Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Heart Just Won't Bleed

As a dog-owner who obeys dog-control and leash laws so that my mutt does not impose herself on others, thusly straining neighborhood goodwill, I cannot have any sympathy whatsoever for residents of East Nashville who are reportedly upset with Animal Control for capturing their dogs after owners seem to be letting them roam free in their neighborhoods. I say just pay your fine and control your dog next time.

When my oldest daughter was a pre-schooler, we were on a stroll down a Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood street. All of a sudden, two black labs came charging from a house and into the street, barking and snarling at us. I tried to keep myself between the two labs who were circling us and my sobbing oldest, which was not easy. The owner, who was standing at her open door after letting them out, called out to us that we shouldn't be afraid and that her dogs were "really friendly." I shot her a look, and if looks were knives she would have been cut in two. I held my tongue, because if I let it loose I would have hurled all manner of invective and curse at the dog owner, and frankly my girl had already been exposed to enough trauma that day; she didn't need to hear salty language from her father, as well. The owner called her dogs back. From that point on, I carried pepper spray on all our walks. Since that time I have up my mind that you other dog owners need to comprehend that I don't care how lovable and behaved your dogs are to you, your right to let your dogs be free ends at other people's right not to feel threatened by your perfect pooches because of your failure to be responsible.

The problem with problem dogs is not the dogs but the owners. If it takes Animal Control citing owners and hauling off their dogs to force them to be responsible, so be it. My heart won't break.


  1. Wholeheartidly Agreed - and a very timely post for me. I live in Inglewood, and just called animal control this morning about a runaway german shepard - I tried to put him in what I think is his yard (at least I was going to check his tags to see where he was from), but he wouldn't let me get near him - after he "marked" my front porch, I decided to call. I feel sorta guilty since I pretty much know where he supposed to be, but I can't do anything about it, and you just can't have dogs (especially big ones) just running around the neighborhood barking and marking their territory all over the place.

  2. I'm with you. When I first moved to East Nash, I felt bad for the strays on our street. We took in a full blood Akita for about a week. He was sweet as can be, but not a fit for our home or with our other dog, and we had to turn him over to a local doggie day care. Luckily, he was eventually adopted, but our thought is that the less conscious of our neighbors get 'mean' dogs to protect their property, and when the dogs prove themselves sweet, as most dogs are, they're put out to take care of themselves. I digress...

    I see at least 3 to 5 dogs with collars and tags running loose Lockeland Springs every day. Some of the locals have taken to walking their leashed dogs while carrying a long stick to keep the unleashed away. It's terrible when a conscientious dog owner can't walk their own dogs in peace.