Pet Peeve #1
I know that usually my posts are witty and brilliant and charming and hilarious (this said with a dusting of sarcasm), but today I am going to write about one of my pet peeves. Mostly because it was reinforced yesterday and it’s still churning around in my mind.
Yesterday morning I was out with the boys. We were inspecting the garden, playing ball, and enjoying a sunny, dew covered day, while the scent of drying laundry made everything smell like clean fruit. I meandered over the the front to check on my pansies and I saw a black blur on my front lawn. Upon closer inspection I realized it was a small border collie. I coaxed the boys into the house, because they aren’t fond of other dogs encroaching on their territory, and went out to take a look at the pup. I had seen her before wandering around the neighborhood and she seemed friendly enough. I knelt down and held out my hand, cooing to her softly (like a moron). She came over and sat down. I let her sniff me and noticed a pungent smell coming from her body. That was when I realized that she was covered in dog crap. All over her head. Great. I checked the yard where she lives and no one was home. I called my neighbor, who has retrieved the dog before. She came over and led the dog into its own yard and shut the gate.
I stood there talking to my neighbor for a few minutes and learned that the owners work all day and leave the dog in the yard. She couldn’t find any water out there when she put the dog back, and that she had no way to contact them. Just as she went into her house to fill a bucket of water for the poor thing, it jumped the fence and walked over to us again. So, we put her back in, with water, and tried to figure out what to do. Eventually, my neighbor opted for calling bylaw, which is a good decision in my books.
But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not angry about it. I’m not one of those people who hates dogs. I am not one of those people that will call animal control if your dog barks a few times late at night. I’m not one of those people that will have a heart attack if you don’t have the money to pay your license fee right away. As long as you are taking care of your dog to the best of your ability, I’m ok with you. This dog owner down the street leaves her dog in the back yard all day unsupervised. With no water. Knowing full well that the dog can jump the fence without a second thought and roam the streets all day long. The dog owner (unless she thinks that we are in some fairy tale) knows that there is potential for the dog to be hit by a vehicle, to eat something nasty, to get into a fight with another dog (we have plenty where we live), or to get picked up by someone and taken in to the pound. Now, why on earth would they continue to leave it out? If it jumps the fence, fix the bloody fence. Give it water. If you are going to leave it in the yard, clean up the piles of crap so that the dog can play without getting covered in its own feces.
I don’t care if you can spoil your dog financially or not. I don’t care if you have ever been late on your vaccines. I do not care if you walk your dog for an hour or for five minutes. As long as you love your pup, and they are healthy, happy, and comfortable, I don’t care what you do. But don’t act like an irresponsible moron. In all of my relationships, whether animal or human, I stick to a rule: 50/50. This means that if I couldn’t hold my pee for five hours, you shouldn’t have to either. If I wouldn’t like a yard full of my own crap, you wouldn’t either. If I don’t like to eat the exact same thing every day, why should you? It’s simple.
I hope that that bloody neighbor either shapes up or is made to. Dogs look to you to take care of them. If you can’t do it properly, don’t get a dog. If you have a dog and can’t do it, learn how. They aren’t accessories.