Monday, December 19, 2011

When Will They Ever Learn?

Yesterday, about 5:40 a.m, while I was walking Bingley and Magic, I chatted with another early rising neighbor. She has a VERY small Pomeranian, which, thankfully, was sleeping soundly inside her house. The ruckus that Bingley and Magic would have made over a Little Bundle of Fluff would have woken the entire neighborhood.

But I digress. Our chat drifted toward the subject of dogs and our loss of Portia. I mentioned that the attacks on all five of our dogs had occurred a short distance from their owner's houses. The dogs had been permitted to run loose from the car to the front door, or given a "brief" elimination break on their neighbor's lawns, or had "accompanied" their humans who were setting out trash cans for collection day.

My neighbor's eyes got large. She said, "Oh! I let Punkin come out with me when I roll out the trash cans."

I murmured that she was taking a great risk. She then remembered that Lucky, a minimally socialized mixed breed, lives directly across the street from her.

I rest my case.

But there was more to come.

Later in the morning I stopped at the light before turning right onto a four lane street that gives access to the freeway. Two women crossed the street with two Shih Tzus trotting along in close proximity. Actually, one woman was walking ahead of the dogs and one behind. Neither seemed to be paying close attention to what the dogs were doing. I looked closely to detect my bete noir the Awful Retractable Leash. But neither dog was leashed at all! Just two little Bundles of Fluff trotting merrily along a 4 lane street that is a favorite walking route for many neighborhood dogs of all shapes and sizes. I know of two Mastiffs and one Akita who are frequently walked there.

I wondered just what the little dogs--they're in the Toy group, for crying out loud--might meet on their totally unprotected walk. I didn't have to drive far to answer my question. Less than a block ahead of this nonchalant band of dogs and humans, another dog was being walked--Thank Heaven, on leash. A large Rottweiler.

Perhaps that particular Rottie can tolerate tiny creatures rushing up to it, yapping "hello", dodging back and forth in front of its face without feeling the urge to lunge and capture the little nuisances. Perhaps the two women, who were paying little attention to their canine companions, would see the Rottie, recognize potential disaster, scoop up the little darlings and turn for home.

Perhaps something frightening but not fatal would instruct those two women in the importance of walking their little dogs on leash.

Perhaps some tiny creature did not survive the inevitable encounter.

Call me a coward, but I was relieved that, whatever happened, I wouldn't be a witness. Traffic was moving rapidly. I didn't have time to change lanes, make a U-turn and warn the women with the Shih Tzus before they would have caught up with the Rottie.

And if I had, what do you think the odds are that they would have smiled at me and said, "Don't worry, our dogs love everyone.

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