I haven’t received any hate mail yet about being a dog hater. I got a big ol’ 115 pound Four-Legged myself, and as I am parodying some odd people I’ve met while walking my dog through the frankly wonderful local park, I thought somebody might decide I hate dogs. I don’t. But that’s not to say that the occasional owner doesn’t need dog training lessons.
I’m also not saying that I’m the epitome of good dog owner. I’ve got my dog trained the way I like him, but that doesn’t mean a lot to people who see me out walking him, if they don’t like dogs, don’t trust dogs, or find it offensive that I often have my dog off the leash.
That being said, I’ve never taken my dog into any retail establishment except a pet store we have here locally. I got compliments on his behavior, and one lady thought it was pretty cool that I stood there while Roscoe (my dog’s name is Roscoe) looked over a bunch of bins holding pig ears and cow bones and other gory whatnot. I told Roscoe. “Pick one.” He looked at me, looked back at the bins, and chose a hunk of cow femur that’d been marinated in something brownish. “Okay. Come on.” He carried it to the counter where we paid for it and a bunch of other junk I’d gotten for him.
I’ve heard the old chestnut about there being “no bad dogs, just bad owners”, and some of the worst dog owners I’ve met are the ones that cuddle and coddle their dogs and would be astounded to think that anyone could consider them bag dog owners. Not ever teaching your dog anything? Bad owner. Your dog would probably really enjoy knowing what you’re saying to him or her. “Sit.” “Lie Down.” “Speak.” “No.” “Come here.” “Good Dog!” Those are your half of the conversation, and the dog seems genuinely happy to know what’s going on. Their reply is usually to carry out what you’ve asked of them, and occasionally to reply “Not until I’ve gone back for the stick I left back on the trail” but if you and your dog learn each other’s give-and-take, it’s pretty cool. Not nearly as upsetting as this one old guy I’ve met, whose dog is named ‘Kay-kay’. He shouts and hollers at ol’ Kay-kay, and she ignores him because, as near as I can tell, he’s never taken the time to teach her what any of his words mean. She runs up and down along the fence at the dog park barking at people on the other side of the fence. That’s the only game she knows, apparently. And she probably thinks her owner is darned impressed, otherwise why would he cheer her name at the top of his lungs the whole time she plays it?