Men Who Walk Dogs Without Leashes
Here we are on a lovely Sunday out for another perfect walk. Stanley is feeling pretty frisky which is a good thing considering he spent the first two years of his life “on the street”! My son makes fun of me when I say that but I think it’s true after looking at his medical records from the shelter where we adopted him. He was a complete mess: inside and out. I love Stanley very much and want him to have a gentle life with me all the time.
For this reason and because I have spent a few hours inside the local animal emergency clinic, I believe dogs should be on leashes when being walked within their community. Here’s why I think this way! During one visit to the clinic about a month ago there were three dogs waiting to be seen after being bitten by “friendly” dogs who were unleashed in their neighborhood. The dog owners were in shock as they had witnessed in all three cases a violent attack for no apparent reason on their dog by another dog who had always acted in a benign manner. One of the dogs didn’t make it. He was old and the trauma just finished him off. The owners, both in their eighties, were devastated.
So every time I see a dog off leash near Stanley and me while we are out walking I ask the owner to restrain their dog until we are out of sight. Most of the time the owner does what I ask but they always look annoyed at me for asking. I don’t really care how they feel. All I care about is Stanley feeling safe.
This morning a funny thing happened. As we were walking up a very narrow series of steps I noticed a man with two large, unleashed dogs coming down the steps towards me. I called out to him asking, ”Will you please put your dogs on leashes?”
He responded by saying, “ Why do you want me to do that?”
Now I found this answer so confounding I didn’t quite know what to say. It was obvious why I wanted him to leash his dogs as they were already growling at us yet this dog owner was one of the angry group of mostly men who walk their dogs without lashes.
These men are mostly old, seem very hostile and apparently have a testosterone problem. It’s as if they are saying to the world “look at the incredible control I have over my dog! He doesn’t even need a leash!”
We have several of these men in our neighborhood. I feel sorry for their wives but at least they are not out walking ten feet behind them with downcast eyes! Or maybe they have no wives. They need to feel powerful so they can be assured their dog will always do exactly what they say and never revert to being a dog. The trouble is their dogs on occasion do not obey them at all. They linger and growl in the street while the angry men continue on refusing to acknowledge failure by turning around and calling the dog to their side.
This morning the man coming down the stairs waited until the last minute to hold onto his large dogs and I realized I knew him! I informed him that not leashing dog was against the law. He responded by saying “Oh come on, just get over it!” in a rude voice.
I introduced myself to him stating that we knew each other and he continued to be rude. Actually the good thing about being me is that I immediately forget all bad things people say to me immediately after they have been said. This is a very useful skill to have in life and I recommend it.
I saw that the man looked like an elf and not in a good way. He wore his hair in a swoop over his forehead as men do who are losing their hair and his ears were large and pointed. His eyes slightly bulged out of his head but he was definitely not wearing green. He seemed to walk with a step that looked like a skittering spider. I think at this point I began to have some compassion for this elf/man creature. I walked on hearing him continue to complain behind me.
Here’s what I think. I am going to get a large dog catcher net which telescopes into a small package. I will carry this on my walks with Stan and when I encounter a man walking a dog without a leash I will use my large net to capture them both and return them to the dog park down the hill where the gate can be locked from the outside.
Imagine a collection of men like this locked in with their dogs and see if you don’t think this is entertaining. May the best dog/man win!