Man’s Best Friend

As I discussed earlier with Lorna, my lovely and beautiful wife, my first blog post will border on the edge of self-righteousness and plain old abrasiveness. It is a blog, isn’t it?

At about mile four of my six-mile run yesterday, I passed four women walking together with their dogs. They were walking single-file on the left of the path, each holding their dogs to their right. I was running on the right of the path, at about 8:00 minutes per mile, very much minding my own business. As I passed this odd group, the last woman’s Rottweiler lunged at me.

I have to admit, I almost peed in my pants (jogging shorts).

This dog was about 125 pounds of muscle and 5 pounds of teeth. If it wanted to, it could have easily taken my life, and that frightens me. I can’t figure out why this twenty-something year-old girl would bring such an unfriendly animal to a bustling county park on a beautiful Sunday morning.

I also just couldn’t get over the fact that my right to enjoy the park in safety was taken away.

I reached my turn around point and headed back, a little afraid of encountering that dog again. I had a few minutes to think about what to say to this girl when I passed her again, and it came out like this:

Do you think it’s fair that your dog should threaten me as I run past?

“What?”

Do you think it’s fair that your dog should threaten me as I run past?

“No”

Then why is he doing it?

At this point, one of the girl’s accomplices approached me.

“Alright, you’ve said your piece, now keep on going.”

I’m not done yet.

“You better get the f$%^ out of here.”

What, are you threatening me now?

The rest of them, including the mean Rottweiler and his owner had continued walking. I shouted out to the Rottweiler’s owner, “I don’t want to see that dog in the park again!”

At this point, the confrontational interloper must have begun to understand that she wasn’t going to win her argument, so she said, “Why don’t you put some clothes on…cause you’re kinda ugly.”

Ugly or not, my looks can not kill.

I was glad I said something to this girl. It was also comforting that she knew she was wrong. I don’t think she’ll bring her dog back to the park again. But…I’m still looking for a better solution to this problem. Why did this even happen?

I started to consider what type of legislation might prevent such an occurrence. Breed-specific legislation? A weight limit? Lorna and I discussed this over lunch, and we eventually came up with a rule that all dogs above a certain weight should undergo obedience training and pass a test. If they fail the test, they’re not allowed in public places.

Then I did some research on this subject and came across this website. The author of this website reminded me that it’s not the animal’s fault that this happened, but the owner’s. Putting all dangerous dogs through obedience training wouldn’t be nearly as effective as requiring their owners to be educated on how to handle their dogs.  If that stupid girl had to endure a licensing process before being put in charge of caring for a deadly animal, she just might have chosen some other expensive indulgence instead.

I’m glad that someone else has thought of this problem and come up with a very good solution.  I’m going to do what I can to help further this along.

I have to make myself clear.  I love dogs.  When I encounter someone and their dog, I usually ignore the person and smile at the dog.  I don’t have any problem with people bringing their dogs to the park, and I also don’t mind if people have pitbulls, Rottweilers, shotguns, machetes, or whatever else they want to keep in their own homes.  I also don’t mind well-behaved dangerous dogs in public places.  I just cannot tolerate poorly behaved dangerous dogs in public places.  It is not fair that my right to enjoy the park can be taken away by some stupid person with a dangerous dog.

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