Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Pet peeve: Stupid dog owners

So I’m riding home from work the other day. It’s kind of dark out. I’m not really thinking about anything. Just enjoying the smell of the ocean and the forest-filtered air as I whoosh down a small hill on a quiet street near Stanley Park.

I’m about a block away from my apartment when a huge dog suddenly runs out of the shadows and lunges at me, barking ferociously. I scream twice. The first is a startled “what the…” scream. The second is a “holy crap this dog is going to knock me off my bike and maul me to death” scream.

This is no “eek!” girly scream. It’s loud and long and there is real terror in my voice. The dog skids to a stop in front of my wheel, backs off and runs across the street to its owner, who is standing there watching the whole thing go down.

I am shaking. Almost in tears. And the owner stands there saying…nothing. No half-assed, “Sorry about that.” No lame, “Don’t worry. She’s harmless.” Nothing!

I get back on my bike. By this point, he’s halfway down the street. I turn around and yell, “You idiot! You should put your dog on a leash!” He looks at me and still doesn’t say anything.

What if the dog had jumped on me? What if it had bitten a chunk out of my head? What if it attacks a little kid the next time he takes it out for a walk? Would he be sorry then?

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against dogs. I like dogs. But I hate irresponsible dog owners. I don’t own a dog but if I did, I wouldn’t think it would be too much trouble to put it on a damn leash!

Stupid people make me irritable. And there’s been a lot of stupidity in the world lately. Those Mounties should not have been killed. The guy in Toronto who threw his 5-year-old daughter onto the highway before killing himself made me angry. And the Italian guy who was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq after he helped free an Italian journalist who had been held hostage? Completely unfair.

I just don’t get it.

6 comments:

taminator1969 said...

As a friend of mine likes to say: "If stupidity was a crime, we couldn't build jails fast enough to house all those idiots."

Bill Doskoch said...

Sarah:

You seem to be moving from self-pitying moaning to angry bitching.

It's a change for the better! :^)

More seriously, I saw one poor kid near where I live lose control of his bike last summer and wipe out after being charged by a territorial dog.

The dog's owner didn't seem to be too bothered by this.

But it doesn't take a huge stretch of imagination to imagine a kid being run over by a car in a similar situation.

And the sad part is, if not for the dipshit owner, it would be completely preventable.

Bill D.

misschief said...

i am a dog owner. i have an 8yr old rottweiller. now her level of activity is moving from the chair to the floor. she wouldn't chase a kid, but a bike maybe.... moving so fast and all. now before you think i am saying i'm going to let my dog run after a bike, you're wrong. i know that she would and therefore when we go out for a walk i have her on a leash. the only time she goes off leash is at an off leash park, and then if you ride your bike through there....it's your own fault.
but i agree with the stupidity of dog owners, it makes me mad that because of other peoples stupidity i have a 'vicious' dog. break into my house, the dog will let you have everything if you rub her belly. aarrrgggghhhh , vicious dog, better watch out!!

Sarah said...

I just want to make this clear, I'm ranting about the owners, not the dogs. I'm all in favour of off-leash areas where dogs can run free but Stanley Park and the seawall are NOT off-leash areas, though you wouldn't know it judging by all the idiots who let their dogs run all over the seawall with all the children, cyclists and rollerbladers and people in wheelchairs and such!

Bill...you have a good point. For all the bad dog owners out there, there are way worse drivers! I see them every single day. If I weren't such a defensive cyclist, I'd be dead at least three times.

About 90 per cent of drivers are great. But the 10 per cent are horrible. I've been honked at and yelled at just for riding on the road. Hello? A bike is a vehicle too. I've seen drivers run red lights, stop signs, speed excessively in residential areas.

Oops, sorry for the long rant about bad dog owners and bad drivers. I'll stop now :)

Sarah

Kathryn said...

As a "good" dog owner, I too cannot stand the "bad" ones. I liken them to the kid in elementary school class that ruins the treat for everyone by misbehaving. Not obeying leash laws results in fewer and fewer leash free zones. Not picking up after your pooch results fewer dog friendly areas.

I know that Maggie (my pooch) is friendly and loves all people and most dogs (she has a thing about Huskies, havng been beat up by a bunch when she was a pup), but not everyone does, so I am responsible with her. We see a mum walking her kids to school pretty much every morning with their dog, Cosmo. Cosmo took to running and growling at Maggie each and every morning to the point where she actually hid behind me when she sees them approaching. I now leash her to avoid any unfortunate confrontations. Cosmo's owner does nothing and he continues to "attack" us.

It's scary when a dog rushes out at you, regardless of whether you like dogs or not. It's irresponsible (not to mention dangerous) of dog owners not to recognize this.

Kathryn

Sarah said...

Well said Kathryn!

Sarah