It’s a great quote, not the original Egypt quote by Mark Twain, but the more current and oblivious comment by Doug Heffernan of The King of Queens. I have been thinking about this quote frequently over the past few months, mainly because we pass the same dog and owner on our nightly walks. The dog is a leash aggressive German Shepherd, the owner is a nice man who always makes an excuse for his dog’s behavior.
As we spot the dog and owner approaching in the distance, we see an owner holding the very end of his dog’s 6′ leash. He’s getting pulled forward, sideways, and backwards, creating a 12′ diameter of chaos. They stop frequently at almost every street light and select blades of grass so the dog can fully investigate whatever he wants. As we spot this, Tracey and I shift from walking next to each other to a more appropriate single file formation to avoid the circumference of chaos.
As the dog spots Tracey and myself with our dogs, the dog starts pulling harder directly towards whatever dog we are walking. Although he musters up all his strength in attempts to shorten up on his dog’s leash, the dog keeps pulling and pulling, preventing the owner from taking up less real estate on the sidewalk. As the circumference shifts in our direction, Tracey and I move over as far as we can. As we get within about ten feet or so from the dog, he starts barking, lunging harder, bearing his teeth and carrying on.
As this is happening, the owner gives up and starts walking his out of control dog toward Tracey and myself and blurts out, “He just wants to sniffl!” Now keep in mind – this happens every time we see him!!!!!
Not once have Tracey and I let our dogs meet to see if he is telling the truth or not, and we will never find out. Even if the owner is 100% correct about his dog, why in the world would I want our dogs to meet? Introducing dogs on leash takes cooperation, movement, and coordination – things that are definitely lacking from this experience. Just because two dogs are within sight on a trail, sidewalk, or park, it doesn’t mean they have to meet each other.
This dog owner is not alone, his dog needs training and he needs to get some good information, but what gets me is his complete vacation from reality about his dog. Making a witty comment about your dog’s behavior such as, “Oh, he’s a jumper” or, “She likes to smell crotches” while trying to gain control of your dog is a great way to warn others that your dog is in need of some manners. But making a comment like this and then allowing your dog to keep approaching is just insane.
Here’s a note to this man – come to grips that you have a dangerous dog and we don’t want to let our dogs sniff each other. Oh, and please get some training (I can refer you to an excellent trainer in the area) it can greatly make the walks more enjoyable for yourself, your dog, and your neighbors. Here’s a note to the dogs that Tracey and I are walking past this circumference of chaos – great job keeping focused and remaining in your heel; you make us proud!
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