Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Rant and an RIP

#1. The Rant

About 3 years ago or so, my dog Briggs was badly bitten by this evil dog in my neighborhood named Banner. Banner is a border collie X cattle dog, and a river runs through it - a big river of NASTY!

Now, Briggsie was no saint. He had some bad attitude on him too in his day, but Briggs never said a mean word to Banner. One day, while we were at the park, and Briggs was greeting our friend Fred, NastyBanner ran up behind Briggs unannounced, and bit him HARD in the abdomen - no preamble, no provocation ... Briggs never ever saw him coming. He bit my boy so badly, we ended up taking a trip to the Emergency Vet to have the would cleaned and debrided - it was too big to sew up.

This is what Banner did to Briggs (warning, graphic photo below):

In case you're wondering, that's muscle you see inside that wound. It was so deep I could have lost Mr. Woo in there.

So despite several witnesses, Banner's owner staunchly denied that her dog did anything. Adamantly refused to admit culpability, never mind kick in for the five big bills the ER trip cost me. I was steamed, readers. STEAMED.

Over the past few years, Banner's owner has continued to live the life of a stupid ostrich, failing to admit that her dog is AGGRESSIVE. Banner has continued to try to attack my dogs on various occasions, which is where my Chuck-It has come in handy more than once. Another friend of mine has had to throw a bicycle at Banner to prevent on attack on his dog, and until he moved out of the neighborhood, took to carrying a baseball bat on walks.

Do you have THAT owner in your hood? The one who is a complete moron? If not, let me know, as I will happily send you ours :(

Anyway, the other morning I was at the park with my dogs playing ball, and guess who we see? Now, Banner and his Moron are quite a distance away ... across half a field, a two lane road, a boulevard, a parking lot and another part of a field. But not far enough apparently, because Banner sees us and goes APESHIT. He starts barking his fool head off, and runs across the field, across the parking lot, across the boulevard, ACROSS THE ROAD and comes racing up the field after my dogs. All of whom run like their asses are on fire, because they are terrified of this monsterdog. Fortunately, they all run straight to me, and I'm weilding the Chuck It. Having experienced my Chuck It in the past, Banner puts on the brakes.

And what's moron doing? "Banner! Banner! Banner! Don't you dare touch my dog! Banner! Banner!" etc. Ineffectual dope.

Can anyone explain to me WHY this woman does not leash her damn dog? Not only is he meaner than a sack full of weasels, he's also a Hit By Car victim waiting to happen. I mean, maybe she really doesn't give a shit if he tears my dogs to shreds, but doesn't she give a poop about her own dog?? ARGH!!

Ahhhh. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

#2: The RIP

Today we lost a member of our extended family. Toilet Kitty's long time lady love, Missus Peel, lost her short battle with cancer at the tender age of 13 years. Missus Peel was my cat for many years, from the time she was a kitten, but took a real shine to my ex partner Jason when we moved in together, so when he and I parted ways, Missus Peel opted to live with him.

Because Jason and I remain fast friends, I have had the pleasure of Missus Peel's company fairly regularly for the last few years, visiting her often. And today Jason and I took Missus Peel to the vet and said our goodbyes, and held her while she passed.

There's lots to miss about The Peelinator. The way she fetched balls of paper, pretending to be totally disinterested in the doggish game of ball, dropping it casually on your foot as she strolled past, and the hiding around the corner of the couch until you threw it again. The way she always stood on your chest while you were watching a movie and blocking your view. The melodious sound of her Balinese meooooowwwws. The strategically urped up piles of kitty vomit she left where someone was sure to tread. How she rolled around on the back of the sofa and fell off.

Missus Peel was a great cat, and her passing marks the end of an era in The Trio Of Great Pets I Have Known. Right now Missus Peel is sitting in a heavenly kitchen cupboard smacking Toilet Kitty with her paw while he tries to cuddle up to her, and Briggs is staring intently at them both.

RIP Missus Peel. And Jason, thanks for loving her for so many years.


Brianna said...

That neighbor lives right behind me. Ugh! I know! So stupid and annoying! I hate them too!

And that picture is really really awesome. That cat has the cutest little snout. :)

dp said...

Aw. RIP Missus Peel. That is sad news.

Speedoggie said...

I know this neighbor and this dog! I swear, I see them often here in the states. Usually at a park where there's an agility trial. Near the practice jump or approaching the entry/exit gate to the ring. Hadnt thought of a chuck-it... Brilliant use of a common household item!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss. After losing "The Trio Of Great Pets" in a such short period of time I wish a long period of stability with your remaining crew.
Oz girls.

Raising Addie said...

I can't stand annoying dog owners that have no concept of good neighborhood etiquette. Yes, we have one of those in the neighborhood that lets his boxer wonder unleashed to attack anyone it wants. All of the owners must be the same because he did the same thing making a failed attempt to obtain his dog while it is attacking mine... those jerks.

sniff, sniff... sorry about kitty. She's in a better place now and feeling great!


saratogajean said...

Feel the wrath of the Chuck It, Banner!

So sorry to hear about Missus Peel. At least you know she's in good company.

Anonymous said...

I carry my cell phone on walks with my dogs or while at the dog park. Anyone I see with a dog off leash (it's usually in their owners hand) I tell them to get it on or I'm calling to report them as it's against the law and I am right on board with you...don't they care about keeping their own dog safe? Ignorant people who are in the shallow end of the gene pool should not have pets:)

Anonymous said...

The nasty dog either lives, or visits often, in my neighborhood, in the only house for miles that's known to commonly have problems with the law. My dog's and my only run-in was blood-free but there was lots of kicking on my part. Now I've read up on the exhaustive Portland, OR Animal Control mediation steps. I carry the chuck-it, the "Halt! spray and the pepper spray. So far, haven't had to use them, or call the cops. It pisses me off so much because I have a border collie with social fear issues regarding strange people and dogs and I do a lot every day (training, use of leash, etc.) to try and mitigate the problems.

Elizabeth Psyck said...

I really hate people who don't follow leash laws. My dad had a cat killed by the neighborhood bully dog when he was a kid (actually, that was one of the things that caused a leash law to be passed in our town back in the 60s). That woman needs to be reported to whatever dog warden or animal control agency is in the area - for both her and her dog's safety...

Fenway said...

You have Banner, and my cross to bear is Hobbs the 80# untrained lab, complete with GrinningIdiotOwner. The GID keeps maintaining that Hobbs "only wants to play" and "doesn't like other dogs to get the ball". That's even when the ball belongs to MY dog and we're 100 yards+ away from Team Idiot.

In addition, we have Polka the Attack Cat. She parks herself in the middle of the street and dares any 4 legged creature who comes into her ken. She's been known to launch and attach herself via claws to more than a few dogs.

Fortunately, my dog is a border collie and thus brilliant at evasive tactics. And I've found the strength to literally collar Hobbs and pick him up and hold him back while IdiotOwner fumbled with her seldom used leash.

The Border Collies said...

So just to clarify - I personally don't have a problem with not following leash laws, provided you have a well trained, sociable dog whom you have voice control over. I frequently walk my dogs off leash (not Woo though, for reasons above!) and the park where we play is actually an on leash park (there is no off leash area within walking distance of us). If Banner were not EVIL I would have no problem with him being off leash. Even if he were evil but his Moron could verbally control him and keep him from attacking my dogs I would have no problem with it. It's the blatant disregard for other people's dogs AND her own dog's safety that drives me round the bend.

The reason I did not call animal control when Banner bit Briggs was because I did not want to bring our little illicit off leash areas under AC's radar. There are maybe 50 or so of us who use the two areas in small numbers at various times and have for the 10 years I've lived here. It's just the complete denial that her dog is aggressive that baffles me to no end. And makes me angry too!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about kitty.

You bring up an excellent point... it's control of the dog that's crucial, not the leash specifically.

We too have idiot owners... specifically of three smaller dogs across the street. These dogs have been socialized to run up to people and animals barking and growling for attention. One of the dogs bites... the other two haven't yet. I should perhaps be willing let the one that bites do it to me, and force AC and private legal action. But... I have enough to do... I don't need more. I will feel like an idiot when the dogs bite one of the small neighbor kids and does real damage.

These dogs are idiots off leash and the once a year they're on leash. On their flex line leashes... they're still allowed to bolt after people barking and growling - "but they're on leash....". grrr. The dogs have no recall... because the idiots punish their dogs when they come back because they didn't come back fast enough. Seriously... how these people haven't removed themselves from the gene pool through some other idiocy is beyond me.

Owners who walk here with dogs off leash here, where the dogs stick to their owners sides, stop on command, and are generally polite... happy to have them around. Wish more people had that good a control of their dogs.

Buzz's Food Lady said...

RIP Missus Peel

I agree with you Q, only nice doggies get to be off leash.

Jean said...

Aww, so sorry to hear about Missus Peel. Reading your description of her was bittersweet - smiling at her antics yet feeling sorrow that the Big C took her far too soon.

As for idiot dog owners, they seem to be everywhere. There's one who takes her dog-aggressive very large dog onleash to an offleash park I frequented - she can't even control him on-leash and goes into full panic, screaming mode when anybody's off leash dog dares to take a step or two in her direction. And then blames the other people when they suggest perhaps this isn't a good place to walk her dog (apparently dogs in off leash parks are supposed to stay within a few inches of their human's side at all times, according to her).

riosmom said...

Maybe you should use your chuck-it on Banner's moronic owner.

So sorry about Missus Peel.

Mutt Gal said...

RIP Kitty Peel. Sorry for your loss. : (

In my area, I'm happy to report most big dogs are either: 1- On-leash, 2- Off-leash and under voice-control, or 3- Walking under the veil of night time. On the contrary, it's the little ankle-biters that cause problems in my neighborhood. "But he's LITTLE. He won't hurt you!" Sigh. I wish all owners would do their dogs justice by keeping them safe and under control.

Black Jack's Carol said...

First, so sorry about Missus Peel. I loved the story about her discreet ball playing and falling off the couch in the midst of a good roll. Also a "feel-good" story that you stayed in her and Jason's life and supported them through Missus Peel's passing. You're made of the right stuff, food lady.

As for idiot humans, there should be some way of testing before they are allowed to interact with animals and/or children. The sad thing is attacks like the one on your dear Briggs cause far more than physical damage - it can take years (if ever) to undo the emotional trauma. It makes me sad that people don't get that. Not to say that I've been perfect, myself. I admit to having learned a lot with each dog I've been fortunate enough to know. My first dog after childhood, Kim, was a real scrapper. I made a lot of mistakes with her, although I did manage to keep both her and those around her, safe. That unfortunately meant dog parks were not an option, and she spent all of her outdoor time leashed. I was determined to, and did, do much better with my next dog, Scott, although his nature made that a much easier job. There's a good book called "Fight" by Jean Donaldson that I recommend for anyone dealing with a dangerous dog. Your blog is also recommended reading, Food Lady. Thanks!

Sarah said...

RIP Missus Peel. What a pretty face!

I agree that trained, under control dogs are not a problem off leash, and that not every on leash dog is under control. I'm reminded of the time when I was walking on wide fire road with very good dog Bella off leash, and not always good dog Sunny on leash. A jogger with a border collie on a flexi lead came screaming down the trail (actually, it was the dog who was screaming, and barking and lunging), with the dog 20' feet in front of her, running back and forth across the trail, treatening to bite anything he encountered. Bella ran off and hid in the ivy, while Sunny and I jumped off the trail into patch of poison oak to avoid crazy dog. When I asked the lady to shorten her leash as she passed us, she shouted, "Your dog's off leash! He's doing this because your dog's off leash!"

Um, yeah... I can see how Bella avoiding that dog would have really antagonized it. I'm sure poor crazy dog just wanted to play. [/sarcasm]

Booker the Treeing Walker said...

Oh I could rant on for hours in response to your idiot neighbor. My pet peeve is "zippy leashes" used to "control" large dogs (any dog, actually ...) Can you say, "HUH?" I have told more than one dog owner to buy a PROPER LEASH AND GET CONTROL ... and then there is the owner of two Italian greyhounds who broke free and lunged on Booker, dangling their zippy leashes ... I yelled at the owner -- EVER SEE A COONHOUND SHAKE A RACCOON TO DEATH? --

Then there is the woman with the 4-pack of matching pitbulls who was determined to use the dogpark as her backyard and Booker as lunchmeat.

I spend most of my day avoiding the idiots ... not the dogs ... THE OWNERS!

Sorry about the death of your dear kitty. What a lovely photo to have forever.

happypitbull said...

I'm so with you. My neighborhood is Irresponsible Owner City.

My pit bull was once attacked by a loose Chihuahua while she and I were on a walk. Neither of us knew what to do. The Chi was so small I could barely track it with my eyes, much less try to physically intervene as it darted crazily around. My dog did her best to avoid the little thing, but it would not give up.

There was no owner in sight, but the front door of a house was open. I finally screamed "call your dog in!" and some guy casually strolled out. Then his eyes got wide as he saw my "big scary pit bull" (who was looking at me pathetically for help)--he called his dog (the Chi ran straight inside, he had great voice command) and fairly slammed the front door behind him. Such a nice, concerned neighbor.

I don't walk my dog in the neighborhood anymore. I got tired of feeling paranoid, like we could be attacked at any minute by some other dog (a feeling that was occasionally justified). Walks are supposed to be relaxing and energizing, not stressful and traumatic.

Tristan - I'm a Heavenly King said...

Awww.. I can visualize it. Missus Peel with Toilet Kitty playing their little paw game while Briggs boy watches over. How sweet. And best is, they will all be pain-free! :)

As for irresponsible dog owners, there is just far too much. Lots suffer from some illusionary-my-dog-is-normally-not-like-that syndrome. Even after it bit another dog! And the dog happened to be yours! Duh! My friend's 7month old corgi was bitten by a husky in the dog park. She was just minding her biz and the husky came over and attempted to chomp! It can't feel worst! And all the owner just went "He is normally NOT like that"... Like duh! He just did it! MAybe the normally needs some review.

Oh well, I reckon we could go on and on. There will be such persons, as sad as a fact that is. Best we can do is try to watch our dogs and make sure we are there for them with our baseball bats if it ever comes to that.

team small dog said...

I will tell you about Buddy. Maybe you don't want to hear about Buddy but I'll tell you anyways.

Buddy's existence makes me carefully time my use of our illegal off leash beach. Which is already carefully timed due to State Parks Rangers who carry assault weapons in their vehicles, although I have to say, have never used them on me.

Buddy's blissfully unaware owner casually walks nowhere near the recall-less Buddy, who is not huge, but in comparison to my pack of 4 less than 18lb dogs, is plenty big enough.

Buddy has now taken to charging far down the beach, where my group does the whole tennis ball thing at the farthest away spot from Buddy. Buddy's aggressive tactics are building, including now going after the tuffest of my group, and trying to separate her from the rest of the group. There have been no bloody punctures as of yet, although I am pretty damn quick to get in there kicking and have yanked his 30lb or so body off by the scruff to Buddy's lady's giant chagrin a couple times now. My quickness is the only reason these have not been bloody bites. Buddy is not playing around here.

She just calmly says, So Sorry, and looks at me blankly when I either use Nice Dog Trainer Voice, or super pissed off Badd Ass Lady Voice, depending on who I am at that moment.

Her look is always baffled and quizzical, no matter what I say. And a little bit like, You are sort of crazy to think my dog is being a meanie pants. Her clue phone, so not picked up.

Cavewoman said...

I'm sorry to hear about Missus Peel. I keep hearing about pet deaths lately, and its making me very sad.

As for stupid pet owners, I've already got one, thanks, so please don't send yours. There's a guy way at the end of my street who has an extremely dog aggressive white GSD. For a long time the dog was always outside, of leash, no collar/harness, and the owner would not be paying attention to the dog. And it was fast. I never had time to react because in the time it took for me to see the dog and recognize it, it was on top of us, even if we were three houses away. I had several run ins, and the last time my dog lost several mouthfuls of hair, but fortunately no skin. The guy had no control of the dog, but he never tied it up. The other night I was driving (driving!) up the street, with my dog in the car (we're safely inside a car) and I saw that dog racing around the yard off leash. My heart rate jumped so much just at the sight of that dog off leash. It might be a perfectly people-friendly dog, but it does not belong off leash.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about Missus Peel and you are totally right to be angry about such idiot dog owners out there....they give a bad name to the rest!!

Hey, wasnt it about a year ago at this time that the Brady Bunch came into your life?? How are they all doing now?

AKDD said...

I'm sorry to hear about Missus Peel. Fair winds to you, old girl.

Owners like that of the ubernoxious Banner are infuriating morons, and I never have any sympathy for them. They are self-absorbed and immature and create problems for EVERYONE else, including their dogs (who everyone ultimately hates as a consequence of their complete lack of manners.)How dare she yell "Don't touch my dog"????? What are you supposed to do, smile sweetly at it while it bites your dogs?

Gah. Some people. I'd be on the horn to animal control every other day. Do you ahve a camera with video capability? A picture is worth a thousand words.....


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about Missus Peel.

Please don't send your moronic dog owner out my way, (and I am really not that far from you, compared to some other posters), we have one in our neighbourhood already.

This large dog hung out at the house next door to where it actually lived, and threatened us most times we went by. I should really whack MYSELF with the chuck-it for not doing something about it. Anyway, a couple of years ago it actually attacked one of my dogs. She ended up with her back end paralyzed. Many hundreds of dollars, weeks and therapies of various kinds later, she is walking in her own style, has no bowel control, about 50% bladder control, and cannot make her back legs do what she would like them to do. When the a$$hole of an owner was contacted, he would take no responsibility, and no matter what I said, he tried to twist it and make it my fault. Animal control was contacted, and because both dogs were 'unlawfully at large' (mine was heeling next to me, off leash, and his ran across the road and attacked), they could/would? do nothing more than insist his dog be contained on his own property. I heard the dog was attached to a line in his backyard, and hadn't seen it since. Got a real adrenalin rush on Monday, when we were walking in the same area, and the dog was back at the neighbours. It stalked towards us once, with us standing between it and our dogs and yelling at it. Fortunately one of the kids was coming home from school, and after much chasing around she managed to grab the dog, and we passed by safely. She at least, had the decency to apologize to us, unlike her moronic father.


Carol said...

Good-bye, Lady Peel.

Holley Pack said...

We have those kinds of owners too, the kind that think leash laws don't apply to them. I feel your frustration.

Cookie & Gray Dawntreader said...

Oh, that's so terrible. If she just tried to get a good professional trainer her dog could most probably be rehabbed, but...ugh, stupid owners never admit when they have a problem.
Sorry for the recent loss as well..