Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's not dogs I hate...

It's fucking arrogant dog owners who refuse to take responsibility for their canine's canines and insist "oh he's just being friendly!"

Friendly. My. ASS!!!!

yet again today I was accosted and terrorized by a dog that was not under the control of its owners. I was cycling along, minding my own fucking busines, when fido (a border collie mix by the look of him) came charging at me, full-tilt, and barking. Not joyful, tail-wagging, bark-bark let's play barking. More like get off my land you sheep-stealing sonofabitch barking. I have a dog; i do know the difference. The little furball jumped right in front of my front wheel, forcing me to grind to a sudden halt lest I leave tire tracks across his nose. I don't like running over dogs. As I said, it's not the dogs I hate, it's the owner. Believe it or not I really am a dog-lover.

The dog jumped all over me, still barking aggressively. His ears and tail were down. I screamed and yelled "help!" The owners, sitting under a tree about 20 feet away didn't even get up. "Come!" they called him. He came. "He just wanted to say 'hello,'" they told me. But they didn't aplogize, and they didn't hold on to the dog, because before I could begin pedalling away Spot came tearing at me a second time. "Put a leash on that thing!" I screamed before finally freeing myself and leaving.

You would think that dog owners would want to put their dogs on a leash for the sake of the dog's safety, never mind my own. but this hardly seems to be the case.

These people were in violation of the law. I looked it up. The Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 states "A dog shall be regarded as dangerously out of control on any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person, whether or not it actually does so."

In this instance, as in many similar preceeding instances, I had very good reason to believe I was in danger of being harmed. There's nothing worse than dog owners who exclaim when their dogs misbehave "Oh he wouldn't hurt you!" Even if that is the case (which it's often not) I have no way of knowing that. As a passer-by I have no way of distinguishing between a neurotic and badly trained dog that likes to make a game of charging people and barking at them and a dog that is about to quickly and efficiently relieve me of my burdensome jugular vein.

Letting your dog menace people, even if it doesn't actucally physically harm them, IS against the law. But is this law enforced? How? What recouse do I have? What am I supposed to do in these situations? I'm not about to stand there and ask people for their names and details so I can have the local dog warden issue them a citation -- after all, they're the ones holding a dangerous dog. You think I'm going to exchange words with an annoyed pitbull owner? yeah, right. So what can I do? NOTHING.

There's not a fucking thing I can do. I'm the one who's been wronged, but there is nothing I can do about it. I can't complain, I can't fight back, and because pepper spray is illegal in this country, I can't even defend myself. I am totally at the mercy of stupid people with viscious, ill-trained dogs. Grrrrrrrr.


Murph said...

Those sons of bitches get us a bad name! The owners, that is.
On behalf of impeccably polite dogs everywhere, I apologise unreservedly.
There's a few suitable e-petitions on suitability of dog owners on the Downing Street web site (it's probably a bad time to mention my own....!).

Chaucer's Bitch said...

Indeed there are! Sadly, because I am not a citizen or permanent resident of the UK (yet) I am not eligible to sign petitions, even yours! :(

Spinsterella said...

Yes, yes, YES.

A horrid little dog knocked over my (full) pint when I was having a few beers in the park last summer and the owner DIDN'T EVEN APOLOGISE!

And don't get me started on my flatmate's girlfriend who brings her whiney little dog round all the time and who never asked me. (OK, Flatmate also owns the house so I can't really moan.)

CB, it might amuse you to know that in the 'Britain' edition of the Lonely Planet British dog-owners are listed in the 'Dangers and Annoyances' section for the very reasons you outlined.

I hate dogs and dog-owners even more.
(PS - not you, Murph)

Mental Mac said...

Maybe you were a cat in a previous life? I think you should come to terms with it and study the feline approach to dealing with dogs.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

spin: god, how obnoxious. but even that i can deal with. i can deal with being annoyed, but for me it goes far beyond annoyance. i'm genuinely terrified of dogs, and when things like this happen i cry and shake for hours afterward. It takes most of the day for the adrenaline to leave my system. It's utterly, utterly petrifying, and then I get angry because I resent being continually place in a position of being in fear of my life by blase' people who just don't give a shit.

mmac: and what, pray tell, would that be?

First Nations said...

you can. however, carry a trigger squirt bottle full of water and nail them right in the face on 'stream'. i swear to god this works; i learned it from a mailman. plain water.

Da Nator said...

Better yet, squirt the owners. Add a spritz of lemon!

Timorous Beastie said...

I knew I guy in Prague who routinely carried around large sums of money to pay people off because his dog would run wild, knocking over their beer, eating their pizza, grabbing children's food out of their hands, and once, killing a goat. It would have been cheaper to enroll in a training class.

BEAST said...

You can always tell how vile peoples children are going to be by how badlybehaved their dogs are. Its not like its difficult to train a dog , however stoopid it is.Sasly if its more intellegent than its owner its a recipe for trouble.

Dave said...

I'm not going to be pedantic and comment on the spelling of some words in this post, as I expect you're using Chaucer spellings.

I do love the idea of 'viscious' dogs though. Sort of 'thick-and-angry'?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Flirty Something said...

buy gloves, attach sandpaper to the palm and rub them on the nose next time they approach you, that should stop their barking!

Hannah said...

And this is why I'm a cat person.

frobisher said...

We have a big problem here with cyclists riding all over the parks/pavements and prominades who cuss and get annoyed if they have to slow down for people or animals.

If you are in the right, carry an airhorn which blasted in a dogs face will stop it in his tracks

ZB said...

The little furball jumped right in front of my front wheel, forcing me to grind to a sudden halt lest I leave tire tracks across his nose.

Run over its nose. I'm a dog rather than a cat person but all the dogs that I've known (and presently know) have been well trained. DMC has five dogs, four pure bred collies (highly intelligent working dogs) and a young alsatian the size of a bear but they are extremely well behaved and well mannered. You wouldn't know that they're in the room with you and they're impeccable when out and about. Like saying that 'he's only being friendly' it isn't enough to say 'it isn't the dog's fault.' If a dog is being a nuisance, do what the owners obviously haven't and let it know its place in the grand scheme of things. Dogs are pack animals and they respond to physical stimulus. Run over its nose and if its owners complain, tell them that as far as you're concerned, their dog was attacking you and you were defending yourself. Ask if they'd like to take it further down the local police office - where they face the risk of the dog being summarily destroyed - and watch them backtrack. Surlily but they will backtrack.

Dogs should be like children, seen and not heard and not bothering you unless you ask them to.

JolietJake said...

Despite popular opinion the dog is dumb animal, an idiot. Growl back at it, or shout, wave your arms in the air to emphasise you're bigger than it.

It'll go away confused and/or wimpering. Then of course the owners will approach you differently, the same approach works there.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

FN: that's the first good idea i've heard. i'll try to rig up some sort of holster so i can mount it on the handlebars of my bike, where it will always be close at hand. fab.

da nator: lemon juice! fab x 2!

TB: that is obnoxious on so many levels. the only thing worse than people who don't feel that the laws of civil society apply to them are the ones that think it's perfectly fine to buy their way out. the man is unfit to live in society. he should be shot. and the dog.

beast: so true!

dave: "thick and angry" pretty much sums it up. Love the new avatar, btw.

anon: delete your comment? my pleasure. asshole.

flirty: that's a nice idea, but frankly i'd rather not have my hands that close to an angry dog's mouth, if it's all the same to you.

hannah: indeed.

frobi: i don't mind slowing down and giving a wide beth to small children and animals, but i do object to being forced to come to a sudden and grinding halt, nearly throwing me from my bike, to avoid seriously injuring an untetherd animal that is not being appropriately controlled by its owners. airhorn. that's another good idea.

zb: i have considered running over dogs in the past, but the problem is two-fold. 1: i could seriously injure the dog, and i don't really want to do that. i actually like dogs, and i see the owners as the problem, not the dogs. and 2: the collision would likely be enough to throw my balance and topple me from my bike, which, if the dog is relatively unharmed, puts me in an even more vulerable position.

that said, perhaps if more dogs got run over by cyclists owners would be more inclined to keep them leashed for their own safety. more likely though there would just be a public outcry against cyclists. the public hates us.

JJ: i'm too afraid to have the presence of mind to respond in that manner. my fear is instictive and all-consuming. i couln't fake being aggressive to scare the dog off. would never work.

Homo Escapeons said...

Add some chilli powder to the water and make them pay for it..Frobi's airhorn idea is also perfecto mundo!

I completely f*cking hate irresponsible dog owners and I think that it should be as difficult to get a dog as it is to get a driver's permit.

Some arsholes make it so easy to love animals more than people. You could always move back to the States so that you could carry Tazers, Pepperspray, and concealed Firearms.

llewtrah said...

Carry a small perfume atomiser of cheap (or fake) scent or even an atomiser of breath freshener to use in self defence. I don't mind friendly sniffy dogs, most just want to be your friend (a happy dribbly Newfoundland with a manic wag can cause bruising and sodden clothing though) but some owners are unaware their dog has a dominant nature is wants to intimidate people.