Saturday, October 30, 2010

...across the room to defend my love of animals...

I LOVE animals. I like dogs, cats, horses, deer, squirrels, and rabbits to mention a few. Mostly I enjoy animals at a distance although I will pet them, sometimes hold them, and feed them. I respect that they are animals, and not humans and am very aware that I do not know how their minds work. So I give them space to be animals. They are interesting creatures to me and I could watch them for hours and in the case of small animals, play with them for long periods of time. I just simply enjoy them. I love the smell of horses and I also love the different sounds animals make. Two summers ago an enormous brown bear came bounding out of the woods as I was riding my motorbike down the road. I had no time to be afraid because I was so mesmerized by how shiny his fur coat was as the sun shone down on him! Later, when I realized how close we had been to him I thought about the danger aspect of this huge animal. He was absolutely STUNNING! I do not own a pet but have in the past. I soon realized that if I did not train this dog he would run my life, destroy not only my property but other people's as well and terrorize everyone that came to my door. As much as I loved him I did not have the time I needed to train my dog properly or spend the time I needed to spend with him so I gave him to a family who could and would. This is really just an introduction to what I really wanted to talk about but it is a very honest rendition of how I feel about animals.
I have a few friends in my life who enjoy walking as a way of getting some exercise, fresh air, social interaction, and the parks in our city. We enjoy a walk in a different park each day of the week. Our city has created some areas of some of our parks as off-leash areas where people can take their dogs for walks and consequently we often meet up with them on the trails. It is nice to see people enjoying the outdoors with their pets and exercising them. So what is my problem? My problem is that although I love animals like I mentioned earlier, I do not want them jumping on me, slobbering on my clothes, barking or growling at me or any of the friends I am with. As I said before, I don't know what these animals are thinking, what their past history is or what they are capable of. Our city bylaws state that owners of pets are in violation of the bylaws if their dog bites or chases a person, if they bark or howl in such a fashion that it disturbs a person, or causes a person to fear for their physical safety. What I find extremely frustrating is that when a big dog runs at me, jumps on me, barking and growling so that I feel threatened enough to ask the owner to please call off their dog their response is FIRST "maybe you shouldn't be walking in the off leash area if you don't like dogs!" Is there not even ONE owner of a dog smart enough to realize that their pet is capable of terrifying people and that just because someone is afraid does not mean they hate animals? It seems like every person I have met that is not in control of their dog will always blame ME for being in the wrong place and being a dog hater. They will defend their dog in the most ridiculous ways. For instance, this week a dog tall enough to lick my elbow was barking and jumping up on us and the owner told us "he's just a puppy!" So now we're supposed to be OK with all his drool on our clothes and scratches on our hands, not to mention the barking and growling!! Of course we are forever being told not to use the parks as well! I have NEVER experienced an incident like the above with the owner apologizing for their pet's behaviour. NEVER! NOT EVEN ONCE! Isn't that sad? REALLY! I am about ready to start carrying a club! It will not be used on the dog because I believe that the owner is responsible for their animals behaviour and I would use the club on the owner, not the animal! LOL! Thanks for letting me vent! Wonder whose "puppy" I'll have to fight off next week?! Oh, by the way, my jacket is in the washer as I write this!

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