Monday, June 17, 2013

How I learned to hate dogs...or is it their owners?

When I was a kid I loved dogs. I read all the Albert Payson Terhune books. I had plans to own a farm and raise dogs. I don't fear dogs, despite being bitten twice. But man...they really can be a bother.

First problem - "Oh he won't hurt you!" says the man or woman who lets their dog run free on the jogging path. Despite my best efforts, a dog that probably outweighs me jumps up at me. I get scratches my arms and I have mud all over my clothes. I was on lunch break. Now I have to go back to work with muddy paw prints on my clothes.

Second problem - I don't want to spend the entire time I am speaking to you trying to keep your dog's snout out of my crotch! Yes, dogs do that. No I don't think it's normal. I find it embarrassing and a total violation of my personal space. How would you feel if I walked into the room and grabbed you there? Sheesh.

Third problem - Make them stop barking! I am surrounded by dogs in my neighborhood. One neighbor has a barky poodle. He ties the dog outside for a while, a couple of times a day. The minute the dog comes out until he goes back in, he barks constantly. Sometimes it's 7am on a Sunday morning.

My side yard matches up with 2 backyards around the corner, so I have 4 dogs over there. Every time I walk into the backyard the dogs bark at me. If I'm weeding the garden, picking strawberries or just having a cup of tea on the patio - they bark. Yesterday, the entire time I was mowing the lawn back there at least one dog was barking at me. I feel invaded. I can't enjoy a quiet moment in my own yard because these dogs are barking at me.

I have met well behaved dogs that leave me alone. I give their owners a lot of credit for training their dogs. But unfortunately that's the minority. So I continue to snap at dog owners who feel it's perfectly all right for their animal to jump on me, sniff me and bark at me. They look at me mystified that I do not enjoy the attention their beloved pet is bestowing on me.

And rumors circulate that Alice hates dogs.

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