off leash and unapologetic

To quote Ruby Thewes, “… but they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say, “Shit! Its rainin’!”

It so feels this way to me, this week in particular. The sun came out, the weather was a true gift, and all were out to enjoy it. Every person who had a dog was out and about enjoying it. And I would have to say it’s always awesome to see people doing more, rather than less, with their dogs.

But the blatant omission of leashes was noticeable. It really didn’t make me tip to my dark side until last night, again the weather was too nice, and our moods too good.

After our puppy and adolescent classes I was cleaning up, turning off the heaters and lights and getting ready to walk out when an adult shepherd mix came walking in the barn. I walked towards the dog and he seemed nice enough, but no owner. By the time I got the barn door and owner appeared with another much slower moving older dog. I said hi and told her her dogs needed to be on leash. That was the moment of the down hill slide.

Let me restate, her dog was in our training barn a good 30 seconds before she even appeared , and her dog was still in our barn while I was chatting with her.

She looked right at me and said, “I’ll take my chances”. I told her our barn was a dog training facility and all dogs are on leash, and we really do not want off leash dogs coming in. And, very calmly and assuredly looked me square in the eyes and said, “well I’m not in your classes so it’s not my problem now is it”.

And I will restate again, her dog was in our barn this whole time, and it was not concerning to her at all. No apology, no effort to call her dog, nothing.

So I started to turn off all the lights, she started to walk away, called her dog, her dog wouldn’t come and kept walking further into our barn. She finally had to go and get her dog by the collar. As she was walking away she did tell me to have a nice night.

Her dogs were not the problem, she was. And this is becoming rampant.

Without the support of the City or County, and the lack of enforcement, people who have a tendency to not be very responsible or polite, really have no reason now. The City and County by their lack of enforcement are creating the ‘weather’.

But more than that I have been pondering the question, why are people so defensive and rude when they are in the wrong? What happened too, I’m sorry let me get my dog. Has the dog park culture really made us all so slack in our ownership that we have a slight, I don’t care enough attitude? Truly I would love to hear from you all!

We all make mistakes, I most certainly have and do, and I am the first one to say, I’m sorry. I learn from it, hopefully never repeat it again, and always try to do better. I am a big believer in this.

When we first moved here a bit over 10 years ago, our cul de sac was officially off leash they assured us. We had landed in happy valley apparently and I was so excited by the warm welcomes. Well it went to hell in a hand basket rather quickly and our dog Franny was bit hard three times. Our neighbors big black lab loved our dogs, loved them so much that he marked our front door every morning. And the list goes on. We went back to what we were comfortable with and that was management. Happy valley wasn’t so happy, it was more Stepfordish…

So I would love to hear from you all. Why? Why are we having defensive conversations over and over and over? Why are dogs being less and less managed by a specific population? What are responsible dog owners doing to achieve a happy balance?

Nancy
who is now hanging a sign on the barn door
“…If your dog would like to come into our barn on their own, we assume they are interested in our services and would like to train with us… the owners will be invoiced!”

4/4/2012

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