Monday, January 07, 2008

Appreciation

Today Francesca and I jogged around the lake. We usually go on Mondays and Wednesdays directly after I drop the kids off at school. Its a perfect flat 5K on crushed granite. We both love seeing all the birds and getting the exercise.

I often see a guy walking his two dogs off leash. Mind you, there are signs everywhere that say "ALL ANIMALS MUST BE ON A LEASH," and everyone obeys, except this guy. One time he didn't hear me coming (damn iPod) and his chow mix rushed Francesca, barking aggressively and physically touching her. She backed off on her owner's command, but continued to stare and posture very aggressively. Since then the owner always gives me a wide berth, but the chow always veers toward us and stares provocatively. It makes me nervous.

Today, his wife was walking the dogs - off leash - and the chow got really close (striking distance) to Francesca at the beginning of our run. She didn't listen to the woman as well as she did to the man. Francesca, btw, was looking at the dog but running nicely beside me. At the end of our run, we passed the woman again as she was crossing the narrow bridge (only 6ft wide with tall chainlink fence on either side) with the dogs, still no leash. I had to wait until they crossed, because there was no way I was going to get that close to that dog in that confined space.

As she passed me, I said, "That dog needs to be on a leash. She's come at my dog twice now. I don't appreciate you guys walking her without a leash."

She said in a surly voice, "I don't appreciate you telling me what to do with my dog."

By then I had started to jog away, but I turned back to shout, "It's the law! It's the law!" (My hackles were up a bit at this point!)

When I got to my car, the husband was now walking the same dog back across the bridge. So I got on my cell phone and called the police, who said they would send an officer out. Hopefully they got there in a timely manner.

I plan to carry my cell phone with me from now on, and I'll call every time I see them with no leash. If it was just the other placid dog, I wouldn't bother, but this dog seriously scares me. I'm not worried about it attacking me, but I am worried about Francesca.

Afterwards of course I thought of a better comeback to the woman. "Lady, I tell people what to do with their dogs for a living!"

11 comments:

Alissa said...

That really annoys me too- people never seem to think the laws apply to them or their dogs. Hopefully they got a ticket.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those people who don't think the law applies to me and Patch. But I now ask everyone who approaches her if they are scared. They look at me and usually laugh.

I do put a leash on her when we go to Memorial Park. If she had any teeth left I would consider muzzling her too!

I remember how annoyed I was several times in my jogging years (long ago)when unfettered dogs would run at me. You simply do not know what their intent is and it is off-putting.

So I think everyone should follow the law.

paula said...

I completely agree with you Jenn, I hate it when people take their dogs out off the leash especially in parks etc where they are children. It took me a long time to get Luke confident around dogs after a stupid man let his dog run at Luke when he was about two knocking him over to the muddy ground and then standing over him looking really frightening. "He's not dangerous" the bloke shouted at me, "how do you know?" I replied, along with various expletives and "Get him on the lead now!!". My old dog Benson was attacked a few times too, by dogs allowed to run wild by their irresponsible owners. We had one of those leads on a cassette that allowed him to run but also to be reeled in with needed.

Emily said...

Good for you for saying something. It's always easier not to stand up to that type of thing. I like your last comeback! (I do that, too...always think of a great thing I should have said after the fact.)

Anonymous said...

Isn't it maddening that we think of really clever responses later - I do that all the time but in my case, I am not as brave as you so I rarely respond at all. Glad you reported them and I hope they got the ticket and the message!

Love, M

Laura said...

I fall on both sides of this issue. Our dog Reno has been attacked twice by the same dog, while they were both leashed. In both instances, it didn't matter that the owner was holding the other end of the leash; she refuses to try to direct her dog's behavior at all and didn't even seem to acknowledge that her dog was misbehaving. But we also prefer to walk our dogs off leash... and therefore frequent areas where that is allowed. There's no excuse for that woman to let her dog off leash in your jogging park, particularly given that she has shown signs of aggression.

angie said...

There's always someone who has to ruin things for everyone else. Don't even get me started on people who don't clean up after their dogs (one of the reasons I think people like to run them off leash, so they can be far enough away to pretend to not notice when they poop). I'm glad you called the police. Post an update next time you see them.

EdamameMommy said...

oooooh amen to angie's comment. The poop gets to me, too. As for your issue, it is more prescient, and oh so hard to confront when one is as non-confrontational as my big sister is...bet you were flushed and your heart pounding (oh wait, you were running so that was a foregone concl.) I second the idea to please let us know how things progress. Oh the foreboding news that it was a chow mix...

A.Norma said...

Some people in this World think the Law doesn't apply to them!

mainlyclearskies said...

Don't you wish you could think of those comebacks when you need them? Darn it! I'm glad you called on them - I would be scared too.

Library Lady said...

One of our neighbors has two nasty little pug dogs ("pweciously" named "Puggsley" and "Priscilla"--gag!) and thinks it's fine to let them run unleashed on our common element.

The result is that our 8 year old, who used to romp all over the grassy hill, is now afraid to play outside because if the dogs are about, they rush at her.

They've done the same to me, so I know they (probably) won't nip her, but she's scared now.

Our condo association just printed a notice in the newsletter reminding people to keep their pets leashed--because it's the law, and because there have been sightings of a fox on a hill that happens to be right behind our group of units. I am very tempted to highlight this and tape it to her perfect Martha Stewart front door........

And I won't go into the folks who allow their dogs to run loose, or who don't clean up after them on the small green space outside my library's windows. But I am thinking about putting in a motion detection sprinkler!!!