Friday, 19 August 2011

A pleasant walk - spoiled (sometimes)

I guess many of you have had pleasant walks interrupted by unwanted attentions from dogs not on leads. It does wind me and the LOTH up like nothing else.

But this week we've had some nice walks and seen some fun things like this patch of thistles whose flowers had all turned to fluffy stuff that had covered the ground.

Then in Brook Hollows Spinney we got a good view of our friendly neighbourhood heron - who we have nicknamed Harry. He was having a paddle.

Other weeks it's not so peaceful though....which was why the LOTH and I really identified with this little letter (fact or fiction, who knows) which a friend of ours shared on Facebook recently.

So here it is for you to enjoy too. Hope your weekend is stress-free and fun.

Dear Neighbour,
It was good to meet you and your dog once again this morning. I’m sorry the circumstances were such that we couldn’t have a proper chat, but I’m afraid that being in a situation where I was restraining my four agitated and angry dogs whilst trying to ward your dog off with my foot as he tried to hump them indiscriminately wasn’t conducive to chit-chat.  

Unfortunately we have had similar encounters several times since you moved, and as my dogs are neutered males and spayed females who don’t appreciate your dog’s relentless advances things can get a little lively when we meet, so I thought perhaps a letter might help to break the ice as it were.  

I appreciate that your dog ran over two fields and nearly a quarter of a mile to get to mine, so it was going to take you a little time to get there to retrieve him. However, for next time I’d suggest spending 15 minutes standing two fields away angrily screaming his name possibly wasn’t the best use of your time. It hasn’t worked on any previous occasion and didn’t work this morning, so could I respectfully suggest that next time you cut that part out of the process and come and get your dog straight away?  

Anyway, I was certainly pleased to see you after 25 minutes of my dogs being humped, barged and jumped on. It was a shame that having finally managed to catch your dog and get hold of his collar you only let us get a few yards down the path before you released him, so he immediately came after us and the whole performance started again, but hey, that’s dogs for you – who in the world could have predicted he would do that?  

We did talk a little last time about how you could stop your dog continuously running off and bothering other dogs, and I’ll accept that you have indeed tried ‘everything’ – except training apparently. Or rewards, as he ‘should’ do what you tell him without them. Dogs are certainly clever animals, but I’d never before realised that they had a sense of ethics and obligation to do the right thing, I certainly learned a few things from our conversation. To think of all that time I’ve wasted with clickers and treats!  

On that subject, I’m still not entirely sure how smacking him when you do finally manage to get hold of him will make him easier to catch next time - perhaps you could talk me through that one next time we meet?  

We also briefly discussed that neutering might help curb his desire to streak off into the distance and hump anything that moved, but you mentioned that you were considering using him at stud in due course as he a Pedigree Labrador with Papers; and he’s Chocolate – that’s important apparently.  

Now I certainly can’t claim to know a lot about Labradors, but if the standard for the breed specifies a potato-shaped body and short, stumpy legs your boy is certainly a fine example and it would obviously be a shame to rob future generations of his genes; and he has Papers. I hate to break it to you, though - so does my newsagent but that doesn’t make me want to have his babies.  

You told me that you’d thought about an electric shock collar to tackle his tendency to run off, but were concerned about the cost. I’m sure the fact that you didn’t also mention any concerns about the effect of administering electric shocks on your dog’s physical and psychological wellbeing was merely an oversight, but I thought I’d slip it in here just in case it’s an aspect of these collars you may not have considered?  

Anyway, having come home and pondered our mutual problem, I hope you are as pleased as I am that I have managed to come up with a tried and tested 100% effective solution that requires no time, input or effort from you and costs only a few pounds.  

There is a handy little gadget that savvy dog owners have been using for many years to address your sort of problem. It’s very simple, a long strip of rope or leather with a loop at one end you can use as a handle, and a clever little clip at the other end that attaches to your dog’s collar (you might have seen that metal ring on his collar and wondered what it was for?). This brilliant device is called a lead - L.E.A.D. You attach it to your dog, hold the handle and hey presto, you have control of your dog and he can no longer run away! Most pet shops sell them – in fact I probably have a spare I can loan you to try, just let me know.  

You can thank me next time we meet.

Or better still, if we don't meet that will be thanks enough.


Mr. Pip said...

That's pretty funny, Winnie! Fortunately, most people in our area keep their dogs on a leash.

Have a great weekend. Harry sure is handsome!

Your pal, Pip

Tucker The Crestie said...

Winnie, this is a wonderful letter! I'm going to tell our friends Two Pitties about this - as I think it may help them immensely!

tubby3pug said...

Oh my goss I completely agree with that letter. Just last night my husband and I were walking our dogs and we encountered an off leash, and unattended dog. Ive seen this dog before (black lab mix). The first time I tried catching him and as he was running off lead in the street I called animal controll, afraid he would be hit (very busy street). Then a neighbor told me that he can jump the fence and the owner just allows it! Ugh.
My dogs are not happy with meeting an off leash dog on their walks at all, all have varying degrees of leash aggresion that Ive worked on diligently to improve. The last thing we need is a visit from an off leash dog.
Thanks so much for posting this

Benny and Lily said...

Love it!! Mom was saying HBO words yesterday for the same reason
Benny & Lily

George the Lad said...

Great letter, with some good home truths in it.
George is always on a lead, yes I photoshop it out, and yes dogs off leads that are not friendly or the owers can't call them back do wind me up, its always the owners of them that say George is the problem, when they can't get there dog under control!!!! work that one out. There's no bad dogs just bad owners.
Have a good week
Jan and George that's always on a lead ;)

Bert said...

Yep, that is a good letter, there is nothing I hate more than a big ole strange dog running up to My Vickie at full speed. I mean, I can take care of myself, but I sure would hate it if My Vickie got knocked down or bit.

If I have to stay on a lead, I think everyone one of my buddies should too.

Luckily My Vickie takes me to plenty of places where I can run off lead, so that when I have to be on lead, I don't mind it so much.

thanks for the letter

scotsmad said...

Great letter, truth through humour. We're lucky, so far we haven't met people like that on our walks. If we're loose, we have to come and sit when other dogs and people come by.

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

We have a similar issue here but it is with a dog right next door. Layla is supposed to be on invisible fence but it has multiple breaks in it and she just runs free through all the back yards behind our home. We are contained by a real fence. But Layla keeps coming to our fence and getting Thunder all riled up. AND she poops on our property just outside our fence all the time. A tough situation when you don't want to make enemies of the enighbors but surely they have to know their dog is really annoying. Some peeps just don't have any good dog etiquette.

Hope you have a good weekend.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Amber DaWeenie said...

Well, whoever wrote that at least had a sense of humor!!

Have a nice weekend!

♥I am Holly♥ said...

We love the letter!!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

Peggy Frezon said...

Great letter, I was laughing all the way! We encounter loose dogs all the time, but no person in sight. It is frightening because when they run up on Kelly, she is afraid and sometimes unfriendly toward the loose dog, who may or may not be aggressive. Makes walking an adventure.

jet said...

hilarious letter! poor Bender has been attacked twice by off leash dogs while he was on the leash so he understandably does not react well to other dogs approaching him like that when he is on the leash - and that rush of adrenaline that he gets is very hard to train out :O

Kristin G. said...

Brilliant. Isn't it amazing? Even if you don't have an interest in keeping your dog on lead out of general courtesy to others, it looks like you'd want to keep your Labrador (with papers) safe from harm.

Have a nice weekend Winnie!

Fiona, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Awesome letter! I'm going to have to send that to our trainer - she'd love it! Especially since we've spent the last SIX WEEKS working with our dogs on how to behave toward other dogs when they (our dogs) are on leash. Glad that today's walk wasn't spoiled!

-Dr. Liz (Fiona is napping, but isn't too keen on crazy Labs - with or without papers - either)

houndstooth said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, that letter just cracked me and Mom up! If only more people could operate those high tech lead devices!


Sue said...

Had to laugh at the letter.

Anonymous said...

That was a funny letter. Thanks for the laugh! When it happens on our walks, we aren't laughing though. Mom carries an air horn that's pretty effective at stopping the dogs in their tracks. She's considering getting a Tazer for the owners ;) Wouldn't that be fun Heh heh heh.

Waggin at ya,

Angela J said...

Love that letter! I'd like to print it off and slide it in a few mailboxs around our house, LOL. We had a couple of run ins with off leash dogs on our road, one of which had Veil coming home with bleeding legs and a bite mark on the banadana which she was wearing around her neck (and a furious mama to say the least).

Brenda said...

You need to send this one to Two Pitties In The City - they could use it about right now!!

Pup Fan said...

Awesome letter!