Monday, January 07, 2008

What To Do? What To Do!

This is my dog. We have lived here and walked together in our neighborhood nearly daily for the past six years. It's why I call my blog Dogwalk Musings. He is always on a leash. No waste is ever left behind. It was our time together. He doofed, I mused. Until late this fall.

The problem began when neighbors got a puppy to be a companion to an older dog. The older dog has run at will since day one. Now they both do. It got to the point they snarled traffic at the intersection because they were always on the road instead of in their yard. It is especially bad now that it's winter and the roads often icy. When the youngster across the street waits for the school bus she often tries to contain the dogs as Bacchus and I pass. Not a good situation.

It didn't take long until they started coming after us. Now, I'm not a petite individual by any stretch of the imagination but I'm not as young as I used to be either. Containing Bacchus and shooing them became perilous to say the least. I tried squirting them with water, then lemon juice then shortened our walk.

Hub said enough of that. So for two weeks while things were slow and he didn't have to be in his office at the crack of dawn he took the walking chores. Every day it's the same routine. Animal control has issued a warning. It continues. Saturday the owner watched as Hub tried to pass, called the dogs into the yard then drove away. Needless to say they were right back out on the road.

We have covenants in the neighborhood against our pets running loose. The county has ordinances against the same. The owner of the dogs serves as a director of the homeowners association. I have personally talked with them about the problem - for years. Now they ignore my phone calls.

We've added Tabasco to the lemon juice mix. Nothing. The man in the pick up spoke with me this morning as I took pictures. He said, "Don't take pictures, shoot 'em!"

I talked with animal control again this morning to see what the next step would be. Did you know I could legally shoot them?

I wouldn't dream of taking such drastic action. But someone else might. All because the owners are too cheap, too lazy or just plain too contemptuous of their neighbors to be responsible owners.

The dogs are just being dogs. I understand that. But the street is not the place to play. I resent not being able to take a perfectly legal walk with my dog and I've come to resent the owners of the dogs who are the cause of it.

Mostly, having now vented, I resent that I don't feel one bit better about it at all.


stebbijo said...

How about pepper spray?

Anonymous said...

Pepper spray could be an answer, but not something you would do. I am married to the 'pooh fairy' as you know, she walks almost ten miles every day around Tubbs Hill and beyond. She runs into many people who care not what their dogs do, but has to live with it if she is to continue on her walks. She picks up at least ten bags of pooh each day, others of course, and runs into many people who allow their dogs to run free, they see nothing wrong with that. She does, as most dogs are friendly but Charlie is defensive and will always protect her. She will mention things sometimes, like please put your dog on a leash, and she will give you the evil eye if you don't pick up the poop that your dog just left, so I call her the 'pooh fairy' and she is content with that. But, everyday, she runs into people that haven't a clue how to handle their dogs or why they should pick up after them. It's our society I think, and she has a very good attitude about it. If they haven't a clue, then she will clean up after them and try to hold her tongue. It's hard sometimes, but I guess my advice to you is that everyone isn't as concerned as you are with animal things. Enjoy your walks, and don't let the ones that haven't a clue bother you. They will anyway, but please don't let it destroy your day. Nothing is worth that. The Stickman and the Pooh Lady.

Word Tosser said...

Bless the 'pooh fairy'
some people just should not have pets... and the shame of it all is as you said, it isn't the dogs fault, it is the owners.

Dogwalkmusings said...

Steb, We haven't gone to pepper spray because we don't want to inadvertently hurt the dogs, ie: burn their eyes.

Stickman, I don't want a full scale confrontation while Bacchus is leashed and the other two are not. I also don't want the ensuing vet bills! Bacchus would probably get the worst of it even considering his size - he doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body. Rambunctious, yes. Aggressive, no. So that forces me to keep my distance.

I don't need a tumble either! These old bones, don't you know!

Thanks you guys.

stebbijo said...

How about a pop gun - one that stings with corks?

Dogwalkmusings said...

How about the owners abiding by the law?

stebbijo said...

Appear to me that is going to happen.

Looks like it's going to take a 'village' so to speak to raise the dog. :-)

stebbijo said...

oops in NOT happen.

PinkAcorn said...

How about writing to all the members of the homeowners association?

Dogwalkmusings said...

Pink Acorn,

Not a bad suggestion except that our association exists in name only. The CC&Rs are ignored, the officers are non-responsive and no one wants confrontation. Some of us fight to keep the CC&Rs in what is probably a futile attempt to maintain our property values. Other than that it's only words on paper, unenforceable without lawyers and no one would spend the money. Plus, the homeowners are well aware of the dogs running loose and complain to me because they see me with Bacchus rather than track down the owners who are rarely around.