An Open Letter to Dog Owners: Dogs are Like Kids–Only Smart People Should Have Them.
Greetings Canine Collectors,
Did you get the memo? Wednesday is the official start of summer (I know Memorial Day weekend gets folks confused…). I’ve noticed in my years of living in big cities that not only does warm weather bring out hoochies, hoodlums and hot messes, but it also brings out you all, dog owners, ready to stand on corners and show off your pets. But while that shouldn’t be a problem, I’ve found that people with the least amount of common sense are some of the ones holding onto the leashes of these overgrown, overweight pitts, German shepherds, rottweilers, mastiffs, wolfdogs, and all the intimidating canines your mind can conjure up.
If this is you, please do better.
While writing this post I actually came across yet ANOTHER news story about a child being attacked outside of her apartment in Harlem by someone’s crunk a** dog. If that weren’t enough, a few weeks ago a little boy in the Bronx got bitten on the neck and face by a dog. I even had a family friend get bitten on the arm by a dog after it was accidentally hit with a basketball during a pick-up game. And don’t worry, I have my own story scary story to share with you.
While walking home last month minding my own dang business, two young women were walking…make that, walking by a dog in their possession. It was a grey boerboel with a large chest, a big head and a penchant for running at top speed to find just the right tree to pee on. He was doing that near trees on my street as I walked to my apartment, and every time he would pick up speed, I would use my childhood knowledge about dealing with crazed canines to deal–I would just stand still. He would eventually stop running and wind up at a tree next to me. At one point, I had to yell at the dog as I crossed over to my gate and he lurched at me. It was FINALLY then that the girls yelled at the dog too and yanked him back–only to let his leash go again.
As I hid behind my gate after the fact, I watched in horror two minutes later as this huge dog evaded his dumb a** handlers and raced down the street at the sight of a woman with her two small dogs. Lunch I guess? As he proceeded in their direction at frightening speed, the woman grabbed up the leashes of her little dogs and screamed at the young ladies: “GET YOUR DOG!!!!” At the sight, a man ran down the street to help and proceeded to hit the dog to get him to stop jumping at the lady. What did this crazed dog’s handlers have to say to that reaction?
“DON’T HIT MY DOG!!!”
Before I knew it, the dog had raced away like a mad man and was almost hit by a car trying to get away from his failed attempt at using smaller dogs for rag dolls. Those two young ladies were left running down the street in an attempt to grab his leash, as they should have done minutes before. And as a woman who watched the whole thing go down walked past me, she said exactly what I was thinking:
“I hope the damn dog gets hit by a car! How can you not have a dog like that on a leash!?”
GIRL, who are you telling???
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found that a lot of you dog owners out there treat dogs like your children. That’s cool if that’s what you want to do, but just as I don’t like when people assume I want to be trying to entertain their child or have their child wake me up while I sleep on my flight because they want to run down the aisles, I wish you wouldn’t assume that everybody likes dogs and want them walking around off of a leash, slobbering on our legs, and pooping in front of our homes as you fail to clean up their mess. I can’t tell you how many piles of dog crap I’ve had to do the Heisman on just to walk down the street to get to the store. And I’ve seen enough scary news stories because folks underestimated the crazy in their canine. Do you know what they’re thinking when you let them hop up on people? You might know your pet, but you don’t know them THAT well, so if they bite my a** then you and I both will be looking stupid.
I just want to say that in this upcoming season of hot weather and the freedom of all (students, dogs, etc.), please be a bit smarter about how you handle your pets when you’re out in public. As cute as they are sometimes, you underestimate how much you could be scaring a child or even a grown adult when you let their growling behinds roam too free or get too close. And just because you leave them tied to a hydrant or pole while you run an errand doesn’t mean they won’t cause chaos while you’re gone. I’m just asking folks to be more aware, because it’s bad owners that create bad dogs, and it’s these bad dogs that give all dogs a bad name (just ask the very misunderstood pitbull and rottweiler families). You aren’t a dog whisperer, and I doubt your dog is Lassie, so please do better when you bring your canines around others, because they don’t all play nice.
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