Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Off-Leash Dogs Drive Me Nuts

I like taking the dogs for a walk through our neighborhood. It's still too hot to do our winter routine of 4-5 miles, but the past two months of rain has cooled it off enough for a mile walk in the late evening...until the mosquitoes come back, that is. You'd think the biggest risks in walking through a rural neighborhood would be oncoming traffic (careless drivers) and watching out for bikers/pedestrians. If only! The biggest threat in my neighborhood is a slew of off-leash dogs.
Hey, off-leash dog owner, get your dog!!

In case this is the first post of mine you've read (shame on you, catch up!), I have two dogs - Axle and Remi. Axle is very protective of me, and he's leash reactive to other dogs. There's the occasional dog that he takes to (usually Lab-a-likes), but most of them are a threat in his eyes. He'll bow up, snarl and strain at the leash. For some reason, the loose dogs in my neighborhood treat this display as an open invitation to play. 

What part of "I'm going to bite the sh*t out of you!" sounds like "Let's play!"?????

Are they stupid???

I'd like for your dog not to have a booboo, so please, keep them in your own yard.

Apparently so. If I'm lucky (or unlucky), they're followed by a frazzled owner, haplessly crying out for their sweet nookums munchkins to return to the safety of their own yard. Sometimes, they also display confusion and/or anger that I am practically screaming at their dog to "GO HOME," "GO AWAY," or "LEAVE IT." By golly, people, I'm trying to save your dog's cute face. Of course, if Axle ever did take a chunk out of one of those imps, he'd be the one on trial. 

Our human always tries to be responsible!

How is that fair? My dogs are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and on a leash. When they are outside, they were in a fence. I get that not everyone can afford a fence, but there's other options. You can keep your dog indoors and take them outside on a leash. You could set up a trolley/cable run if you had to, although I'm not very fond of tie-outs. You could also kennel them when you can't supervise them. Either way, letting a dog run loose through your yard and the neighborhood is hazardous - to your dog and to others.

This rant brought to you by the Pomeranian that nearly got ran over, the brindle mixed breed that bit Remi's leg and nearly got himself bitten, and the big black dog with her miniature cohort that scared Remi so bad I had to carry (yes, CARRY) her home while I kept a tight grip on Axle. 

Have you had any run-ins with off-leash dogs? Discuss!