A Dog Eat Dog World

Chimes Article 5/5/10

My general rule of thumb is that you should never really hit anything harder than you would hit a television. A television is precious; you wouldn’t want to break the thing, just tap it until the reception gets a little better. So when I saw a man across the street from my apartment slap his rather yappy dog with a force strong enough to throw a television out a window, I thought something had to be done.

The fact is, you just don’t do that to an animal, or really anything, and when it happened I envisioned Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, behind me kick a hole in the wall in an act of rage. “You have to be the leader of the pack!” He yelled in my ear.

The dog, meanwhile, was still yapping loudly, causing neighbors on the block to peek out their windows. In Milan’s words, he was “Ossessed” with it, but with good reason. There was a heavy rain outside and the dog’s owners where half a block down the street eating at a Thai restaurant. Meanwhile their other dog, who resembled Lassie, waited patiently right outside the door with an expression of embarrassment towards his canine friend that seemed to say, “Hey bro, stay cool.”

After several yappy minutes went by, the owner came back out, and with another loud yell hit the dog again.

That was when Beth had me call Animal Control Services.

The problem with Animal Control, I realized after being on hold, was that they can’t really help any animals unless they’re being abused between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Many people take different approaches to animal training. My old roommate Micah for instance used what I call the “Sega Genesis” technique and simply blew in the face of our cat whenever he misbehaved. I can’t say for certain that it was the right technique, especially when considering that no one can sit on their white couch without being peed on, but for the most part it certainly did work.

On this occasion I thought the technique not only wasn’t working, but also was doing far more harm than good. So I did what any sensible person in my situation would do and decided to follow the couple back to their home, get their address, and then call Animal Control later during the hours they would actually be able to help.

As I followed two blocks behind them throughout the remainder of their date I started to realize that people, although often doing very unwise things, are not often altogether bad. As they stopped by the dog park they let their two canines off their leashes and watched them frolic happily while wandering themselves.

I meanwhile was behind a pair of bushes at the tennis courts.

Several blocks later I watched them arrive home and hug their four year old child as the father washed the dogs off from their playtime at the park.

These people really weren’t so bad. In fact, I could see myself being friends with them. Of all people to be ashamed of it was probably me for lurking behind a pair of parked cars and watching them this entire time. Then again, maybe it was a good reminder for myself that the next time I do something unwise, there might be a weird 22 year old watching my back. Maybe I should start taking better care of my television.

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