Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Dear Inconsiderate dog owner

I was enjoying my walk to town through the countryside.

The sheep didn't bother me, neither did the cattle. I managed to cross the railway line without getting squashed (it's ok, it's a tourist steam train, doesn't run today!)

When I reached the graveyard I looked around for a bench to enjoy the peace and my book...but that's when I met your dog. He rushed towards me, all hair and teeth and barking loudly.

I don't like strange dogs.

I shouted out to you, the unseen owner: "please call your dog!"

But the dog kept charging towards me. I started to walk away, abandoning all hope of sitting down.

The dog (of course!) chased me, still barking and jumping around. I kept to the footpath. The dog didn't. He jumped on graves, unaware of the floral tributes left by loved ones.

Eventually you came into sight, so I directed my shout in your direction: "Get your dog away from me!"

Some readers might be expecting me to write about your apology at this point, about how you ran to put your dog on the lead.

But no. Instead, you shouted: "Don't be silly, he won't hurt you."

"How am I supposed to know that?" I responded (but not that calmly, there were *shock* rude words used).

Cos the thing is, dog owners ALWAYS say "he won't hurt you"...and they don't. Right up till the first time. And then the same dog owners say "I can't believe it, he's never bitten anyone before."

That's what the owner of the other dog said, the one that DID bite me.

And if next week the local paper carries a story complaining about teenage vandals despoiling floral tributes in the graveyard, you and I will know the true story, won't we?


Mary Elliott said...

I'm so tired of irresponsible dog owners!! Hope you are feeling better now after that horrible and frightening experience.

Heather Leavers said...

Thank you :-) I was expecting lots of cross dog owners to tell me it was my fault. That's what my mother said, when I was bitten before (the bite was many years ago now, I didn't make that clear in my post I now realise)

Apparently, according to my mother, dogs don't like "rustly coats" such as the one I was wearing that day. Not today, though!

Claire Davenport said...

Ugh! I can sympathise. I love dogs, but a while ago I took my cat to the vet and had to point out to the owner of a MAHOOSIVE hound that it didn't matter whether her dog was cat-friendly or not, my cat is anti-dog and terrified. I suspect, had Hector taken a (costly) chunk out of the nose pressed up against the bars of his basket, she might have been more receptive to my point of view. Happily the vet intervened and told her off.

And no, it's not at all your fault Nifty!

SimJaTa said...

I'm a dog owner as you all know. I walk 5 each day, they are ALWAYS kept away from people, as I am well aware not everyone wants to share them.

You are quite right, if you see they same person again you might want to quote the dangerous dogs act at them, as a dog only needs to be 'percieved' as a threat by someone to be on the list.

Which is another reason why us responsible dog folk take more care. Sorry to hear this irresponsible owner spoiled your peace.

Heather Leavers said...

I didn't know about the "perceived" clause, thank you. That's what these people just don't "get", that just because THEY know their dog is a big old softy, how do I know? all I see is teeth and barking! (well, maybe I heard the barking...)

thanks for the virtual support everyone :-)

Daisie said...

A big hugs for you!
The wrong sort of coat, you know what they say; they fuck you up your parents. If you had been my daughter I'd have been a bit more cross and NOT with your coat!!

Helen Smith said...

Grrr... and how is a toddler supposed to know that a dog bigger than him 'only wants to play' - it has taken my youngest 9 years to regain his confidence around dogs... I totally sympathise!

Jillys Stuff said...

Now, that is certainly irresponsible. I have one of the kindest and most loveable beagles in the world. He would never hurt anyone, but, strangers don't know that. I don't let him off his leash as he is a hound and tends to take off, oblivious to my calls for him to return.
This incident just angers me all the more.

Heather Leavers said...

Thanks everyone - and as Jilly said, it's all very well the owner knowing the dog is harmless - but there is no way on earth for a stranger to know.