Saturday, January 16, 2010

Who Let The Dogs Out

(Pre-Script: This post may keep you from super secret handshakes and things if you read it while the song, "Good Intentions," #19 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

There must be a Super Secret Pact that certain psychologists make new dog owners agree to when they get a dog. I am convinced that there must be a briefing that goes on, behind closed doors, whereby new dog owners are plied with instructions that they were not aware of before they got the dog, since these instructions are not in any of the dog books you will find, or any of the websites about dog care and maintenance. The secretly agreed to pact instructs that if you, the Proud Owner Of A Dog, (or POOAD) go to the park with your dog, forget about the leash laws and just let your dog run wild. Particularly near children. Particularly near playgrounds. When the children run to the highest playground equipment or to the arms of their mothers, screaming in fear, or too terrified to utter a sound at the sight of an unfamiliar dog running towards them, say in a loud voice over all that screaming panic,

"He's really friendly and wouldn't hurt a fly."

No one hurts flies, flies are impossible to catch, let alone hurt, particularly by a dog who is not built in such as a way as would allow him to even handle a fly swatter, or the coordination to swing in a timely manner if he could handle it. I think many a dog would hurt many flies, if only they could. But even with the fly swatter, you don't ever hurt the fly. you either flail the fly swatter around and miss over and over, becoming frustrated and red faced as the fly buzzes all around your head, or you hit the fly, and kill it instantly. But no one hurts flies. They are impossible to hurt.
A child is most definitely not a fly. A child has a much larger body, and brain, and a heart, with feelings, not to mention a psyche, and the ability to feel emotions such as fear and panic. So, while it is true that your dog would not hurt a fly, your Very Friendly Dog, (Or, VFD) in all of his friendliness, in all of his child lovingness, has already psychologically hurt the child in question. Maybe not physically, although that is possible, considering that your Free To Roam The Playground Dog (or FTRTPD) has a tail, and a child has a foot, which could accidentally land on top of the tail, which is invading territory (the playground) which was not created for the dog, but was created for the child. And then, what have you? A dog, albeit a Potentially Very Friendly Child Loving Dog, (or PVFCLD) who has now been hurt, and might just maybe react with a nip or a bite to the physical body of the child. Not out of malice or meanness in the heart of the dog; no one is accusing your dog of having a haughty heart, but he is, by nature, a dog, with a dog brain, and limited reasoning skills. A dog, with dog reactions, even if he has a Very Loving Heart, (or VLH) and trust me, if you tell me he does, I believe you.
But let's not kid ourselves any longer. You see, I had a dog, have had dogs. As much as I adored them, they never stopped being dogs. Not even the smartest of my dogs ever once stood up on two feet and had an intelligent conversation with me. Not a one of them ever even once looked at me and said "How do YOU feel about such and such, and what are YOU thinking about, Michelle?" And I never, never got the briefing on the Super Secret Dog Owner Pact (or SSDOP). So I know such a pact does not exist. Some dog owners, -and by "some," I mean way too many -are just rude.
Don't let your unleashed dog run up to my kid on the playground. I, in turn, promise that I will not send my kid to run up to you and scream in your face.* That should work out fine for both of us


*But if my child runs up and screams in your face, anyway? Never mind it-the kid is friendly and would never hurt a fly.

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