Thursday, September 4, 2008

The disadvantages of dogs

Normally I enjoy living out in the boonies: the fresh air, the neighbors that aren't 6 inches from our house, the dirt roads.... There are things I don't like though. Like the lack of leash laws, the stupid people who let their dogs run around unleashed and/or unfenced, the same stupid people who own 4 or 5 dogs....

The weather has been cold (40's) and windy the last couple days, totally out of character for the beginning of September. Today was cool (just right for a walk or bike ride) and not windy (finally!), so Little Miss Sunshine and I headed out on a four mile walk (2 out, 2 back). We've gone this route many times, without any problems; I know where the dogs live, and even if they bark, they're fenced, so it's not a problem. Just after I hit the mile and a half point, I heard a car behind me honking. I looked back to see why, and there were three dogs in the middle of the road. I kept walking and after 30 seconds looked back to see where they were. They were trotting down the road, following us, and they were catching up. So I pulled out my cell (first time I've had to use it while exercising) and called my mom to come pick us up. I can handle one dog, but I wasn't going to mess with three dogs at once- there's no telling what they will do. Before my mom reached us, the dogs had turned into a driveway at a house that has a couple of fenced in dogs. Good thing, too, since they would have caught up with us before mom reached us. Prayer works, let me tell you. Mom brought us home and we headed out in a different direction, because I really needed to get the mileage in.

So now I am in the process of researching local laws concerning pellet guns. As long as it's legal, I will be buying a pellet gun and carrying it with me. I carry pepper spray, but you have to be aware of the direction of the wind so you don't end up with it in your face, so I'm hesitant to actually use it (especially with how windy it can be here). If I'd been on my bike this whole thing wouldn't have been so bad: the bike trailer is much more enclosed and safer for LMS, and I can go a lot faster. On foot, with her in an open jogging stroller: not very protected at all.

Ever since I was a kid and the Great Dane that lived on the other side of the vacant lot next to us would come out and chase us anytime we walked, ran, or biked past, I've been suspicious of dogs. Not to say all are bad, I met a very sweet Great Dane when I worked at the vet clinic, but it made enough of an impression to scar me for life. You just don't know what they're going to do. I know people say 'oh, he's so sweet/gentle/good with kids/wouldn't hurt a flea', but what if that dog feels threatened, real or imagined? That sweet, gentle dog could do something not so sweet and gentle. And then there's the whole 'a dog should run free, it's cruel to leash or fence them in' thought process. Yeah right. It's downright negligent and irresponsible to not leash and/or fence (securely) a dog, and it could be criminal, as well, if the dog were to attack people or livestock. But for some reason, people feel that once they move out to the country, it's their right to let their dog roam free. I'd like to see how quickly they change their minds when a pack of dogs comes after them.

Ok, I feel better. Rant over for now.

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