Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not as smart as fifth graders

In daily walks around the neighborhood, I've been impressed by the doggie-knowledge of some of the children who've stopped to talk. Anywhere we go, most children ask if they can pet the dog--or their mothers make them ask--before approaching. Twice I've encountered boys who have clearly done some training, as they knew how to gesture and command "sit" and "down," even as Miro tried to leap forward to greet them. One even put his hands down and turned away until Miro calmed, just as we're told in obedience class.

The adults are another story. I live near two parks, both of which have signs saying that dogs must be kept on leash. In both parks, people let their dogs off leash. Last week Miro and I were crossing the schoolyard attached to one park when a young pit bull came charging at us from the opposite side of the field. I had seen him running loose but the owner had leashed him as we entered the grounds. The pit bull was trailing a flexi-lead and I put my foot on the lead while extending the hand holding Miro's leash as far as possiblle from the other dog. So there I was trying to make my arms and legs as long as possible between two dancing dogs, the pit bull wrapping the flimsy flexi-lead around my leg and his owner toddling along toward us, calling her dog who was completely ignoring her. Wouldn't you be in a flat-out run if that were your dog? Did I mention that we were not far from a street?

When she finally got to us and I was trying to unwind myself, I said that a flexi-lead is not a secure leash. She said, "I know. It broke in just a couple of weeks. I'm going to take it back and get a new one." It says right on the packaging for those leashes that they're not meant for strong dogs who pull. Stupid! It that had been a hostile dog, I might not be here writing about it.

Yesterday in the other park, we encountered a hostile human on a trail. Since it was a sunny day, there were lots of people in the park and on the trails. Ahead of us was a large woman not paying much attention to her blue heeler mix that was some distance behind her. I put Miro in a sit when the dog turned around and came toward us and I called, "Will you please control your dog?" Like the other dog (and all the off-leash dogs I've encountered) this one ignored his owner when she called him. As she approached, I said, "This isn't an off-leash area." 

She yelled at me, "Well, if you're going to have that kind of attitude, I'm not going to work with you at all."

I said, "I'm not asking you to work with me; I'm asking you to obey the rules."

She yelled, "F--- you, bitch!" and a few other choice words before turning and marching away, ignoring her dog who was ignoring her.



  1. That blue heeler person was wrong in soooo many ways. We're thinking she should have been on a leash too...WIth a muzzle!!

    Now you know that the flexilead pit was probably taking advantage of his dumbell owner! We know that we like to take advantage of when our, not always on the ball mom spaces out. Come on, an open door is an invitation for every pooch to try the great escape!!
    Glad you weren't hurt by either of the dogs (or masters)!!

    Speaking of stupid, some woman brought a just out of IN HEAT pitgal to the dog park here yesterday. EVERY male in the place was fighting to get at her. Even Hootie! Then a Shepherd and Hoot almost went at it but mom picked him up and carried him all the way to the gate as the Shepherd followed jumping up and snapping at Hootie. Of course Hootie would have gone ninja on him if mom let him down. What a day yesterday was for all of us!!

    BabyRocketDog & Hootie

  2. Hi ya'll- We've run into lot's of the same at our park too. Fortunately, I've been able to work with a lot of the kids there on how to approach and ask permission to pet our dogs. It's a great feeling when we come across these kids again and they remember what I've taught them. Even better is that most of the kids remember each dogs name and ask to pet which ever is their favorite dog! Sorry about the B*#@&* person. I never cease to be amazed at some people in this world...

  3. Some hoomans are just plain stoopid! Thank goodness neither of these doggies were mean!

    Love ya lots
    Maggie and Mitch

  4. My mom allways tries too feel good about those kinds of encounters. You get to walk away knowing that you are a smarter pet owner than them! In the case of the mean lady you get to know that you are better nicer human too!

  5. You are definitely the nicer and better human, Sherry! I think our mom might have "cold cocked" that woman! (and then had to go to jail).

    Poppy, Penny & Patches