So I nearly ran over your freaking dog yesterday as it darted across two lanes of rush hour highway traffic in pursuit of a jogger on the other side of the road from you and where IT should have stayed.
Again I kick myself for having too fast (or maybe too slow) reflexes that kept be from running down your mutt and instead slamming on my brakes and honking my horn.
Don't know if the jogger was attacked or not, but that damned dog didn't even bat an eye with all the noise my car was making and you, YOU pathetically ran 20 yards behind it carrying a leash.
The leash SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON YOUR EFFING DOG, YOU USELESS WASTE OF SKIN!
You LET you damned dog off leash, you DAMNED WELL BETTER HAVE CONTROL OVER IT!
Yeah, yeah, I know this is a hard concept, I had difficulties with it myself, when I as SIX.
Yep, when I was six, I got my first puppy. Second dog, first puppy. One hard headed Keeshund that didn't believe for a second that a punk kid should outta tell it what to do.
Took a bit 'fore my Mom realized this situation wasn't going to sort itself out successfully, but then she laid down the law. You take the dog out of the yard, the dog's gonna be on a leash, and if you can't hold onto the leash, the dog doesn't go off the property again.
See that? Isn't that hard, it is?
Oh wait, you don't know what voice CONTROL is still, do you? You think running after your dog yelling it's name is some kind of control, don't you? I mean, it will EVENTUALLY stop, maybe, like when I run it over with a car, or somebody shoots it for attacking them, or it gets hungry or it runs into a wall...
Got news for you, that's not control.
THIS is CONTROL. Watch. Take notes. You can't control your animal that well with voice commands? Then DON'T LET IT OFF THE LEASH!
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Sometimes, I feel guilty about what happened to your dog.
I see how much my friends love their dogs. They take care to keep them safe with fenced-in yards, obedience school, and Flexi-leads. They’d grieve long and hard if any harm ever came to their pet. If they thought they could have prevented their dog from being hurt, they’d carry the burden of such a failure with them for all of their lives.
Sometimes, I feel guilty about what happened to you dog, but then I remember that it wasn’t my fault.
You moved into the triple-decker at the end of my street when I was in elementary school. Immigrants from a war-torn country, you assimilated nicely in the suburbs, hanging your laundry on the clothesline outside and sending your kids to Girl Scouts on Wednesday afternoons. I had just started middle school when you got Stormy*.
She was a lab mix with solid black fur and the pricked ears of a German Shepherd. I never saw her in your yard. I never saw her in your house. I never saw her on a leash, although our city had a leash law and my mother called the animal control officer nearly every day about Stormy.
I did see her as she leaped from her sleeping place in the middle of our street to jump on me and knock me down on my way to school every day, her jaws snapping and claws tearing into my clothes. The animal control officer feared you, telling us that you were in the Mafia, no small accusation in the land of Whitey Bulger.
I’d leave the house each morning in trepidation of the abuse to come. Sometimes I’d be able to get by Stormy and make my way to my friend’s house so we could walk the remainder of the way to school together. But more often than not, I’d stand in the road in tears before retreating back home to get my father. My fondest memories of my father are those where he’d lead me down the street, a stick in his hand to beat the dog when it tried to attack me.
My mother was not so kind. She’s rail at me for waking my father who had just fallen asleep after a night of working third shift. I felt useless and small when I was unable to defend myself against Stormy’s torment.
When I got to high school, the bus picked up the kids one street away from mine. Stormy still slept in my street, blocking the route between my house and the school bus stop. I used to be a good student, but I missed the bus often. If I was lucky enough to get a ride, waking my tired father and getting a note for the homeroom teacher, I’d only miss half of my first class. If I had to walk the whole way, five miles distant, I’d miss more.
I was never good in math. Staying after school for extra help wasn’t an option because I feared little else more than having to negotiate a safe passage past Stormy when I was alone walking up my street. I missed making the Honor Roll every year because of my math grade. When I clutched my books to my chest as I walked by Stormy, I didn’t understand how much Stormy was shaping shaped my life. I only felt the paralyzing fear of a child who was threatened by a vicious beast from whom no one could protect her.
After I graduated from high school, I didn't get into a four year college. I went to a Community College for two years and landed a job as a retail manager at a store at the mall. The work was hard and customers were annoying, especially during the holiday season when I was kept late at night, sometimes not getting home until well after midnight.
I never saw Stormy, but I heard her yelp loudly as my wheels ran over her on a night when the roads were slick with rain. I pulled into my driveway, hoping there were no blood stains on my car.
“A black dog... sleeping in the middle of a dark road,” my father said when he learned the news of Stormy’s death from the neighbors the next morning. “It’s a wonder it didn't happen sooner.”
*Story submitted by a dog-hating friend. Dog's name changed to protect, uh, somebody.