Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A little rant, A little common courtesy, A little more rant.

Okay – I will be the first to admit, I’ve been a little intense lately.  That said; it’s a controlled intensity.  I was able to keep myself from laying on the horn and screaming at the lady driving in a way that made Ms. Daisy look like Mario Andretti through the cancer center on my way to pick Hunter up from work.   I have enough presence of mind to realize, it’s a cancer center.  The only people who get to cause scenes here are the ones with cancer.  Get a hold of yourself… and a hold of myself was gotten!  See!  Controlled intensity! Beautiful!

HOWEVER!   HOW-ev..errrr…. When it came to the guy “walking his dog”.  Okay, screw it; you can’t call what he was doing “walking his dog”.   I need to rephrase: When it came to the guy “passive aggressively trying to communicate reverse psychology via telepathy to his mongrel of a canine in an effort to maintain a pathetic delusion of evolved human-being/companion animal dominance and FAILING TO THE DETRIMENT OF … WELL … AT A MINIMUM, ME”…. Yes, when it comes to THAT GUY…. I kind of lost my patience.

Allow me to expound.  (Like you have a choice at this juncture).  I mentioned Monday that we (I) have a renewed commitment to making our yard a pleasant space that will, one day, hopefully, be somewhat child friendly.   (I think the term frequently being whispered behind my back when referring to this latest crusade is actually ‘nesting’.) We (I) have decided that step one in this process is to transition the primary function of our yard being an unsanitary sewage pit for our two golden retrievers, Dharma and Bodhi.  No more stench of ammonia wafting up in the hot dry summer sun as we sit on our patio table and no more monthly expeditions in hazmat suits to remove all of the piles of poo.  Two 60-80 lb dogs produce a lot of poo.  It’s gross.  God love ‘em.  Also, something we learned the hard way, when there is no humidity and no rain, dog poo doesn’t just break down and “fertilize” like it does down south.  No, it petrifies instead.  If it’s winter, it freezes and then petrifies.  SO my solution to this is 3-4 short walks of a block or 2 or 3 or more (depending on how much time we have and how shy Bodhi is about going on a tandem leash with Dharma at his side - I’m finding he’s pretty shy).  Operation no-poo (I’ll come up with a better name when I’m not so pissed off) started today.  I’m finding I’m digging this new endeavor because it also forces me to take a break, stretch my legs, and get a breath of fresh air.  I’m down with it. 

To set the scene, I have to tell you we live in what is often referred to as a “mixed use” neighborhood and a “walkable community.”  It’s a neighborhood with an urban feel to it.  While it is primarily historic/residential homes a lot of these old buildings have been turned into  art galleries, coffee shops, café’s, bakeries, laundromats, grocery stores, ski shops, you name it, interspersed with the houses on every block.  It’s laid out in a way that really encourages social living, getting out and walking, lots of sidewalks and bike lanes, etc. etc.  It’s also INCREDIBLY dog friendly.  Dogs are almost required to live here.  It’s nothing for me to see a little old lady with her yippy, white, fluff ball strolling down the aisle in the produce section of the neighborhood grocery store or chilling in her purse in a near-by restaurant.  
For the most part, I find dog owners are pretty conscientious.  Most dog owners are in the same boat we are, the lots are very small in this part of town and in order to keep your yard from being flagged by the CDC, you have to walk your dogs often.  We all make sure we bag the business and toss accordingly.  We have understood off leash areas – for example; the cemetery one block up.  Not technically off leash, but if you are conscientious about your dog’s behavior, personality and when you go, its all good.   Also,…. Drum roll please… theres THE DOG PARK in the middle of the neighborhood – even though it’s not fenced in… which is kind of strange for a dog park in the middle of an urban neighborhood…. FINALLY if your dog really needs to get some energy out of its system there is a dog friendly hiking trail at the edge of the neighborhood that goes for about 5 miles through the woods AND INCLUDES A CREEK FOR ADDITIONAL DOG DELIGHT!!!! What more could you ask for?  So the rules are, bag your business and keep your dog on a leash unless you are in one of the understood leash optional areas.

Now, I am willing to grant exception to this decree.  For example, our neighbor’s dog, Beau is really and truly the reincarnated soul of some heavenly saint sent down to provide dignified, well mannered, love and companionship to his family.  Beau is perfect.  Beau does not require a leash.  I will be the FIRST to tell you  with absolute certainty… my dogs are nothing like Beau.  Dharma is a somewhat unpredictable, neurotic, psychologically faulty, spaz.  She has three modes: Hide, eat, run.  She doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body and is beta to a fault, but she’s stubborn and when she’s walking, she really just wants to run, hide, or both.    Therefore, I don’t let her off of the leash.   Bodhi, on the other hand is a huge, bumbling, blond, exhibition of love.  Really.  He’s three dimensional love.  He loves everything and everybody and has so much love that he can’t control himself.  When he encounters something new he just showers it with and explosion love and kisses and… well urine.   Shockingly, some folks find this trait annoying.  Therefore, I don’t let him off of the leash.  At the end of the day, both of my dogs are pretty well behaved, well trained, and listen fairly well.  However, you never know when you’re going to encounter another aggressive dog or someone running a stop sign, or whatever.  Because I love my dogs, I don’t let them off of the leash.

(Below is Bodhi.  He's experiencing explosive euphoria because his all time favorite person in the world, our neighbor, Ron, is telling him good morning through the fence.  This state of extreme, full bodied bliss is pretty much perpetual)
(Above is Dharma.  She's hiding from the voices.  We've been able to determine that the voices only stop when she's fed, therefore, if she's not hiding, she's stalking the kitchen.)

So I’m waddling down the sidewalk, minding my own business, trying desperately to talk Bodhi into getting over his bathroom shyness when I see dude walking down the street in front of me about 15 feet behind his little black Scotty/Yorkie/thingy, which is not on a leash.  It was a super cute little dog, lots of energy, I’m guessing a puppy.  I wave to the guy and slow down to give him time to call his dog back and leash her up.  He does nothing.  Nothing.  I stop.  Little dog runs over to us and starts bouncing and trying to play.  Dharma wants no part of this and starts trying to hide and Bodhi can’t contain himself and starts trying to wrestle with the dog.  I’m now in the middle of a pack of 3 dogs going in three different directions all in various stages of insanity and I’m 7 months pregnant.   Needless to say, I held that leash for about 30 seconds before I was over powered by the chaos of 150 pounds worth of dog and let them all go.  Now, keep in mind it’s also about 5:30 in the afternoon.   We’re at an intersection.  This is just uncool.  So I look at the guy, who is now strolling towards me (strolling) causally calling his dog “Cricket.”, and I say “SERIOUSLY!?!?!?  Man, this is uncool”. 

AREN’T YOU PROUD OF ME!?!?!  I DIDN’T USE A SINGLE CUSS WORD!  THAT IS A SERIOUSLY LOW KEY EXPRESSION OF FRUSTRATION!!!!!!!!  So the guy… says… NOTHING.  Not. A.  Word.   Not, ‘OH MY GOD I’M SORRY!’  Not, ‘Are you okay?!?’  Not, ‘my dog is out of control and I’m a pathetic human being with no respect for my fellow man’.  Not, ‘lady why don’t you just roll your pregnant butt out of here’.  Nothing.  He just ignores me, keeps casually strolling towards me passively stating his dog’s name, “Cricket.”.   I’ve got news for you; Cricket had left the reservation by this point.  Cricket was flying so high she didn’t hear anything but a thousand euphoric trumpets blasting ‘freedom’ in her little puppy dog ears.

I decide to take a different approach.  Maybe the guy is embarrassed at his obvious impotence when it comes to his dog.  I say “ha ha… I’ve been there… she’s actually a really cute dog.”  Still nothing.  I’ve given up that the guy is ever going to get control of his dog and mine are sensing that I’m really not happy and are starting to calm down and dial back into what’s going on with me.  I gather up their leash, they calm down, we start walking.  Effing Cricket starts following.  She follows us to the end of the block, she bolts across the intersection, she’s yard hopping, she’s out of this stratosphere!  The guy starts strolling in her general direction causally calling her name like it’s just no big deal, he’s yet to acknowledge me or our obviously unpleasant predicament, he’s just strolling and I can’t stand it anymore.  I just can’t. So I turn around and say, “I hate to state the obvious here, but you obviously have zero control over your dog and therefore have absolutely no business walking her off leash.  Not only is it dangerous for her to be playing in 5:00 traffic, but its unbelievable rude and inconsiderate and I really really don’t appreciate being put in this situation while I’m walking my dogs minding my own damn business”.  You guessed it.  He said nothing.  I stormed off in a huff, put Dharma and Bodhi back in the house, and came out on the front porch with my hands on my hips to glare at him with my most humiliating glare while he spent the next 15 minutes following his insane little monster around my block.   He finally turned around and left her, which she finally realized and followed in his general direction.  Nothing like some passive aggressive reverse psychology to really show your little dog who’s boss.  Way to handle the situation.

I just don’t understand people sometimes.  In my world, and I like this little world, you go out of your way to be kind and conscientious.  You cross the street to help someone struggling; you don’t look the other way.  You are accountable for your actions and claim responsibility if you have caused discomfort to another person.  This could be as simple as accidentally bumping someone with your grocery cart or almost causing a pregnant woman to land flat on her face amidst a pile of insane dogs.  Anyway, you get the point, no need for me to get all high and mighty.  Just remember, you have nothing lost by making an extra effort to interact with your fellow man.  Worst case scenario is they ignore you and you’re no worse off than you would have been if you had ignored them.  I think it’s easy to get out of the habit if physical interaction and common courtesy when it’s so much easier to text, tweet, email, or chat.  I love all of these functions, but let’s face it, they are a little soulless and I always say, there is nothing in this world like hearing the sound of your sweet voice.   

On that happy note, I must get ready to go to birthing class.  And I'd also like to end by saying... Screw you, Cricket's Owner!  And your little dog too!!!  HA!


kvlm said...

haha...perfect ending!