It’s ingrained in a dog’s DNA. Dogs chase shit: cars, bicycles, squirrels, rabbits, runners. It’s like Joker said in The Dark Knight though: “You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing a car. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it.” That’s basically how my dog is. My dog is like any other dog on this road. I’ve been chased by dogs on this road. My way of dealing with it is to remain calm. By remaining calm and not panicking, the dog stops in its tracks and sniffs me out to realize, “Oh. OK. You’re cool. Now pet me, human.”
I understand that fear, though. Some people have bad experiences with dogs. They’ve been bitten by a dog before. I’ve been punched by humans before, but I don’t assume every human I come across is going to punch the shit out of me. There are cyclists that come down my road, knowing good and damned well that I have a dog. They’ve encountered my dog on multiple occasions and constantly act surprised and terrified every time they encounter my dog.
I had the misfortune of talking to one of these people earlier in the week. I say “misfortune” because I hate talking to people. I especially hate talking to people early in the morning before I’ve had my first cup of coffee and smoke. I spotted the cyclists after my dog did and had to stand up and shout at them, “She’s not going to bite!” I had to shout this because 1. my dog was barking at them and 2. they were barking back at my dog. Yes, that’s the perfect way to keep a dog calm: antagonize them by barking back at them.
“Sir, can I talk to you for a minute?” Fuck!
“You know there are leash laws in this county?”
“I was not aware of that, no.”
“You can’t just let your dog run around like you’re doing. See this here on my leg? It’s a scar from a dog bite. $35,000 settlement.”
I’m assuming you’re just looking for another lawsuit.
“I don’t mean to cause any trouble. I love dogs. You just never know when one is going to lash out and bite.”
“Well, I assure you that she’s not going to bite.”
“All it takes is one time.”
“I’ll make sure I take care of it.”
I got to thinking about the dogs up the street from me that sometimes come running toward me when I go for my walks. I freeze when they come running because if I take off running they may take that as a game of chase. It never crosses my mind to go knock on the owner’s door and say to them, “Your dog came running after me when I was walking, and I’d hate to talk about lawsuits, but…”
If it hadn’t been early in the morning and I wasn’t trying to enjoy my coffee and smoke, I should have suggested the woman take a different path on her bicycle if she was so concerned about my dog biting her. She said she and her friends come down my road at least once a week and always worry about my dog when they pass by my house. Then maybe you and your friends shouldn’t, you know, pass by my fucking house.
If I think I’m going to get attacked by going down a dark alley or down a certain street then I don’t walk down that dark alley or street. I don’t claim to be the most intelligent person on the planet, but when I meet people such as the woman I’m talking about in this blog, I think that I’m easily in the top ten.