Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Angel (Who Isn't)

The angry dog snarled and barked again, whipping itself into a frenzy. It lunged forward on its leash gnashing its teeth at me. Instinctively I took another step to the side. The owner, to my surprise, wasn’t scolding the dog or making much of an attempt to discipline it in anyway. I wished I could have. I wasn’t afraid of the frothy incisors, just annoyed. The dog in question was a six pound Shi Tsu.

Angel is a dog who lives in my building and she or he, I haven’t investigated, is anything but. Every morning I have the distinct pleasure of running into Angel and her useless owner who always ignores my “good morning,” the height of rudeness in my book. If I didn’t find the woman and her dog so repellant, it would be funny that every morning, the dog snarls like it will explode if she doesn’t let it off the leash to attack us while she ignores me and coos “quiet now, Angel, be a good dog.” It’s my suspicion that Angel doesn’t speak English.

I refer to Angel and dogs of his/her ilk as a little shit. Angel is what my dad would refer to as a punt dog. You know, the kind of dog with no redeeming qualities that you’d like to drop kick. Now calm down. I am huge animal rights advocate and don’t ever condone violence against any creature. But if it could be harmless violence like in the cartoons, Angel would be a good candidate for a Wyle E. Coyote anvil. And Angel is not alone.

Walking last night, two small poodle mixes snarled and snapped at Simon and I as we passed. The owner had to yell above the yaps: “Sorry about the noise.”

“That’s OK,” I replied. “I’m just glad I don’t have to live with it.”

I’ve never been a fan of little dogs. Aside from stand-out exceptions like everyone’s favorite scene-stealer Hero, they just seemed like of useless to me. I mean if you want a pet that size, get a cat. I have one and he’s fabulous.

No, it’s big dogs for me. Simon, my 85-pound beauty and I stroll by the little dogs. Simon would never dream of snarling or snapping like they do. He calmly smiles and wags his tail hoping for a new friend. But even he has learned. When we pass a little dog, he shies behind me. Sure enough the little shit will come at us like a snarling fur tornado - or a very puntable angry mop - while the nonplussed owner apologetically, or sometimes indifferently, yanks the little creature off its feet pulling it away from us and then usually admonishes it to be nice. As if.

Out for a walk last week we were charged by a deranged Yorkie and my boyfriend had a great point: If my Simon behaved the way those little dogs do, I’d be forced to have him put down. People would be terrified and outraged that I had such a poorly behaved and seemingly dangerous creature in public. The more I thought about it, the truer and more unjust it seemed. If a big dog comes snarling and snapping at a person there is a hue and cry to destroy the dangerous animal. The owners are vilified for having such a poorly disciplined dog.

Why then do we excuse or even condone such abominable behavior from small dogs? Why are they allowed to be assholes? Just because they probably can’t rip you to shreds like a Rottweiler could? So what? It’s freaking rude, unacceptable behavior. If a child came up to me in public and screamed at me, I’d say poor parenting. I think it’s no different with dogs. I would never tolerate having such a poorly behaved, walking napoleon complex share my home. Who are these people that do?

There will always be bad parents in the kid world and the dog world. Until there is some kind of magical doggie good citizenship council, it’s up to us, the thinking pet owners, to institute a change. Don’t hang out with small dog people unless they have proven that their small dog is really cool, like my cousin’s Chihuahua/terrier, Tucker, who actually looks like a cartoon. Or our good buddy Bono the pug.

If you must have a small dog, recognize that the snarling fur tornado greeting is unacceptable behavior and train it to behave like a decent citizen. And if you don’t, may a cartoon anvil meet you soon. And your little dog too



Blogger Carlo said...

I think a lot of these tiny dogs are mentally imbalanced due to overbreeding, and therefore much less trainable than other dogs. All the more reason not to have one.

2:47 PM  

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