stretches across both lanes and then some.

The dog saw me, and started snarling and barking.

The owner, several yards ahead, and totally engrossed in his conversation, was completely ignorant of the situation.

Clearly I needed to either turn around (which was not an attractive option at this point in my walk) or give the might-as-well-not-have-a-leash dog a wide berth.

I chose the latter.
I waded through knee-deep brambles alongside the road, while the snarling little mutt kept up his litany of abuse.

Once I drew abreast of the irresponsible dog walker, he shouted an "Oh. Sorry." at me. (Day late and a dollar short, buddy.)
Image source
I kept walking. I made no eye contact. I said nothing. It was better than telling him what I really thought since no sense of social protocol was going to get me to say: "Oh, it's alright. No worries."

This should have been the end of it.
Boring incident, soon to be forgotten...

But then, the story takes a turn for the truly ridiculous.

20 minutes later, I passed the dog walker again! (This was not by choice. Trust me. If I had seen him before I rounded the corner, I would have taken another route.)

Dog-walker-cell-talker was still on his phone, and as I walked toward him I heard the following:
So, yea. I was walking, and this lady was walking behind me.
Oh wait.
I'm walking by her again!
So I'm walking Buddy. And she walks up behind us. I feel Buddy tug on the leash and start barking.
I don't know what she *inaudible next few words*
I said I'm sorry but *conversation fades as I pass out of earshot*
I strongly suspect that last sentence ended with something about the fact that I scowled at him rather than giving a chipper "It's OK!"

But really, who does that? First he lets his dog chase me into the bushes. Then he goes out of his way to make sure I know he's talking about me to the person on the other end of his phone call.

And, Buddy's Buddy, if you knew your dog was upset about something, why didn't you turn around to figure out what was going on? Maybe he got sprayed by a skunk? Maybe he was being stalked by a rabid racoon?


Just as I was about to mothball this story, thinking it was too pedestrian. (Pun! Sorry!)

...I came across this photo on Facebook...

I saw this photo with an "Aww. So cute!" caption.


All I could think was: I feel bad for the next runner who needs a drink of water.

It is not cute to let a pooch drink out of a people fountain! Sure your dog needs water. Be a responsible pet owner and bring a doggie water dish!

If you want to tongue-kiss your dog at home, that's your business. We runners, walkers, hikers, bikers, and other members of the public have a right to slobber-free drinking fountains.

Think I'm being paranoid? Not so much... Dogs can transmit campylobacter and salmonella, among other germs.

So. Gross.

Am I the only person who has a huge pet peeve about oblivious dog owners? (Not about dogs. Just the irresponsible owners.)

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