So, it’s been a while since I posted anything…it has been considerably longer since I posted on the comings and goings of my little world and the idiocy of people.
Now, let me start this off by saying that I have a dog. He is a German Shepherd Mix with approximately 90-95% German Shepherd. This means that German Shepherd owners/clubs/experts have been convinced he is a pedigree and he looks like a fantastic example of the breed..but, as a mix, he doesn’t suffer all of the medical ailments that plague the inbred pedigrees. Regardless, I couldn’t care less how much of a Mongrel he is, I love him.
Now, being a German Shepherd makes him a dog. I write that specifically as an animal that weighs somewhere between 70 and 80lbs and is instinctively protective of family* is an actual dog. As opposed to the furry four legged children with attitude problems, that you predominantly see in cities.
And that brings me to my issue. Dog owners…specifically, small dog owners. Now, let me start by saying that I know quite a few small dog owners that try to do it properly. They don’t treat their dog like a toddler, let it do what it wants and never correct it for pulling/barking etc etc. I don’t take issue with these guys. The small dogs that they own are simply small dogs. I like these dogs and I like these people.
What I don’t like are people that do the frickin’ opposite. No correction to unwanted behaviour, “protecting” their dogs from..you know..being dogs.
Let me give you an example (and let’s face it, the main reason for this post). At the end of our street is a small park where dogs are allowed as long as they are on lead. It’s a park that we generally use in the evening so that Likos can perform his ablutions before we all go to bed. It is also a small park that many other dog owners use for, what I assume to be, the same purpose. Now, we have had problems before with small dogs on this park, which has lead me to get there later and later in the evening. In particular, we have had problems with a small Westie. This small Westie is the least socialised dog I have ever had the misfortune to meet. It actually lives in an apartment that overlooks the park and, if it is out on the balcony, barks at any dog that it sees (and not just the ones directly in front of the balcony). The owners walk this dog regularly on the park and they use a flexi-lead that extends to approximately 20 frigging miles as far as I can tell. When I say owners, I mean any member of their family, including their 8 year old son.
This dog is always at the full extent of it’s lead..regardless of person walking it. The owners are never paying attention and all are glued to their phones for the duration of the walk. I wish I was exaggerating, but I am unfortunately not. It charges at rabbits, charges and barks at other dogs and is downright aggressive.
Here’s the thing, when a small dog charges on lead and pulls you, you barely notice. When a small dog is in front of you yapping away, it’s positively cute and “has character” or “awww, he thinks he is a big scawy dog..how sweet” etc. This, clearly, ignores a bigger issue. Now, when Likos pulls on lead..I can easily end up on the floor**, or with a dislocated shoulder…and when Likos is in front of you barking, it can be positively terrifying. However, the behaviour is IDENTICAL and needs to be corrected for BOTH dogs.
The difference? When a small dog behaves that way “nawwww, cuteness”. when Likos reacts to this or behaves that way “Oh my, he is very aggressive isn’t he?” *cue backing away*.
So, a few nights ago, I am walking to the park and couldn’t go late as we were meeting friends. As I get about 10 meters from the park (across the other side of the road), I notice the Westie but can’t see the owners from my viewpoint. It charges towards Likos and then stops, just short of the road. I assume that it is just at the end of it’s flexi-lead as usual. I couldn’t really see as it was pretty dark. So, I get Likos to sit as he is starting to get a bit worked up by the fact that the Westie is losing it’s mind at him from across the road. But I figure I will wait until the owners catch up and can remove the Westie from the situation.
Turns out..the Westie was actually off lead entirely and, at the precise moment I turned to Likos to keep him calm, it shot across the road at Likos. Likos, as you can probably imagine, LOST HIS FUCKING MIND!. Especially when the Westie bit him, twice, on the leg. Now..I am now faced with a Westie that is repeatedly, and with some small measure of success, trying to attack large German Shepherd and a German Shepherd that, understandably, would like to have a quiet word with the Westie and suggest that he might like to stop his current line of actions.
So, with my left arm…I am forced to lift Likos with his lead, so that he is on his hind legs..hopefully avoiding having a dead Westie in front of me***. With my right foot I am trying to push the Westie out of the way…and on a personal level, trying my damnedest not to just punt the fucking thing as far and as hard as I could muster. The Westie won’t give up and Likos is now resembling a large, brown, furry shark on the end of a fishing line. The Westies owners then saunter around the corner, pick up their dog and immediately start checking it for any damage that my, clearly, aggressive German Shepherd may have done.
I was incredulous…and was composing myself enough to bring my limited German to bear and lose it..when I noticed that I had witnesses, both of them in cars that and they had watched events unfurl from start to finish. Witness #1 goes apeshit at the Westies owner. A full 5 minute tirade…turns out she has a German Shepherd herself.
By the time it was over, both myself and Likos were considerably calmer, the Westies owner was suitably chastised, Likos had his walk and we got home relatively unscathed.
Why did I write this? Not sure, except my left arm is still aching from time to time and I can almost guarantee an “event” of some description every time I get on to the park with Likos of an evening.
Please, small dog owners, I implore you…treat your dogs as dogs, correct bad behaviour and for the love of god socialise them a bit…next time your tiny little Napoleon might go for a larger dog that is owned by someone that cares a lot less than I do about your little precious.
* in this case family = anyone that will fuss him and/or provide treats.
** Just ask LW about his multiple faceplants when not paying attention to Likos and his love for rabbit chasing
*** Let’s face it, it’s not like German Shepherds are unable to bite hard, should they be so inclined. ()