Monday, May 26, 2008


Scary, Scary Stuff

Sometimes we tend to forget that dogs are not all that bright. Or maybe it's that we owners are not that bright and somehow think dogs are brighter than they really are.

Two recent incidents brought this fact home to me. The first happened last Thursday on my drive home. As I was driving on a residential thoroughfare near our house, I spotted a small white dog dashing across the road. Luckily, I slammed on the brakes and managed to stop just as the dog ran in front of my car.

With my heart pounding, I looked out to my left to see two teenage boys walking up the cross street, one with a leash dangling from his hand. They didn't seem concerned at all that the dog had come close to death.

It turns out that the dog was running across the street because another dog and his owner were walking on the opposite sidewalk. I don't know if the moronic teenagers let the dog off the leash so he could join the other dog or if they were just too lazy and ignorant to put the dog on the leash.

In retrospect, I should have pulled the car over, got out and lectured these hormone-addled idiots about dog safety. Then again, given their adolescent state of mind, it probably would have been a waste of time.

The second near-death canine experience involved our own Oreo. Last night, Cheryl was walking him in a field behind neighboring houses. Lately, she had trusted him to be off the leash. Big mistake.

All of a sudden, he bolted through a wooded area which separates the field from Walkley Road, a main four-lane street in the southeast part of the city. Oreo ran across Walkley Road and headed down the adjoining four-lane Conroy Road. Since Walkley Road is usually very busy, it was just dumb luck that there was no traffic when he made his crossing.

Luckily, a car stopped on Conroy Road and let a woman out who rushed over and rescued Oreo. Cheryl showed up shortly after and thanked the woman profusely for saving Oreo from certain death. She didn't think to get her name and number but she certainly deserves special thanks.

All this is a reminder that dogs (at least, untrained dogs) are entirely clueless when it comes to the man-made dangers around them. From now on, Cheryl will be keeping Oreo on the leash except for visits to the local dog run. And even then, he won't be off the leash until he's far from the parking lot.

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