"ARGH! Dumbass. Asshat. Dog. Owners. Rehome. Baggies. Pick it up! Hypocrit. Toys. Walk. EXERCISE! Tired Dog. Good Dog. Pulling. Dragging. Jumping. Marking. Barking. Biting. Aggression. Rehome. Euthanasia. Dumbass. Asshat. ARGH!"
*HEADDESK, HEADDESK, HEADDESK*
Which obviously doesn't make any sense at all to someone living outside of my brain. Well, maybe it makes sense if you fill in the blanks but it doesn't do anything other than to give me a place to vent. It is important for me to make it clear WHY I need to vent ... otherwise I'm just another crazy rescue person who hates human beings. (Regardless of how true that is, I don't need to perpetuate this) I don't want to be put into that stereotype-group.
So, what do I have to talk about today? OH SO MUCH --- but where to start!? First, a little note to set the stage ...
Here I am at the park under a pavilion working my new dog (who is fearful of all things new - humans/dogs/cars/noises/etc. and blindly runs) through a series of obstacles and developing some basic obedience. The parking area and this pavilion that I'm under are the only areas that are not dark. The park itself is quite large with much grassy areas and a few trees. The back of the park is a treed ravine. To clarify ... this is NOT a dog park. This is a people park. One section is an Arboretum with flower beds, etc. It's supposed to be a break from the city.
So, now you know where I was when the following happened ... Please note that I think it's great that these people brought their dogs out and about; however I do not think it appropriate that their dogs be off leash in this sort of an environment.
A small JRT mix came bounding up and stopped 25 ft away to bark at us. At this point my dog is absolutely PANICKING and trying to blindly run in every direction at once to get away from the crazed JRT. The owners come up at a slow mosey calling their dog over and over but not really caring that he is barking at us. If I didn't understand the words they were saying, I might have thought they were barking at us in tandem with their dog!! In fact, the owners didn't bother to leash their dog at all, but instead called out asking what breed my dog was. Rather than getting pissy, I used this as a training opportunity for my dog. I ended up talking with them and watched their dog do this to four other dogs that arrived (only one was leashed). Each time their dog barked at another dog, mine would freak out. The JRT owners thought this was funny.
This sort of thing happens. I accept that. It is something we need to train our dogs to be prepared for. I don't have an issue with this. What I DO have an issue with is the following:
- Some people are afraid of dogs. Respect this. Not everyone thinks your poopsie poo is the cutest thing ever. Not everyone wants to pet him/her. And most people don't want your dog barking at them.
- The owners don't know that my dog isn't dog aggressive. Having their dog off leash in an area that is supposed to be ON leash is very dangerous. Not only are there other dogs that may start a fight (especially if that dog's habit is to run up and bark at other dogs) but we were in a dark parking lot and the dog may be hit by a car.
- They obviously don't have a dog that responds to their call - he ignored them. These people called their dog over 25 times (I stopped counting at 25; there were more, but I was tired and wasn't about to get into it). That means they really shouldn't have the dog off leash if he won't come when they call.
- What if he found a skunk, raccoon or porcupine? I've seen all three in this park at night. If he doesn't come when he's called ... it may not be a pleasant ride home and may result in a trip to the vet or emergency clinic.
- What if the dog poos? Since it is so dark and the dog is nowhere in sight, they can't see if he poos. That means they don't pick up its poo. Great. This is supposed to be a nice park where you can take your kids for a picnic ... "No Johnny, it's not a Tootsie Roll. Put it down and come eat your sandwich." EEEWWWW
Did I miss any reasons why dogs should be leashed in areas that are not designated as OFF leash? Probably. Feel free to add them in the comments section!
This is why Non-Dog-Owners don't like people taking their dogs all over the place. This is why dogs are banned from parks, beaches, schools and other locations which would otherwise offer wonderful training opportunities. I wish dog owners would stop putting the blame on people who don't like dogs making these rules and step up to take the responsibility. If we blame others than we don't have to better ourselves ... asshats.
To the JRT owners (and the 3 other owners I watched get out of their vehicle to let their dogs run around off leash after dark) ... YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. Stop making it worse for the rest of us!!