As an avid runner, I was in the midst of a 5 K run yesterday as I was about to pass a woman with a Miniature Pinscher on a leash walking toward me with her face in her phone texting (or Facebooking, or Snapchatting, etc., etc.). If she had bothered to look up from her phone, she could have seen from half a mile away if she actually cared to restrain her dog from attacking my ankles mid stride as I passed her. Since here eyes were not poised to look up from her phone anytime soon, I actually yelled, “On your left, restrain your dog!” having been there, done that far too many times with clueless people and their little dogs and knew what was to come.
Despite her looking up and seeing me with plenty of time to collect her dog, she did not, and once again, I had a seemingly rabid little dog attacking my ankles as I nearly tripped over the leash as I ran by. As a string of expletives were on the tip of my tongue to hurl that the woman, my self control thankfully won the day and I simply turned around and shot her a look of death. While she did not even bother to apologize, I am hoping that the fact that she could not maintain eye contact with me for more than a nanosecond got enough of the point across that she has learned from this experience and will not let it happen again, I am afraid that I am not optimistic.
Let me be clear that as the former owner of a Yorkie, this is not a rant against little dogs. It is instead a rant against the lazy, ignorant, and discourteous fools that all too often adopt these little dogs without the faintest clue of how to raise them or seek out help to assist them. All they see is a cute little thing that looks like a little stuffed animal that they think will live on their lap and travel in their purse. They have no idea that many of these little dogs ( Terriers, Min Pins, Chihuahuas, etc.) if not properly trained and socialized can be very territorial and have a bad case of “little man syndrome” not unlike that of Scooby Doo’s Nephew, Scrappy Doo.
I can empathize with people who get themselves into situations that they do not understand. I can forgive them for having no clue how to train little dogs and even for failing to seek professional help when they clearly are out of their league. What I CANNOT forgive is the inability to recognize that your dog is going to attack my ankles as I run past him and do nothing to reign in the length of the leash to prevent it, or have your face so cluelessly buried in your phone that you fail to even know that I am approaching (not to mention all of the other surroundings walkers should be aware of for safety’s sake!
That is all. I feel much better!
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality throughout a number of subjects and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.