Friday, August 12, 2011

Your dog, not mine

To me, all this to-do about dogs running loose and harassing us is a very interesting exercise in human behavior. Not being judgemental is rather difficult because I was directly involved but I am trying. In attempting to sort out the facts with as little emotion as possible:
All of us connected with the traumatic episode, to me anyway, are all nice people and otherwise good neighbors.
Absolutely no one feels inconvenienced or endangered except the two of us who were approached by "Buffy" and "Cuddles", two dogs running loose on public property.
From what I have heard and observed the two dog owners appear to have no remorse or accept any responsibility for the attack.
The premise is that the two offending dogs are only "yappers" and have never bitten anyone.
The general consensus is that I am taking offense for something that could have been easily avoided by not walking on the sidewalk in that area. In other words; I caused the altercation. Not only from the dog owners but several other people from the area that either witnessed the event or heard of it.
Those dogs are well loved by everyone and I am actually treading on thin ice by insinuating they are dangerous in any way whatsoever. It's almost blasphemy.
The police have chosen not to be involved any more than the possibility of a phone call. It's not their job, said the officer.
If a person sees an illegal act that can cause injury to another human being and does nothing, the law states that they are legally liable for any resulting injury.

So, what to do? From these observations I have concluded that:
We have the law and common sense on our side because our rights have been violated and our health and safety put in jeopardy due to neglect on the part of the dog owners.
According to city ordinance it is a violation to allow a dog to harass or approach or cause anyone to fear for their safety on a public sidewalk. There are legal and civil consequences for not restraining your dog.
If I push this further or press any charges, the entire neighborhood will shun me.

There is no apparent physical injury, I should be over the anxiety and able to sleep sometime in the near future. How important is it? Do I want harmony in the neighborhood I've lived in for 30 years or do I want to make sure we can safely walk our streets without fear from these and other dogs? Should I let "sleeping dogs lie"?

What is it that I hope to accomplish here? It is my practice to take at least 3 days to make major decisions whenever possible. We're all good people here so being the immediate threat is over I will do just that..........

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