For reasons I do not understand, there are three people in my neighborhood who choose to walk their dogs off leash. Only one of those people leashes her dog when she is around other dogs. That one woman restores my faith in leash free dog owners. The other two turn me into a cranky old lady that harumphs and scowls.
I understand people who want to let their dog run free from the chains of human society. That is why there are things called dog parks. There your dog can get all up in another dog’s grill and butt area without my withering gaze. My dog doesn’t like to be assaulted before her morning pee, and reacts poorly to rambunctious off leash greetings while she is trying to find the perfect place to lay down some poo.
One of the off-leash dogs is owned by someone I vaguely knew in film school. It’s a nice enough dog, and it sometimes listens, but Lula gets freaked out when it comes bounding towards her and sometimes she starts to bark, and then that dog gets all in a fuss and the owner looks at me like it’s my fault. I’m sorry? I’m the one in control of my dog, your dog is the one running around in a lawless state with no repercussions. Gah.
The worst of the two offenders is the overly friendly guy with the 100 pound ancient lab who doesn’t listen. The first time I met him, Lula was new to us and so extremely shy she hardly left my side the entire walk. I was walking down our street when the douche bag with the 100 pound ancient lab who doesn’t listen approached me from about a half block away. I moved over to the side and called out to him, “Is he ok?”
The guy responded, “Oh yeah, she’s totally friendly. I wouldn’t let her off leash if she wasn’t. Totally, totally friendly.” The ancient, humongous, kind of smelly and dirty lab geriatrically rushed towards us. I greeted the lab with a friendly pat and had Lula close on the leash. The lab started to aggressively sniff Lula and Lula backed away as far as she could, tail between her legs, clearly unhappy with the situation. She might have even given a warning growl, I couldn’t hear it, but I have human ears, not dog ears.
Guess what ol’ “Totally Totally Friendly” did then. That’s right, snarled and snapped and attacked Lula. So of course, Lula defended herself. Since douche bag who doesn’t believe in leashes was yammering about how awesome his dog was and not paying attention to his dog, I think he assumed Lula was the aggressor. I made it clear to him that “Totally Totally Friendly” was the problem. And briskly walked the other way, while he grabbed his dog’s collar and walked away looking back at me, like I had somehow wounded him. He said something to the effect of, “She’s never done that before, I don’t know what happened.” Yeah, your dog was off leash and not “Totally Totally Harmless.” That’s what happened.
Since then the douche bag who has a selective memory about his ugly-ass aggressive 100 pound lab and I have run into each other a few times, and now it seems we’re on the same morning schedule. Every morning his stupid dog that never listens to his verbal commands comes rushing towards Lula and every morning I have to remind him that his dog and mine don’t get along. How fucking retarded do you have to be?
This guy is the bane of my morning walk. I hate his dog, but it’s really not his dog’s fault. It’s his fault. His dog doesn’t listen to him, and she should put it on a leash. Case closed.
I have no solution to this problem, and we’re working with Lula to make sure doesn’t develop any leash aggression. She’s certainly not perfect, but guess what? I have her on a leash, so it isn’t a problem.
I don’t know why I get so worked up about this. It’s like getting mad at the teenager who only moves his tiny little bag from the only empty bus seat when you pointedly raise your voice and ask him if it’s his. He’s inconsiderate. He doesn’t understand. He sucks.