Despite the heavy rainfall dripping down my face, it was a pleasant walk around the park this morning. That was until we met the dreaded Basset Hound again. I've written about it before; the owner has absolutely no control over it, and walks it around off leash. It then pesters every single dog it can, presumably because the owner is so damned boring, the dog would rather be anywhere but with him.
Anyway, this morning, enough was enough. Ellie was clearly getting stressed as she was on leash, and the Basset was bullying her. Usually I walk away but today I decided to give the owner a piece of my mind. It went something along the lines of...
Me: You know you're duty bound to keep your dog under control don't you?
Him: When did you arrive? You're a pain in the arse.
Me: I'm only a pain in the arse because you haven't taken the time to train your dog.
Him: Do you clean up after your dog? (No idea why he even asked that.)
Me: No. I don't need to, as she doesn't even soil outside of her own garden. But if she did, you bet I would, and showed him the two poop bags that I always carry around in my back pocket.
Me: Look, it's simple. Keep your dog under control, and everyone is happy.
He then walked away, with his dog finally on the leash.
This sort of guy really pisses me off. It's not the dog, it's the owner type. There was a different owner last night, with a really out of control Weimaraner, but the owner was pleasant, and asked if Ellie was okay, after Pickles, her dog, almost ran her over, at least made an effort to control her dog, and so we ended up chatting about her high-energy dog.
But this guy, he's one of those that drives me nuts. He makes no effort to control his dog, and walks around believing that it is everyone else's fault that his dog is so much trouble. Why am I a pain in the arse, for example? I suspect it's because I won't usually stop when his dog chases Ellie, so that he can casually walk over and collect it. No, I figure, I'm not stopping our training for anyone. If his dog follows me home then it's his problem, not mine.
People like him seem to be blind to the notion that it takes just one bad experience for a puppy to be emotionally scarred for life. I work damned hard to make me the centre of Ellie's world when we're out and about in the park. She's really not bothered about playing with other dogs -- as I'm more than enough excitement for her, and besides, other dogs don't look enough like a Frisbee for her. Why should I be expected to entertain other dogs, or allow Ellie to become entertainment for other dogs.
I fear that people like him don't learn until someone stands up to them. I hope so.