Dog Rant

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    great idea

    cheese– your story reminds me of the great alligator chase!

    you’ve got to wonder why people tie their dogs up to mobile items.



    Before we gave up on the ball fields behind the community center, we would always bring a big rubber yellow buzz lightyear ball, which will sting as much as any taser.

    To Infinity…. and BEYOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Well that sucks Cheese – so sorry! I’ve been trying to work up the nerve (extremely shy in person) to say something to a new up-the-block neighbor who has a weird habit of letting 2 very large boxers off leash to go racing up the block to their house. An end of walk reward, I presume. Not being much of a dog person myself, it freaks me out every time I’m nearby, because those dogs are flying! And did I mention, BIG!

    Yesterday, it happened again when another neighbor’s dog walker was offloading her charges from her vehicle – much growling/barking etc. I’m secretly hopeful that little negative encounter will stop the process but will eventually work up the nerve to say something…maybe…well, ok – that’s what husbands are for, right? ;o) (yes I am a wimp sometimes, thanks for asking ;)



    GI: Yeah – like that!

    CH: It really didn’t suck, but thanks for the commiseration. I guess it coulda sucked if my back did get injured and/or my face mauled. Which what I think owners of loose dogs don’t get – all sorts of really unexpected things can happen.

    Say it was a loose dog (well it was half-loose/half leashed – but definitely not under control) and I had really hurt my back badly – there might be a very hefty payout that dog owner is liable for. They think only of the dog bites which “their dog doesn’t bite” doesn’t do. But like VB’s lunging dog while he is on his bike, he could have crashed/been run over etc. It’s not only bites!

    Also CH: As far as your success in talking with the boxer owners, I wouldn’t get my hopes up – as you can tell from some of the posts above, your chances aren’t too good, unless you have extraordinary powers of persuasion!



    Being a retired avid cyclist (is there such a thing) I used my water bottle for my combat experiences with 100% positive results. Well, I didn’t stick around for the rude cement truck driver to comment on how effective it was but it always stopped a dog. Besides, if you’re going to run someone off the road you should be sure there are no stop lights in the vicinity and your windows are rolled up.
    I think it has a lot to do with the hissing or splattering noise and the fact that it spooks the dog. No harm, no foul.
    Anyone else have the same effect? Pepper spray seems pretty aggressive but I understand from the stories written above.



    OUCH, Cheese. Am glad you’re ok.

    On a bike water bottles did work well along with a well placed cleat if it came down to it. I’m a *much* slower runner, esp this year.

    Re all the solutions, I guess my main concern/desire is for the owners to take responsibility. Granted I do need to use what I have if it comes down to it but I’d prefer it to never get to that point. So if they see me carrying something and they put a leash on their dog or do what they need to do, my problem is solved. I’m done trying to try to change how they think, it’s frustrating and they don’t care. As long as their dog doesn’t approach me, I guess that’s as good as it gets. It’s unfortunate but it fits right in with all the other behaviors out there, people seem to think of themselves but not others.

    p.s. Cheese, I only wish the 10 min mile was a jog for me right now. Kudos to you!!! I can do faster intervals but I took most of last year off due to injury and right now it’s kinda sloggy.



    I guess I’ll start carrying pepper spray with me when I walk my dog because if anyone under any circumstances sprays my dog, the favor will be returned.

    Be safe Ballard!



    Teigyr: “It’s unfortunate but it fits right in with all the other behaviors out there, people seem to think of themselves but not others.” Yup, all rights, no responsibilities.

    Marigold: I don’t carry pepper spray yet, but if I did carry spray to deflect a dog attack and you sprayed me, I would think pepper spray in my face and no bite is better than an infected dog bite and a visit to the emergency room and no pepper spray in my face – so do what you think you have to do. As Teigyr’s quote exemplifies, my right to my safety requires your responsibility to have a controlled dog. Your “right” to an unleashed dog unfortunately is regulated. My right to safety is not.

    And I don’t think the law (or a jury, or your insurance company) would quite be on your side.


    great idea

    I am not condoning off-leash dogs where it’s not allowed, but I do worry that some people confuse a dog’s body language and ‘stand their ground’ w/ pepper spray, etc. when the dog was just coming up to them in a curious manner.

    particularly those that have been bit before and are more inclined to be defensive in these situations (understandably so).

    still, I don’t think most dogs are out to attack anyone.



    Going to step in as a heavy here.

    If your dog attacks me, A) I’ll kick the dog’s ass, B) kick your ass, and C) will start with pepper spray on both of you. I have every right to defend myself, and will do so.

    I’ve walked past a unleashed Rottweiler that started to charge me, as the family just watched, and I said “Hey!” in just the right tone-he stopped, and I didn’t have to sue anybody or defend myself, as just a firm, strong version of “NO!” worked quite well.

    Clearly, some dogs have rules, and some don’t. Your dog w/no rules attacks me, and I will make you both regret it.

    End of rant.



    And sometimes if someone is in an area that has a leash law, an uncontrolled dog running up doesn’t give that person the benefit of the doubt to think “wow, friendly dog bounding up for fun – or is it a dog that will bite?” I used to not think about it. And now since probably my body language has changed, dogs react differently. Would I prefer to not panic? Yeah I would. Do I want to relive what happened? No. Animal control came to the house for pictures, there was a doctors visit and shots, and I had to keep on top with the investigation.

    So for the people who assert that it is their right to have their dog off leash. Is the threat of an injury either to a person or to the dog worth it? And if the dog nips, and dogs can do that, is the life of the dog worth it? If I spray a dog, and hopefully I never will, I have every confidence that the legal system will side with me especially since I wasn’t the one breaking the law.

    FWIW, I never know what to do. oftentimes I stop running so the dog has nothing to chase. Once an owner yelled at me and said I made it worse to stop. If it were up to me, this problem wouldn’t exist. I do know though that since I’ve carried the pepper spray, I am happy to not debate the oblivious and defensive owners.


    So much hate.



    I don’t see any hate. I see compassion mixed with a desire for personal safety.



    I don’t think there is hate here, just concern. Most of the folks posting have animals and care about animal welfare.
    If there is any “hate” it is probably directed towards the people with the dogs! There are so many silly people out there who think the rules don’t apply to them!
    Like the guy I saw yesterday outside his house with a very excitable lab running around with no leash and no collar! while he was loading stuff in his vehicle not really paying attention to the dog.



    “I don’t see any hate. I see compassion mixed with a desire for personal safety.”

    …and safety for the dogs!

    Calling someone out on bad behavior is not hate.


    My mistake. So much love.
    “The owner deserves to be pepper-sprayed. Grrrr.” “… inconsiderate morons. I can’t believe how clueless and shitty people can be. Argh.” “If your dog attacks me, A) I’ll kick the dog’s ass, B) kick your ass, and C) will start with pepper spray on both of you.”

    I agree there are irresponsible owners with potentially dangerous dogs. Nothing pisses me off more than this.

    I also understand it’s not healthy to kowtow to peoples’ irrational fears. Too much government legislation based on this, in my opinion.

    Solution! I would urge everyone to join and help us create more safe play areas for the “other” children in Seattle (which outnumber human children). They need and deserve a safe, clean, large environment to run around and play in. Golden Gardens is okay, but it is not a good place for dog frisbee or ball chasing because it gets pretty crowded sometimes. And the hills and dusty/rocky ground is injurious. They need a nice big grassy area.

    I joined Cola so we could possibly have dog-hours at public parks that meet these requirements. With a healthy financial penalty to those who don’t pick up after their dogs.

    That’s my rant. Woof!



    Why people are so afraid of nature is beyond me. Growl back.



    The whole reason I carry pepper spray is not for quadruped animals, but personal protection from those in my own species. I’m a relatively slightly built woman, and I’ve been mugged once (more than ten years ago, but the memory won’t leave me). Sad that it’s come to me needing to carry it. Discharging the pepper spray is not a decision I take lightly. More and more I find my hand inside my coat pocket, at the ready to pull it out. Sad to say that I don’t feel safe walking around, leaving my businesses after 6 PM. I can’t always walk with others. I felt terrible about spraying the dog, but in the whole calculus of what could have happened should the attacking dog have bit me or my dog, I rationalize my response as on the lower end of the potential damages scale.



    I think it isn’t fear of nature. I hike, I know what species tend to be where I’m going. If I was in an off-leash park, then I’d expect it. If I am in an area with posted “leash your dog” signs and where owners get cited if dogs aren’t leashed (not enough, granted) then I think it’s fair to say I shouldn’t have to worry about it. If it was a grassy park, where I have seen off-leash dogs despite the leash law, I wouldn’t really be running through there. Where I am is a paved multi-use trail, the Interurban.

    I’ve never carried the spray for people, Shelley that must be so scary. I actually, probably foolishly so, think I could muddle through mostly defending myself. I learned first-hand though I have NO idea what to do if a dog has its teeth sunk into me. Probably fighting makes it worse? Seems like it would tear skin worse. I figure I will ensure I won’t have to experience it again. Hopefully :) My best and really only hope knowing that I can’t change the owners mind about leashes (special snowflakes that they are) is that it is incentive to keep their dog close to them. If a dog continues to advance and does not come to the owner when the owner calls, that is concern. If I had to spray, I would, as I said before but I’d feel bad. Not as bad as being bitten though.

    Wasn’t the original post due to someone outside near their (on a sidewalk maybe) with an off-leash dog. That isn’t running in the grass, that is just someone who thinks the rules don’t pertain.



    Yes, I was walking down the sidewalk at the far end of my block.

    Here’s the thing. It was dark. I was walking at my usual brisk clip. I probably startled a dog that is normally more laid bag. By the time I realized it wasn’t leashed, it was too late. Which is why

    (wait for it)

    the d*mn thing should have been leashed.

    Well, that and the law. And common courtesy, too.



    ” I probably startled a dog that is normally more laid back. By the time I realized it wasn’t leashed, it was late”

    Exactly. Even non-biting dogs can nip or react in certain situations. It IS common courtesy and the law but beyond that (as a plea to the owners) is your dogs life worth your right to be lazy? Because if the dog bites and there are three reports, your dog can be euthanized. When I reported my situation, the owners said I “just wanted to get their dog killed”. To my knowledge, that did not happen and I think it might’ve been the first report but now strike one is on file. I don’t think the dog was quarantined but I didn’t follow up on that. Have never seen the dog since.

    I was thinking of the reaction to “I’d like to spray the owner”. Heck YEAH. It really isn’t the dogs fault they are in that situation, it goes 100% back on the owner. I’d rather see the owner get hurt than the dog! But in all reality, it is the dog that will get hurt.

    And lastly, the more you know, when I had an open bite report, I was advised to call the police if I saw the dog off-leash again. I’m not sure if this was the exception but that is what animal control wanted me to do. So back to the owners, is this worth the scrutiny?

    I should know better than to try to rationalize but I really hope at least one person realizes the effect their actions can have on not only people out and about but the “non-biting” family pet.


    great idea

    Shelley- I can understand the desire to carry pepper spray as a woman in many urban situations that one might encounter.

    however I find it odd that you would use that device on a dog when you are with your own dog, who I believe is not small from previous posts.

    this is the exact situation that I don’t care for.
    sure the owner is neglect in letting their dog run about at Carkeek park which does not allow as much.

    but to spray that dog when it was (maybe charging, maybe coming up to greet your dog) seems like an extreme over-reaction. I don’t know why or where the owners were when this all occurred, but were you really in enough danger to merit such a response?


    Little Lou Lou

    Marigold, I applaud you and join you.

    Land on Two Feet, the root of hate is fear, and it angers me that so many dog owners do not understand dog body language, so they make all these fear-based assumptions that border on irrational hysteria. They actually display odd or aggressive body language but blame the dog.



    Great Idea,

    If you reread my post, the dog was NOT greeting us. We had already had an encounter. I had turned around and was leaving because the dog would not let us by in our intended direction.

    I carry pepper spray as well. I did spray a dog once. Owner no where in sight. It was some kind of medium size boxer who wouldn’t let us by on the trail in Carkeek, and when we turned to go back, he charged from behind. If I knew where his owner was, it would have felt better to spray him/her even though highly illegal. The blast was very effective, but it was really hard to hear all the yelping even though it was in self-defense.

    What I didn’t say was that the dog lunged, snarled with teeth bared and snapped at both my dog and I during that encounter before I attempted to turn around. So do I let my now elderly (9 yr old 75 pound) dog get torn up by an aggressive, foul-tempered, off-leash, untrained dog? Do I let the attacking dog bite me?


    but to spray that dog when it was (maybe charging, maybe coming up to greet your dog) seems like an extreme over-reaction. I don’t know why or where the owners were when this all occurred, but were you really in enough danger to merit such a response?

    I feared for both my dog’s safety and my own. I am 65 years old. I felt absolutely terrible about spraying the dog. I sprayed defensively as I have been trained to do (evaluate the threat first, try to leave the scene, re-evaluate, let it rip). I am NOT an expert in dog behavior. In all of my experience with dogs (7 yrs on a farm with dozens of different border collies), plus now 4 years with my dog, I had not seen a dog act so menacingly. Granted, I don’t know the boxer breed, but this one was fast and agile. If I had a reactive dog, the situation would have been extremely dangerous. If the owner(s) were around, they sure didn’t respond to my screams and they didn’t hear their dog snarling and charging us before we attempted to turn around. They also did not show up at any time up until the police and animal control arrived and took custody of the dog. I don’t think it my responsibility to be up on behavior of different breeds of dog to legally walk my dog on a leash in Carkeek Park. I used the tool in my jacket pocket. I don’t know what I would have done without it.



    Of course, the fact that people may overreact to one’s dog is just another arqument for keeping the dang thing leashed.

    If a dog may be charging me, I react accordingly. If the owners want me to take into account that it may not be charging me, they can tie it up so I have the time and distance needed to make a nuanced assessment.

    I don’t want to see a dog sprayed any more than the next person, but I have a hard time feeling sympathetic to owners that put people in a place where they have to make that call.

    The dogs? Yeah, I feel sorry for them if they get sprayed because of their owner’s bad behavior. I think I’m already on record for that, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it.

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