Dog Walk on the Wild Side

Thursday, March 3, 2011 | 1 Comment(s)

Grover (our dog, if you happen to be a first timer to the blog) can be frustrating.  There are no if ands or buts about it.  After spending my life becoming a highly trained responsibility machine, owning a dog that can’t even conceptualize the idea of “responsibility” is almost cruel.   (I know, I know . . . “you should try handling a BABY.”  And I’m sure you are all correct.  But I’m not handling a baby, I’m handling a dog, so . . . so . . . don’t put your “baby” on me.  Mmf is equally ready for kids, for the record.)

And, on occasion, I freak out.  We left him alone out of the crate today.  He ate pretzels.  Some pretzels.  The remains lay strewn across his doggy bed.  It’s hilarious to me that he still took the bag of pretzels he KNEW he shouldn’t be eating over to his ‘spot’ to eat.  What good manners.  He got into the knitting a bit too.  Bad dog there.  Don’t touch mom’s stuff.  She will (not) cut you.   He only really chewed on food though (pretzels, dog treats, empty yogurt containers), the rest of the time he spent rearranging the house.  This shoe should be over here.   Mom’s yarn needs to be, fairly gently, removed from its bag.  A dog dish over here.  The other over here.  It was like “doggy home makeover.”

It only took a few minutes to clean, and in the end, I have resigned myself to his doggy-ness and even though my first reaction was holy shit, I quickly realized that it could have been much MUCH worse.  So many things he could have chewed and didn’t.  It is progress, even if it doesn’t feel that way now. 

The point is, while I’m not happy with his behavior, it is not shocking to me.  It can be upsetting, but not shocking.   I can’t say the same thing, however, for humans.

Things have not been great recently, and I haven’t gotten far enough from “Voldemort Day”  to write it as a hilarious tale (I will, eventually).  So this is a quicky from the following day.

I took Grover to the dog park.  He loves it.  I like the exercise.  And it was cold enough a day that I wouldn’t have to deal with any Amherst crazies telling me how to raise my dog (they only care about dog behavior on nice warm days, their days.).  So we hit the trail a bit late in the day, planning on doing what I call the small loop.  And Grover’s doing great.  He plays with a few passing dogs, but separates well and follows me.  Until the bridge. 

At the bridge, we meet a lovely female dog about Grover’s size, but leaner and quicker – more of what I think of as a sheep herding dog, with Grover having a much stronger head and neck.  And they play fabulously.  The way the other dog likes to play is by running away to be caught.  She runs in big circles.  Grover bolts after her obligingly.  Cutting corners to make up for his lack of speed.  The other dogs owner is, like most dog owners in this area, very educated and opinionated about dogs.  She has a “3’s a crowd” rule, where if her dog is playing with one dog, and a 3rd comes to play, she will separate her dog from the group.  I really don’t know enough yet about dogs and dog socialization to be able to separate the crazy dog stuff from the important dog stuff.  My gut tells me that many of these people are the equivalent of the “drink avocado-orange-lemon-saffron-lilac essence during the turning of the new moon and your fertility will go through the roof” people.  But I try to keep an open mind until I actually know better.  In any case, after a bit 2 large brown almost Weimaraner-style hunting dogs (I describe a whole subset of dogs as “Weimaraner-style, but I don’t think its an official ‘kennel club’ distinction) come trucking in the opposite direction with their masters.   I hold Grover briefly as they pass, but I figure that he’s enjoying this lady dog’s company so much that he’ll continue with her/us on the trail.

I am wrong.  About a brief bout with the lady, he bolts back on the trail, over the bridge to the dogs that had trucked past.   And he starts playing with the slower dog. 

I am quickly walking after him, figuring the people will stop briefly to let me recapture my dog and redirect him.  Instead, the dog owner behind grabs a stick from the woods, and throws it INTO THE FLOWING RIVER WITH A STEEP BANK.  Obviously both dogs go crashing after it.  And I don’t blame Grover for this.  The hunting dog, obviously well trained and practiced at this, grabs the stick out of the river, hops up the steep bank and continues along with his master, who hasn’t skipped a beat on the trail, in the other direction.  Grover tries to jump the bank.  He can’t.  And at that moment he looks up at me, now trying to guide him from the bridge above, and he is scared.  Not terrified, but scared.  I direct him to a shallower bank, and he gets out and motherfuckermotherfuckermotherfucker goes chasing after the dogs again.  Now I am running, screaming “Grover” in a loud and authoritative (and simultaneously desperate) voice.  And these fucking people, seeing me perhaps 30 yards behind, chasing helplessly after my disobedient dog . . . keep walking quickly away.  Making me run faster and faster in desperation (still screaming) until Grover finally comes back. 

And this, folks, is shocking.  Humans seem to always find new ways to shock me.  Somewhat purposely leading a strange dog to jump in a river aside, let me try to put this in perspective.   Continuing on their merry way is the pet owner equivalent of walking in the woods when you encounter a person caught in quicksand, screaming for an outstretched limb.  And you walk on past.  You don’t even glance.  It is against the entire reason for off-leash dog trails.  Who DOES that.  Maybe they go to baby matinees just to desensitize themselves to humanity and suffering.  Cold dog walking ninjas those fuckers were.  And I’d rather have 1,000 dogs that destroy the house than be in the company of a person so unempathicly cruel to their fellow man/woman.

1 comment:

  1. ok - now that you got that off your chest, tell us how you really feel. go ahead, don't hold back :) people suck. love the one you're with.