By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet
This morning started off perfect. I woke up, fed my loving, human-dog friendly two Brittanys, brewed a cup of flavored coffee paired with cinnamon toast. Then, one shower later, I put the leashes on my dog duo, and flanked by my sibling we were off for a nice walk in an area that's safe. Within five minutes, a large 80-90 pound Lab-Pit Bull mix ran towards my two dogs, me, and my brother. The canine was off a leash. He growled at my older Brittany and ignited what could have been a dog fight. I went into drama mode (imagine shouting to the dog), as did my brother, and then the aggressive animal was ready to attack my brother, too! Imagine, mega noise from two well-meaning humans, no dog owner, and one big bully with taking us all on on its mind. It was a horrific event.
We did manage to escape--the four of us. (Sure, I wish I had a big German Shepherd or Dobie at times like this. Read: My Britts do not know how to spell f-i-g-h-t. My youngest, Seth, doesn't know how to growl. It's true.) My dog trainer (he taught him how to use the treadmill) loves the boys' sweet and even temperament and said "no" to training the boys to be aggressive. Plus, it would be absolutely no contest with a mean-spirited dog twice their size--like the one we encountered today.
Once home, and calm I began to make calls. Because I couldn't track down the dog (in a Stephen King "Cujo" type mode) with an AWOL owner. (Where was the dog's human? Are they aware that their pooch is auditioning for a monster dog role?) Here I sit (after a swim) with my two dogs--oblivious of what could have taken place. I am dazed and confused--and one lucky dog, so to speak.
I was told by the police department that I can use a spray if a dog or the mean dog in question attacks us (again). But I was also cautioned to be sure we're being attacked. (How does that work?) Also, I was told to call the authorities while being attacked. (How does that work?) I only have two hands and two dogs (40 pounds each). Then, I was advised not to walk my dogs in the area of the happening. This occurred in a place where tourists come... and seem to think our town's leash law does not apply to them. Wrong. Bad human!
The bottom line: It seems to me, if my dogs were hurt it would be my problem. I'm frustrated. This isn't fair. I'm a companion animal lover and this unleashed big bully ruined my day. I wonder what it will take for things to change and have the community take action. Meanwhile, I'm letting my sleeping dogs lie in peace but I'm in a human fight back mode. If that unleashed dog (we're hardly alone) attacks my two-legged and four-legged family again--I won't run away with my tail between my legs this time around. Count on it. (Tips on keeping the peace if Cujo comes after you.)
--A responsible dog lover