Please understand that I don’t hate dogs, though I’m not fond of them. Neither do I hate dog owners. What angers me is inconsiderate dog owners. I blame them, not their dogs, for the nuisance they cause to their neighbours.
Some of those people assume that since they live in a small town or hamlet, they can let their dogs run unsupervised. What they don’t understand is that hamlets and villages have bylaws against loose canines and for very good reasons. Dogs defecate and urinate on people’s lawns and in their flower beds. I’ve had the misfortune many times of not seeing a dog dropping on my lawn as I mowed and stepping right in it.
Loose dogs also form packs. They soon become belligerent toward other animals and even children. Additionally, feckless owners don’t make the effort to have their pets spayed or neutered. The end result is unwanted mongrel puppies. These often end up in animal shelters and many end up being euthanized. Inconsiderate owners seem not to care that they’ve caused so much trouble for other people and brought unwanted puppies into the world.
Another frustration is that many blind people have had run-ins with stray dogs as they walked with their guides. Unlike a pampered house pet, service dogs are working animals. It costs thousands of dollars to train them to guide their blind handlers to their destinations. Several personal friends have recounted how they were walking with their guide when somebody’s dog ran toward them, barking ferociously. This is very distressing for both the person and the guide. Worse yet, nobody enjoys complaining to the officials about dog attacks because of the fear of revenge by its owner. Bylaw officers end up confronting the errant dog owner who invariably claims their little pooch wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Though I have a little vision, having somebody’s dog barking at me and nipping at my heals is extremely distressing. I’ve called the bylaw officer but by the time he’s arrived, the dog has moved on to annoy others in the neighbourhood. Thanks to modern technology, I can now photograph the miscreant mutt and e-mail its picture to the county office. This has resulted in quite a few visits to inconsiderate dog owners and a few confiscations.
Not as important but still aggravating, As I walk to get my mail, I often set off people’s dogs. Like car alarms which folks become annoyed by, barking dogs ruin the pleasantness of my outdoor excursions. I’m glad people tie their animals up now but the chorus of barks as I mind my own business spoils any beauty I might have enjoyed in the day. Worse yet, some owners leave their dogs out to bark for hours. This was one reason why I moved out of my first house.
Rabbits are much less of a problem when properly cared for. If I hadn’t told anybody about my Deborah, they’d never know I even had her in my home. I wrote about my love of bunnies in When a Man Loves a Rabbit. It and my second memoir are featured on the Bruce Atchison’s books page.
My latest book is called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Check out this wonderful testimony of God’s providential care at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers.