So I throw the ball in the water for Piper and she swims furiously after it. A fat (of course) Lab (of course!) who already has a ball of his own (of course) overtakes Piper and steals the ball. Leaves his in the water after trying and failing to have BOTH balls while Piper paddles around in terror at the thought of losing her precious ball.
As he exits the water, I grab his collar. I have done this dance before – if I don’t grab the dog, it runs off waaaay down the beach with my ball, in the general direction of its owner, who is talking on her cell phone or making mascara googly eyes at some studly shirtless wonder – anything but paying attention to her thieving dog. Of course. Even fat labs can outrun me on sand, and it ends up taking forever to get the ball back. So now I just don’t let them go anywhere until I have my ball back.
So, collar in hand, I tell the dog “drop it.”
Nothing happens. OF COURSE.
I send Piper to go get the other dog’s ball while I wrestle with a big fat slobbery Lab mouth to get my ball back. Finally I prise it out of his stupid mouth, take his ball from where Piper has left it at my feet, and then try to convince him to take back his original ball. Of COURSE, he doesn’t want it, he wants the one that does not belong to him and does a little darting dance and barks nonstop in my face.
The owner saunters over from whatever make-up ministrations she has been busy with, or whatever, and says in her haughtiest tone “I’ll take that.” So I smile and hand her the ball. I then turn to walk away so I can restart Piper’s game of fetch.
As I am walking away, the damn fat Lab launches at me from behind and grabs my WHOLE FREAKIN’ HAND , the one which is holding *my* ball. He grabs it HARD, hard enough to puncture the nail bed on my thumb, which immediately begins to bleed.
I, of course, scream “OUCH!” at the top of my lungs. Because, you know, it hurts?
(here comes the really awesome bit. you know I wouldn’t let you down)
Miss Elton John sunglasses looks at me and says “are you kidding me?”
Now, I don’t know about you, but my response to one of my dogs biting someone hard enough to make them bleed and scream out loud would probably be something along the lines of “OMG!! Are you okay? I am so sorry!!” followed by my theoretical biting dog being shoved facefirst into the sand for a remedial lesson in Being Nice. Of course, my dogs would simply NOT EVER BEHAVE like this, but I imagine – as a human being on this planet who feels responsible for her dog’s actions – that I would be apologetic in such a situation. Really apologetic.
Needless to say, I found her response sort of unsatisfactory. I say “No I’m not kidding! Your dog just grabbed four of my fingers really damn hard, and made me bleed.”
Now that she has started down the path of complete idiocy, she is apparently committed to seeing it through to the bitter end because she gets up all in my face and says “Touch my dog and I’ll Fuck You Up.”
I repeat, rather incredulously, “You’ll … fuck me up?? Really?” Did she actually just tell me she was going to fuck me up? REALLY? Who says that?
By now her dog has made a second grab at my ball (DENIED) and has taken off to steal another dog’s rubber frisbee type toy. She starts to swagger after her dog, and screeches over her shoulder “I will FUCK YOU!”
“I don’t swing that way, sweetie, so good luck with that,” was my auto-response. I can’t help it, she was sounding like a total douche. She turns to look at me, and I added “You can try, but you’re going to have to get past Animal Control once I call them to report this dog bite.”
She then opted to leave. Smart move, Chesty. I was starting to get pretty steamed with your attitude. I hope you’re reading this, and I hope you’re completely embarrassed about your ill manners, and overall dumbness. I really do. I am not sure I can go on as a participant in this world if people are so incredibly stupid that they cannot feel remorse for acting like a total dick.
Can people really be THIS stupid? Well of course they can – it just happened. But … really? I am a 36 year old woman and some snotnosed little huffy weiner just told me she was going to “fuck me up” because HER dog bit ME.
People, dogs can be taught some basic rules of thumb (pardon the pun). A good place to start is “Drop it.” I promise you, dogs can learn this. Even Mr. Woo, the World’s Least Trainable Dog, will reliably drop pretty much anything as soon as I tell him to. Why just today he dropped a miscellaneous knuckle bone he found at the park on, on my request (the idiocy of bringing hig value raw food items to the dogpark is a discussion for another day). That was a mighty big prize to let go of, yet it happened. Amazing I know.
Your dog can also learn “leave it” and “take it” and distinguish between the two, which goes a long way toward preventing people getting bitten through their nailbeds and bleeding all over the place. I know this sounds monumental, but Hand To doG, canines all around the world learn this all the time, and go on to lead productive, happy, non biting lives amongst the bipeds.
Now, it will take a little bit of effort on your part. You’ll have to get off your cell phone for a couple of minutes, and it will require interacting with your dog in a meaningful way. The payoff, however, is huge. Your dog will never be reported to Animal Control for biting someone because of your negligence, and people will like him more. And you, dear dog owner, will never have to behave like a total asshat at the dog beach to another human being who is bleeding down her thumb.
Doesn’t that sound just wonderful, when you think it through and weigh the pros and cons?
Thank you for listening to my rant. As a reward, I give you …
Last weekend I got to photograph dogs at a Fun Match, doin’ their agility thang. You can check out the photos on my website. Please enjoy!