Monday, December 20, 2010

Every Day Is An Adventure, And What We Should Learn From It!

I've already griped about my walk home from the freeway on my commute. Well today, I had a lot going on: long day at work, planning for the holidays, taking tomorrow off to go with a friend to BassPro, etc.
About halfway home, there is a house that has a three foot fence, where, maybe two days a week, there are two large dogs that snap and bark, and growl and generally make me feel like they need a larger fence. I personally frown on that sort of thing, since I think animals kept in the center of incorporated areas should be well mannered and/or kept under control.

Today, as I took a cross street to the street where I am staying, I saw a large dog on the corner, barking crazily at traffic. Yes, it was one of the two dogs from the house with the too small fence. It didn't see me. I might have been able to walk past without it seeing me, or maybe it was all bark and no bite. I decided I was not going to take that chance, and quietly walked back to the main street so that I could go down another intersection and get back around the long way.

When I hit the main intersection, I had a conscience attack. Normally I just mind my own business, but what if it bit a kid or something? So I called animal control, and let them know where the dog was. They said they had already had a bunch of calls about that dog, that it had been chasing pedestrians and bikers, and generally making itself a darn nuisance. So, in retrospect, I definitely made the right choices here.

I got home a little later than normal, and a little more tired for having walked the extra distance, but otherwise unharmed.

Now, boys and girls, what have we learned?
  1. Be Alert: I saw the dog before it saw me. This has saved my bacon in a lot of instances. I try and stay in what is sometimes called 'Code Yellow' which means no specific threats are visible, but ready nonetheless. Just because someone isn't pointing a gun at you Right Now does not mean a dump truck you didn't see won't still kill you.
  2. Better Part Of Valor: If you can avoid trouble, it is usually a good idea. I  don't feel like a chicken or a wuss for getting the hell out of dodge when it's the smart thing to do. You shouldn't either.
  3. Animals Are Not Better Than You: You can sneak up on a dog. You can sneak away from a dog. Same goes for deer, and cats, and wild jackalopes. I hate when people ascribe supernatural sense talents to animals. If animals were so good at detecting humans, we would never eat meat or wear skins. I detected this dog a heck of a long time before he saw, or smelt, or heard me. You can do it too.
  4. Dogs Are Not People: They are animals. They do not have good judgment or manners. If they act like jerks behind a fence, when they get outside of it, they will be jerks. This dog was acting like he did inside the fence. The fence was inadequate. If I could tell just from seeing these dogs once or twice, why couldn't their owner? Because they were her fluffy, lovey, wonder puppies who would never harm a fly. Get real people.
Sorry for the tangent folks, but I do not like my (or other people's) personal safety threatened over something so STUPID.


Loquacious said...

I am still confounded by the commute you make on a regular basis. Will that change anytime soon? Do you take changes of clothes with you in case of inclement weather?

Also, good on you on all fronts. I'm a conscientious dog owner and nothing burns me more than people that don't know how to train or correct their animals. If the dog is too energetic, defiant or whatever for you- learn to overcome it or rehome the dog.

CounterFett said...

True Story.

Actually, the commute is not that big of a deal. It's only two miles, and if there is ever a guy my age who needs more exercise, it is me. My hobbies (reading, blogging, video games, and tabletop wargames) are seriously inactive.

When we get the house, the commute will be getting even longer, though I will be transitioning to a bike. There is a good place to lock it up where I get picked up.

I live in Northern California, where the weather can be covered by a decent jacket and a sweater vest. I have gloves and scarf with too, just because I like being warm.