Other People’s Dogs


Other People’s Dogs: it’s the same old line as with Other People’s Children. Except, I suppose, if you really adore dogs in general or all children without qualification.

And in more reasonable frames of mind, I tend to attribute blame (when I’m not trying to be understanding about humanity at large) onto owners or parents respectively. That’s fine though. I’m very happy to be told off for the unacceptable actions of my dog or children even now the oldest is almost 21. I can always find room for improvement in my parenting or dog ownership skills.

The morning dog walk does sometimes though try my patience to the limit. My mutt is equable, friendly and surprisingly biddable given I’ve been responsible for her training. But I’ve lost count of the times she’s been attacked by a passing dog on a leash, and then I’ve been verbally attacked by the owner screeching at me to get my dog under control. Because mine is trotting along off the lead, they accuse me of her being out of control whilst their snarling beast is straining and snapping at the end of a chain.

People have funny ideas of what “under control” means.

And it’s not just young or old thugs who don’t seem to get the idea of what responsible dog ownership means. A dearly loved but now deceased boxer we owned was once bashed about with a handbag by a little old lady as our dog was lying in the ground, head tucked in, trying to protect herself from a vicious little wotsit.

I was moved to reminisce on these past incidents this morning as I approached a friendly young professional in a suit out for a morning pre-work dog outing. He called out a merry suitable time of day greeting to both me and my dog, and even made some nice coo-coo chee-chee sounds to my Zazie as we got close. But didn’t get around to patting her open little friendly face because his dog’s snarling mouth, teeth fully bared, got in the way. Not in the least disconcerted by this display of savagery, he cheerily waved us goodbye and dragged his beast off from the attack. No apology or excuse or show of guilt.

Maybe it was just the way his dog says hi in the mornings.


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