The off-leash dog ran down the hill like she was on fire.
Her person yelled her name impotently. She might as well have not been there for the attention the dog paid to her.
The object of the pup’s attention was a man walking his dog at the bottom of a long hill.
Running as fast as she could, the dog’s person only caught up after the two dogs met face to face.
It could have been awful.
Luckily, the person was walking with a calm and tolerant pit bull who forgave the adolescent dog for her rude manners. And the person himself was generous as well.
Who was this dumb ass dog owner who let her young and poorly trained dog off leash and then forgot to watch what was going on around her?
That dumb ass dog owner, my friends, was me.
Willfully Ignorant Or Just Stupid
I could recount several stories in which I was that dumb ass dog owner. There’s the time we let our sniffy hound Shadow off leash in a ball field. While I was fighting with my husband about whether it was a smart idea or not, she slipped through the fence.
Or how about when I badly managed the separation anxiety of my first dogs, Agatha and Christie, who howled every day when I left? No wonder my neighbors started smoking crack hearing that through their party-wall every weekday morning.
And it’s still painful to remember the time my dog attacked.
I could go on. But I do have to get to work eventually.
And if I spend too much time contemplating my stupidity in managing my dogs over the years, I won’t ever be able to leave my house again.
I like to think I wasn’t willfully ignorant. Just stupid.
Unfortunately, I was stupid for a very long time.
It certainly might have looked like willful ignorance to anyone who was watching.
So what should we do when facing dumb ass dog owners? And is the proper response different depending on whether said dumb ass is stupid or willfully ignorant?
Dealing With Dumb Ass Dog Owners
So how do you deal with dumb-assery? Someone else’s I mean, not your own.
Let me toss out a few suggestions.
Have A Quiet Talk Without Dogs
Yeah, when someone else’s dog has run out into the street to attack yours, you’re not in a good place to educate a dumb ass.
Calm yourself down and visit the dumb ass in a quiet moment to talk about the problem. It might not help. But unless the dumb ass is also a psychopath, it won’t hurt.
Apply Social Pressure
If you think someone is a dumb ass dog owner, others probably do too.
Can you come together to apply social pressure?
Social pressure is a powerful force that few can withstand. It’s responsible for behaviors as disparate as old women scrubbing their marbles steps in Baltimore as it is for convincing entire populations to promote ethnic cleansing.
So be careful. And always use your power for good.
Bring In The Authorities
I have an antiauthoritarian streak. Calling the cops is rarely my first suggestion, until gunfire starts.
But sometimes you need to call in the animal cops.
I was really hesitant. I didn’t want a heavy-handed animal control officer to put the dog into an even worse place. But the woman I spoke to at animal control was committed to doing only what was necessary to keep the problem dog and other dogs in the neighborhood safe. For me, it was a positive decision. Maybe it would help other people dealing with dumb-assery as well.
Change Your Route
Of course you shouldn’t have to change your actions for someone else’s ignorance. But if a dumb ass dog owner is putting you or your dog at risk, you do what you have to do.
And your dog won’t mind a bit if you add a mile onto your walk to avoid dumb ass alley.
Mary of Tales From the Back Road and Jodi from Heart Like A Dog are providing a community service with this blog hop. Sometimes what you really need is a chance to let it out of your system, vent your frustrations.
Especially if you’ve tried my other suggestions and they just don’t work.
If you’re a blogger, get it out of your system. Post your tale of dumb-assery.
And if you don’t blog, post your story in the comments. It will make you feel better. And if it doesn’t, you can always just play with your dog until you do.