Thursday, October 06, 2005

Stupid Dog Owners

Not so long ago someone wrote a letter to the editor complaining about irresponsible dog owners in her neighbourhood, failing to pick up dog shit left on the footpath outside her place.

And I agree with her entirely. If dog owners (like myself) want to elicit any sympathy for the often shabby way we're treated by local & central government, we need to be in a position to take the moral highground. And irresponsible dog owners not only piss off non dog owners, but they piss off responsible dog owners like me.

Likewise for the misguided dog owners who engage in vehement disputes with picnickers & practisers of tai chi, who would prefer we kept our dogs on leads when we're in areas which are not designated dog exercise areas.

Sure, these people could go plenty of other places where we are not exercising (clandestinely) our dogs, whereas places fit for dogs are in shorter supply. But the point is, we're legally in the wrong & there's no amount of deluding ourselves that we're morally in the right that will change that. So in my opinion, we have to bite back the defensive response & profanity & hook up the dogs. It's not going to do us any good to get in an argument & quite possibly find ourselves the subject of an official complaint.

And while I'm on the subject of wallies who own dogs, I'd like to have a dig at the owners who maintain they do not need to keep their dog on a lead during walkies, because Rex/Fido/Rover never wanders far away, never chases native birds or gets into a fight with other people's dogs (who are on leads). They do.

When I run into them at dusk, in some far flung corner of the Botanic Gardens, asking me if I've seen a black/yellow/white & brown labrador/retriever/Jack Russell/St Berdoodle along the way anywhere, and then listening to them calling the missing dog's name in the distance, repeatedly, and knowing they haven't even got a torch to help them out, and it's starting to rain... I think they're idiots (it has happened to me once).

When I run into the same people again, looking once more for their beloved pet who has gone AWOL yet again... well they're clearly fucking morons incapable of learning a simple lesson dished up in the routine course of life.

I know some people who view the "Please keep dogs on leads" signs as personal affronts. But really, they're not just there for the benefit of dog haters & bureaucrats, they're there to protect your dog from itself & its base canine urges.

I let Wilma off the lead in certain places, but I am always aware that all it's going to take to have her gone like a flash, to god knows where before I've even realised it, is one vulnerable duck spotted in the distance. Or a cat. And then it's just a short step to chasing something out of the gardens & across a busy street.

Or even encountering someone with a dog phobia who is convinced they've just been subjected to an attack, when in fact Fido just came along to say hello & wag his tail - if it comes to a complaint, the complainers bear no onus of proof, it's their word against the dog owner & the dog owners rarely win. It's as simple as that. The moral highground is no consolation if Snuffles is ordered put down.

And finally:

New Zealand's source for World News on Neighbour stops man being killed by own dogs

Honestly, if you're going to co-habitate with what constitutes a whole pack of beasts specifically bred for fighting & killing, you're pretty much asking for it.