I have to admit that I can be one of those obnoxious pet owners. You know the ones who think their dog/cat/hamster is the best thing in the whole world. Well, my dog really is the best dog I have ever met. I am a first time pet owner. I wasn’t allowed to have pets growing up because I was allergic and my mom was a neat freak (still is). For my 30th birthday (three years ago) I figured it was high time for me to have a pet of my own. I adopted Zazu from Animal House, a local shelter. I must say that I was a little apprehensive. It takes a lot of time and patience to own a dog and I was worried I wouldn’t know how to take care of him properly. What if he tore up the house? What if he pooped and peed all over the carpet? What if he barked all the time? What if he got sick and I didn’t know what to do?
It turns out I was needlessly worried. My dog is VERY well behaved. OK, he does have the occasional accident in the house, but only when he is scared of thunder. He does bark on occasion, but not excessively. I mean, he is, after all, a DOG. In my mind, he is practically perfect in every way and I couldn’t be happier. There is one thing though about Zazu that is, not a flaw but something I have to watch. He is not too keen on other dogs. He is not aggressive, he just doesn’t like other dogs all up in his grill.
According to his foster family, he loved being around other dogs until the day he was bit on the ear by a bigger dog. My dog suffers a little bit from PTSD when he is around other dogs. He gets stressed out and tenses up and tends to lash out. I mentioned earlier that he doesn’t really bark, and he wont when we are walking either. In other words, he doesn’t warn off other dogs. Now, as you can see from his picture, he is a little guy. We don’t have a yard so my husband and I take him on long-ish walks four times a day. We just moved to a new neighborhood in July and I have never seen so many dogs off leashes in my 18 years of living in Fort Collins.
Now, granted, I have only had a pet for three of those years, but this is the first time I have witnessed SO MANY people disregarding leash laws. And yes, people, there are leash laws. FOR A REASON!
IN CASE ANYONE IS CONFUSED, I found this on the City of Fort Collins website:
“The leash law applies in all areas. There are no natural areas or city parks where dogs are allowed to be unleashed. The City of Fort Collins Parks Department has dog parks where dogs can be unleashed within an enclosed area.”
Got that? DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED OFF THEIR LEASHES UNLESS THEY ARE AT A DOG PARK!
Almost every time I am out walking my dog, I see a dog off its leash. Now, usually it is the same dog but sometimes it isn’t. Regardless, here is what I hear EVERY TIME; “Oh, don’t worry, my dog is friendly!” Don’t worry? Don’t worry? Here’s the thing, person-who-is-breaking-the law, I am not worried about the temperament of your dog! I am worried about what is about to happen.
Let me explain to you the series of events that will now take place:
- Your dog is going to invade my dog’s personal space because there is nothing to stop your dog from doing otherwise.
- My dog is going to get nervous.
- My dog is going to growl and snap at your dog.
- Your dog’s natural instinct is going to kick in and will snap back at my dog.
- My dog is going to get pissed and defend himself.
- A dog fight will inevitably ensue.
I have a friendly dog too, but not when he feels threatened. Take your dog to the fucking dog park. I don’t take my dog to the dog park for the reasons I just numbered 1-6. I usually have to scoop up my dog and hope that your dog wont jump on me to get to my dog. I am not a tall person and I can’t just hold my dog over my head every time we are approached by a dog off its leash.
So there it is. Plain and simple. TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE DOG PARK! Dog parks exist for a reason. They will (hopefully) be full of dogs who like other dogs. Stop being a selfish asshole and obey the law for fuck sake. I will make it easy for you, DOG PARKS IN FORT COLLINS. Click on that link and you can find out where to take your dog. Careful though, there are rules for dog parks so please be courteous and follow accordingly.
And now, another picture of my sweet little Zazu.
What did you think of Robyn’s advice this week? Don’t forget to tune in on Friday for what Skippy posts!