Vicious Dog Warning (4508-4536)

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.

His lead is attached to my waist. Totally in control.

His lead is attached to my waist. Totally in control.

You’re welcome.

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!”

Exhibit A: Vicious behavior.

Exhibit A: Vicious behavior.

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.”


Exhibit B: Blue about to attack the banana bread his snout is resting on.

Exhibit B: Blue about to attack the banana bread his snout is resting on.

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?


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.


Exhibit C: After Blue got off of my son's lap, he totally ripped his face off.

Exhibit C: After Blue got off of my son’s lap, he totally ripped his face off.

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.


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.

She may be thin, but she is very scary.

She may be thin, but she is very scary.

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.

33 thoughts on “Vicious Dog Warning (4508-4536)

  1. Oh man, I am so with you. I always walk my hound on a leash because he has terrible recall and a deep love of bunny trails. I can’t tell you how many people have their dogs off leash who can’t control them. It drives me crazy! Hermes is mostly good with other dogs, but too much excitement freaks him out, so I always watch him. I hate it when other dogs come tearing up to him. Fortunately I haven’t been yelled at about him (yet), but it makes me wonder reading your post if it isn’t because he’s such a big dog? Totally irrational behavior on their part!!

  2. I have gotten to a place where I don’t even want to walk where there are dogs, which is everywhere. I hate the fear I have when the dogs are bounding about, supposedly “under control.” But I hate the owners’ superior attitude and nonchalance more.

    • That is troubling. Blue is completely uninterested in people and doesn’t even look at them, but I am deeply aware of how anxiety inducing he might be for someone scared of dogs. I always leash him and keep him at my side when passing walkers.

  3. I feel your pain! I don’t have a dog, but was sympathizing and feeling outrage on your behalf. My mother-in-law has such problems when she goes for a walk and people let their dogs off the leash — they bound up to her as if to attack, and she gets very upset. I guess she “has no business being on this trail” either!

    • Now that’s a good one. You’re right. Do people who don’t want to be approached by an off-leash dog not belong on trails? Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasions where it is appropriate to have Blue off-leash, but I would be horrified if he charged at someone. Having Green Tag dogs means that they will come back to you when you call, presumably whenever you approach anyone.

  4. Unfortunately, I get this as well. I completely feel your pain. 🙁 Many people (who don’t know anything) will act like they know everything and what is best. I just tell myself maybe in the future, they will realize their dogs are the problem and maybe – just maybe, they’ll call me to get educated.

  5. I have a phrase for you. I’ve learned it after thinking up a gazillion perfect retorts five minutes too late. The French call it “L’esprit de l’escalier,” or “the wit of the staircase.”

  6. It’s a big dog thing. When we had our Dane people would freak the fuck out just by the sight of her. I mean c’mon, yeah she was a big girl but she was also elderly and about as motivated to hurt someone as I am to get off this couch right now. I even had a mail carrier woman ring the doorbell to ask me to keep her away from the door when she was delivering mail or she wouldn’t deliver to us anymore. It was an old farmhouse with one of those mail slots on the side that you jam the mail through and it falls all over the fucking floor…. and Sadie was INSIDE. Never barked at her, nothin’, would just stand near the window and look to see who was there. I was like… really?!? Big dog bigotry… what’s the world coming to Viv…

    • Well shit. Nobody told me that. The rescue organization warned me about slobber, food bills, vet bills, giant turds, hair, long walks, etc. The never mentioned that big dogs were asshole magnets. Not that it would have changed anything, I love the big, stupid guy.

      • Trail guy was a dick. I’m sure he’s a frikking joy to live with. Even the dog we have now would’ve gone batshit if more than one dog ran up on him.. personally I think trail guy was in the wrong. Want me to fly out and kick his ass for being nasty about Blue? I’m totally down. 😉

  7. Ah revenge: Mr. Friendly gets to be Mr. Friendly for the rest of his life. As you can see it appears to be working out so wonderfully for him that he feels compelled to berate a woman and discipline her like one of his dogs when at the outset it would be clear to anyone that he is in the wrong.

  8. I don’t even walk my dog any more, and she is so sweet and mellow and non-confrontational, but people go out on these trails with their dogs and sometimes they almost seem to want to get into with anyone that crosses their paths. I hate it when men verbally attack women like that. I’m sorry you had to deal with that, hon. Just forget about it. Your dog looks awesome and you were doing a good job with the leash.

  9. Kudos for not losing your shit with that oh-so-friendly guy. He sounds like one of the mothers at my son’s old school. Thumbs DOWN.

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  11. I am so sorry that that happened to you. What a fucking entitled asshole. I am a big proponent for that voice and sight program and this person is going to get the program shut down. I think a big issue here is people have no clue about the standards for a dog’s training, that it is possible to heel one’s dog off leash (or get him to come so one can leash him). What a disaster. You were classy as hell the entire time. Well done Vivienne.

    • That guy was a jerk. It’s too bad that owning a dog these days means running into more and more cranky people. However, there are A LOT of really great people out there and I enjoy the opportunities I have to chat with them. You can’t let the bad apples spoil the barrel.

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