This morning Lonny and I took Blue out to Teller Lake for a little walkie-poo. It’s a Green Tag area which means that if your dog is under complete sight and voice control, you can get a tag that allows them to be off-leash in designated areas.
Blue isn’t even remotely under sight and voice control. He takes his sweet time coming back to me when something interests him in the distance and I simply do not trust him around other dogs. He comes on very strong and is mouthy. While he has never injured anyone, I fear that he might scare someone. Therefore I kept him leashed.
So we’re walking along and having a lovely morning when I see man approaching in the distance. He has three matched hunting dogs, one on leash and two off. The two came bounding up to Blue and got right in his face. Maybe they were friendly but between him being on leash and my hand on his collar – just to be sure – he lunged and met them half-way. I usually try to get in front of Blue and get him to focus on me, but hey, it didn’t happen this time. My bad.
There was some mutual barking and snarling and the worst thing that happened is that one dog got a little slimed. Lucky for me because I was attached to him at the waist. The owner charged up and yelled, “YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING ON THIS TRAIL! YOU NEED TO GET OFF THE TRAIL WITH YOUR VICIOUS DOG!”
Whoa! Nowhere did I see that this trail was for unleashed dogs only.
I stayed calm and said, “My dog is on leash and I had him by the collar. He was 100% under my control.”
Him: MY DOGS WERE JUST BEING FRIENDLY AND HE ATTACKED THEM!
Me: My dog reacted because your dogs ran up to him, but no one was hurt. Are you aware of the dynamic between leashed and unleashed dogs?
Him: YOU NEED TO DISCIPLINE YOUR DOG!
Like beat him? Right here? What the fuck? For the record, Lonny disciplined him but the guy was too far away to see.
Me: You were not in control of your dogs.
Him: WOULD IT BE OKAY IF I WALKED UP TO SAY HI AND YOU PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE!?
Had I been a little quicker I would have said, “If I had been repeatedly mugged (as my dog has been traumatized) and you, a total stranger ran up to me and tried to hug me, I probably would have maced you.” But I’m not quick. I’m slow.
Me: I didn’t do anything wrong.
Him: Well, no you didn’t. BUT MY DOGS WERE JUST BEING FRIENDLY! CAN’T YOU JUST BE FRIENDLY ANYMORE WITHOUT GETTING ATTACKED?! I’M JUST TRYING TO BE FRIENDLY!!!
I hope that when he reflects on this lovely interaction he grasps the deep irony of his statement. If the shoe had been on the other foot and my off-leash dog ran at a leashed dog I would have apologized to the other person for not having my dog under control, and even if my dog had been bit. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?
I have complete confidence in how I handled the situation. I never raised me voice even though he was yelling at me. I am sure that if a ranger had seen the whole thing that guy would have been ticketed. But still, it bums me out that people are like this.
Ever since I got a dog I’ve seen so much of this kind of behavior. I try to do everything right. I rescued an abused dog that was destined to be destroyed instead of buying overpriced purebred puppies from a breeder, I show him love, I work with him, I have him on leash, I walk in approved areas, I keep him close and pick up his shit, yet I still get people in my face.
Like the guy who said my dog’s problem was me, or that weird lady at the dog park, or that lady who was all put out because I said that it wouldn’t be a good idea for her four dogs to run up to Blue. I’m just walking my dog, people. I am friendly, I say hello, I say, “Your dog seems so nice but it isn’t a good idea for him to come over.” What is it? Is it me? Is it a big dog thing?
I am really down on people. Most of the time I move through life minding my own business. I rarely ever get in anyone’s face, not even that obnoxious mother/son duo I posted about yesterday. I might blog about it the next day but I’m non-confrontational. Live and let live, right?
Lonny handled it well but I really wish Tabby had been there. She would have put him in his place in her very superior British way. I like it when she sticks up for me. She’s like seven feet tall and does not suffer fools. Then she would have patted my back while I sobbed whereas Lonny was like, “Is that thing still bugging you?” Well … yes.
To hell with it. Time to cut the crap.
A malfunctioning Lava Lamp (TRASH, don’t tell Testy), several Russell Wright saucers (leaving them on Chris’s porch), cloth napkins in the barfiest pink color ever. FREE.