I’m convinced that, before I moved into my neighbourhood, it was ruled by a tyrannical pack of dogs. Under their oppressive canine administration, every person within a 10-kilometre radius of my house was ritualistically bitten every morning before they left for work.
If I’m right about this, then my community’s fear of my puppy is completely rational. If wrong, then I live around some pretty messed up people.
My dog, Argo, is almost 6 months old. As a border collie/lab mix, he’s not small but he’s not huge either. Argo is a simple beast: he sniffs around, chases leaves, retrieves sticks and gives plenty of licks. For the most part, he’s a friendly pup with a refreshing joie-de-vivre. The point I’m making here is that he’s not a ferocious animal with insatiable bloodlust.
People in my neighbourhood have *literally* screamed, jumped out of the way, forced a person in between them and stepped onto (a busy) Bathurst Street when Argo has walked by. I’ve seen kids run away, baby boomers get nervous and elderly people stop in the street, waiting until Argo passes.
Yesterday, I was walking the dog and he got within 2 feet of an old woman walking ahead of us. He didn’t bark; he didn’t even touch her. He was just traipsing along the sidewalk. I had him restrained so he couldn’t get any closer to her, and just as I was about to pull him back, the woman turned around and tore me a new one. She rebuked me for scaring her.
I respect that not everyone can love dogs, but I think there’s a genuine sickness in my neighbourhood. It’s everyone, absolutely everyone.
I’m sorry that there isn’t a real message or take-away in this blog entry. But this is what’s on my mind. This is a part of my daily grind.