Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bad Dog (Owner) 

And there was much bitching and moaning over efforts to ban Pit Bulls in California, but y'know what? Deaf ears... And I'm a huge dog lover. Dogs have been in my life almost since birth. When I was really, really young, I loved nothing more than to visit my grandparents and play with their father/daughter dauchshunds. Not much later, my parents got a cocker/chihuahua mix that was part of the family until I was in college. When she died, we adopted a Westie/American Eskimo mix who became my dog and was with me well into my adult years; when she died, I adpoted a White German Shepherd mix and, recently, adopted a Schipperke mix to be her little sister. So, I'm currently a two-dog dad... and I love dogs, understand dogs, and hate people who are bad dog owners.

Now, what makes a bad dog owner? First off, people who think that it's okay to take their dogs outside off-leash. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Y'know what? It doesn't matter how well-trained you think your dogs are. When they're outside of an enclosed area, you damn well better keep them on a leash. Why? Because, despite what you think, dogs are always and ever part wild. All it takes is one loose squirrel, one loose cat, or one responsible owner with two dogs on a leash for your little beastie to suddenly act like, well, a dog... and play chase. And, trust me, if they run up fast toward me while I'm with my girls, at least one of them is going to get defensive and protect me, leash or not, and try to bite your little sweetie's face off. And I'll tell you this, dog-lover that I am, if it comes down to a battle between my dogs and yours, I'm going to grab your dog by the scruff and kick the shit out of it to keep my girls from being attacked.

Not to mention this bit -- no matter how well they're trained, no dog in the world gets the concept of cars. They will not look both ways if something on the other side of the street gets their attention. Now, if they're on a leash, fine. They're not going that far. But, if they're not, again -- a squirrel, another dog, the mailman... there's nothing you can do that'll keep them from running into the path of that speeding SUV.

There's a woman in my neighborhood who used to walk her dogs (one of whom was an obvious pitbull mix) without leashes. And, while they seemed to obey her on command, sitting and not moving when she saw me and my dog(s), there was no way in hell I'd ever trust her training over instinct. Luckily, I think someone turned her in. She progressed to having her dogs on "leashes" made out of scarves, and then real leashes. And, recently, I haven't seen her and her dogs on the streets at all. But I bring her up as the perfect example. I love my dogs. I trust my dogs. But I would never, ever, ever let my dogs past my front door without them wearing their harnesses and leashes. No matter how well-behaved they seem to be.

Because, as is the case with human children, it only takes a second for everything to go to shit. Blink for an instant -- gone. And I refuse to blink for my girls. And I refuse to let them out front off-leash.

Because, if you love them, you'll restrain them. And that oughta be the mantra of PETA and the ASPCA and every other group that claims to love animals.

Animals? Nah. Dogs ain't animals. Except sometimes. Actually, they're five year olds. And you'd never let your five year-old run in traffic. Right?


"Because, if you love them, you'll restrain them. And that oughta be the mantra of PETA and the ASPCA and every other group that claims to love animals."

I wish this were the mantra of more people whose children are of the two-legged variety...
I'm not sure who deserves the leash and muzzle more -- the ill-mannered, over-indulged, out-of-control rugrats or their shallow, self-indulgent, self-centered yuppie-scum parents.

But every time I'm treated to the spectacle of someone's brats pretending the store is an Olympic 100 yard dash, or deciding that the restaurant is a concert hall, or screaming because the R-Rated movie is too scary, I just wanna go ballistic on the adults who allow this crap.

Hm. Maybe spaying and neutering can work for more than just dogs and cats, as well...
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