Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Free range dogs

It was the last straw. For over 5 years I've wasted a lot of words trying to explain to a couple of dog lovers my position on letting their beloved animals run loose through the streets unleashed, in violation of city law. "All" Dogs are to be on a 6 foot leash or retained on the owners premesis in a way that pedestrians may walk the public sidewalk without interference or harrassment. Apparently, the dogs I am speaking of are "special" and aren't subject to local ordinances so I have to avoid the area or suffer the consequences of being accosted by several aggressive, barking dogs. My own neighborhood! I've requested these neighbors keep their animals restrained. I've demanded they keep their animals restrained. Someone sent copies of the animal ordinances to homeowners a few months ago so I know I'm not the only one that has an issue here. I've been told these particular dogs are more scared of me than I am of them. "They only bark." they said. Yeah, uh hu. That's why the mailman said he wasn't going to deliver mail at that end of the street when the dogs were out because he'd been bit, not once but twice.
These dogs aren't responsible for this. They, of course are only animals and only do what they are allowed to do by their owners. I realize that.

Yesterday I was taking a walk, on the public sidewalk, on a beautiful evening, with someone that is less than a week out of major surgery. She is in a half body brace to keep her neck still so as not to disturb the proper healing. About halfway through the walk, less than 300 feet from our own front door. Walking slowly and carefully along the public sidewalk, to avoid sudden movement when we were approached by one of these wayward dogs, barking and jumping at us as if to bite, another dog quickly followed and displayed the same aggressive behavior. It appeared very much like the "pack" mentallity. The owners were quite a distance away and the one with the most aggressive, most unpredictable dog made no attempt to retrieve his animal except to yell. The other owner did her best, I guess to retrieve her dog but it simply ran away as if playing a game. I for my part, yelled, jumped forward in between my wife and the dogs and did my best to scare them away. It worked for the most part and other than the trauma of feeling attacked, luckily no apparent physical harm to my wife due to sudden defensive movements that we were trying to avoid. Only time will tell now. I, normally a soft spoken pussy cat, swore, really swore, loudly at either one or both of the irresponsible owners. I have my limits and that was certainly one of them. What really surprised me was that, these dog owners, our very own neighbors who I am ever ready to assist if trouble arrises, made absolutely no effort to see if any harm was done or to apologize although they sat on their front porch afterwards to discuss something as they watched us talk to other concerned neighbors and leave. You never really know the integrity of someone until something like this comes up do you? I am terribly dissaapointed in them.

What do I do next? I've spoken to them many times about their dogs running loose. I guess further discussion would be fruitless. However, I will not continue to be bullied in my own neighborhood by the thoughtless actions of a few. Would you?...................Joe

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