Archive for August 10th, 2010

Bad start

This morning I took Gracie out for a walk around the block in this absolutely nasty weather.  I am not usually on the morning walk shift, but Aaron is out of town this week so I’m all dog duty, all the time.  It’s really not a big deal, of course.  Anyway, so as Gracie and I were rounding third, I noticed a dog and its owner were jogging towards us and going in the same direction we were headed.  The dog + owner were still about a half a block away so Grace and I walked a few steps and I checked again.  Obviously, we were not going to be able to make it home before they passed us, so I choked up on the retractable leash, had Gracie stand on the terrace part of the grass — smelling every blade — and waited.  I kept my eye on Grace.  Maybe that was my mistake.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the woman and her dog running and they were just out of arm’s reach.  I think they startled Gracie, so she growled and lunged and the other dog growled and snapped and we (the owners) pulled the dogs away from each other and the woman + dog continued on with their jog.  The whole thing lasted maybe three seconds, though that seems exaggerated.  As the woman + dog are jogging away, the woman continues to glare back at us and I hear her say to her, apparently very intelligent, dog, “Are you ok?”  Then after another couple of steps into their jog, she stops and examines the mouth-area of her dog, apparently looking for the savage bite Gracie inflicted.  I think I said aloud, “Come on!” 

Here’s the thing: I know I am not the best dog owner in the world.  And I know my dog had a life on the streets that I know nothing about.  And I know she can be unpredictible around other dogs.  Usually she’s a-ok, but every once in awhile — and after six and a half years I still can offer no prediction as to when it will happen — she meets a dog who looks at her wrong or something, and she snaps.  I take her to the dog park all the time and it’s never happened.  But sometimes when we’re out for a walk, she snaps at another passing dog.  Maybe even one that’s across the street.  Sometimes, though, she completely ignores another dog that is barking relentlessly at her.  I have no idea what she’s thinking or intuiting or feeling or whatever it is.  Maybe she gets some signal or maybe she’s just in a bad mood or maybe it’s some weird thing about the leash…The point is that I don’t know.  What I do know, though, is that it can happen.  And for that reason, when the woman + dog came running towards us, I did what I could to mitigate the situation.  The woman, however, did not.  She did not slow her run while she approached an unknown dog from behind.  She did not run further into the lawn to give the dogs space.  She did nothing that, in my opinion, she should have done.  And having done nothing, she then blamed me.  Look lady, you ran up on an unprepared, unknown Gracie.  What did you think would happen?  Ugh.

And don’t get me started on the woman on the bus this morning who had a screaming toddler in a stroller.  The screaming toddler was one thing, but the woman ignoring the tot to text for five minutes was quite another.  And then what happened?  I’ll tell you what happened.  Finally — she must have been through with texting — she turned her attention to her toddler (mind you, she had another kid sitting quietly next to her, looking the picture of good behavior) and decided maybe he would stop crying if she took his sandals off.  Now I know I’m not a parent, but this didn’t seem to me like it would quiet the unhappy boy.  I was right.  Screaming continued.  And then a bizarre thing happened.  A man in the back of the bus, presumably annoyed with the noise, decided that he would start mimicking the kid.  So the kid would cry and then the man would scream out in imitation.  It was really a lovely ride into work.

And then, as soon as I get into work and set down the pasta salad I brought for today’s work baby shower I am bombared with a ten-minute tirade about how my office neighbor’s computer doesn’t work properly and all of the permutations the IT folks are trying to get it up to snuff.

All in all, a great start for a Tuesday. 


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