|Barked: Tue May 29, '12 6:38am PST |
|I have neighbors who got a puppy. They have been running through the neighborhood with the puppy off leash. Our county has a leash law. The puppy is now growing from a small puppy to a young dog.
We ran into them this morning. As soon as I saw her dog was off leash, I stopped. Her dog began to run at my dog. I yelled "Get your dog!" The owner did nothing. I began dragging Koorazh backwards down the street, and yelled again, "Get your dog!"
Her dog was not being aggressive. But Koorazh doesn't like being charged by off leash dogs when he is on leash, particularly because we have had now several bad encounters with off leash dogs. His hackles were up and he was growling. And my adrenaline was up as I anticipated that I would soon be standing in the middle of a dog fight. When off leash dog owners let their dogs charge you, the only person who is safe is -- the off leash dog owner, standing thirty feet or more away. I carry "Halt!" the dog spray the post office uses because of this very problem, and I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have to spray this dog, which I really didn't want to do.
The owner finally got her dog, and I chewed her out. I told her that the county has a leash law, that her dog needed to be on leash at all times, that if anything happened as a consequence of her behavior I would be calling police and animal control. She said not one word to me. Finally, I finished with, "The words YOU are looking for are, 'I'm sorry' and 'Excuse me.'" She finally mumbled sullenly, "I'm sorry" and walked off.
On the one hand, I feel mildly guilty that I yelled at a neighbor. Her dog was not being aggressive, and she has the smell of a first time dog owner who hasn't thought things through. On the other hand, my experience is that people who think they are magically exempted from leash laws do not change their behavior unless there are consequences for them. Asking nicely doesn't work. Cold shoulder doesn't work. Dollars to donuts we're going to have this problem again.
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