Monday, 6 June 2011

'This is dog walking territory. If you don't like it, don't come.'

Of course you are right, dear dog owner! I shouldn't be in these woods at all!

I shouldn't be here, walking back along the tracks with our quiet and exhausted group, a happy afternoon spent between the dappled sunshine watching kids make woodland dens and climb along fallen trees!

That is clearly no way to enjoy these woods.

I should do what you do.

Which is, take a large dog to the public path, let it off the lead, show no interest in keeping it close by, demonstrate no voice control whatsoever, look utterly unconcerned when Fido runs directly towards groups of strangers, display no recognition for the hasty reaction of mothers picking up toddlers, watch people scatter and stand stock still, then become affronted, outraged and red-faced with indignation when asked to control the dog, because if this dog were to do again what it has just done, run direct and barking to jump up to one particular person in this passing group, we would all be watching a child terrified, panic-struck, and screaming in fear!

At that point, I'll take my cue from you. I'll glower, toss my head and, with a voice bursting with anger and dismissive contempt, shout This is dog walking territory. If you don't like it, don't come. Then, in the surprised silence that follows my command, I'll march on by, contemptuous of these ordinary fools.

Only I can go one better. Of course I can. Next time I see you, I'll say to Squirrel, forget what I said before. Let loose your fearful, blood-curdling screams, direct to that dog's ears. I'll glower and gladly shout, This is my kid's territory. If you don't like it, don't come.

As a parting gift, and in recognition of the socially-minded ways all irresponsible dog owners teach us, I could dump a bag of dog crap where your foot is bound to fall.

Just think what a lovely world we could make!

These woods might then one day all belong to ME!


Belgravia Wife - sort of said...

Grit will you be my mum too, please ? Actually I had a few good dens going in my day too xx

Nora said...

He shouldn't have his dog run loose if he doesn't have better control of it. A dog must be able to listen to basic commands or be on the leash when about to meet a group of people. A child should not be afraid of a dog, however. She needs to get over that. That's too terrifying for her.

kelly said...

I have two dogs, and we keep both of them on leads unless there is no one else around, and if some one does appear then they go straight back on the leads.

I wear Teflon toed walking boots because I am sick of other peoples dogs approaching my dogs and kids...a well aimed boot in the face is a great deterrent...and I'm not telling whether it's the dogs or the owners that get the boot.

Big mamma frog said...

Even after years of training my dog is totally lousy at coming when called. No amount of calling, whistles, or dog treats will retrieve him if he has seen something of interest and I am eternally ashamed of him showing me up in public (he is worse than the kids).

He will happily adopt any passing family as his own or stick his stupid spaniel ears in any passing bicycle. (family traits - dippy and easily distracted).

I'm often seen sprinting after him yelling his name (which in dog language obviously translates as blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah).

But at least I know how to say sorry :) That dog owner was a tosser.

(Although on the other side I have had someone beat my little dog with a stick because he came up to her huge docile dog and sniffed it (!) I was tempted to put the stick somewhere...)

MadameSmokinGun said...

Don't get me started on dog shit today of all days!!!! 45 minutes and a whole pack of wet wipes later Thuglet's shoe still stank and my throat was sore from yelling at every dog owner I spied within howling distance - questioning the point of flea housing shit machines with slurpy faces and teeth and claws in abundance. It wasn't a good day for me. Up close dog shit encounters straight after a parking fine for back wheels in a long empty taxi rank. I was barking myself by the end of the day.

Sorry - bad timing!

these boots said...

Kind of odd to say "a child should not be afraid of a dog", isn't it? Fortunately, my kids are not afraid of dogs, because we have two of them ourselves. However, we have many visiting kids who are extremely afraid of them, and there doesn't seem to be any simple way of getting them 'over that' - ongoing contact with my two large, bouncy but extremely gentle dogs doesn't seem to help. Also, my own kids would be terrified of any strange dog that came running up to them in the woods - surely that's only common sense?

Grit said...

hello all, and thank you for your comments. i am sure there are many responsible dog owners who can be as pissed off as i am by the people who seem to have little awareness or understanding of the impact their dog can have.

sometimes i simply don't know what to say to these people, it's like we don't see the same event unfolding in front of our eyes.

yesterday, the kids were at the beach; they'd spent some time making sculptures from sand, beachfind and crushed seacoal. a large dog ran straight through their work. not a flicker from the dog owner, not any awareness that the sand art had been spoiled, or that the children jumped up in alarm. the dog owner never apologised, called their dog or even seemed aware of the social impact, even though they watched it unfold, as i did. what can i possibly say to these people?!