Saturday, October 22, 2011

The World is going to the .........!

When looking for unique photo opportunities while walking the riverwalk at Bend's Old Mill District, the following idea occured to me. How about taking a series of pictures showing the techniques, including facial expressions, of socially correct people picking up dogshit? This scatological thought precipitated in me the following questions regarding dogs and dog owners.

Have you ever tried to have a serious conversation with someone who has a conspicious bag of crap attached to a leash?

What is this with therapy dogs? Dogs are being trained as loyal companions for lonely or distraught people who then receive preferential treatment to take them into restaurants. Could this also apply to a disconsolate pirate with a parrot on his shoulder? I understand the value of seeing-eye dogs, but aren't dogs generally loyal companions to lonely people who normally leave them at home? I'm sorry you're depressed. So am I, especially because the presence of your dog is ruining my dinner.
Is it worth it? the barking, the chewing, the itching, the whining, the shedding, the spraying, the fleas, cleaning the piles, the escaping, the vet bill, the slobbering, the pulling, the biting, the misbehaving, the climbing up on people, and living under the gross misconception that everyone thinks your dog is cute?

Have you ever lived near an incessantly barking dog? It can drive the most docile person crazy and has been the object of many murderous thoughts. It has awakened even the most resolute sleeper. I know someone who in dreams slashed the neighbor's dog in the throat. Why should such noise be tolerated over the neighborhood? Maybe I should play drums loudly all night long and see where it gets me when I tell the police of my rights.

I am happy for individual differences and people can do what they want as long as it isn't cruel. Yet isn't it difficult to consider a person really sane who puts a dog in fashionable clothing? I know it is cold outside, but really, I think for the most part, its a conversation piece more than anything. What's next? A bathing suit when dogs goes swimming?

As a now retired real estate broker, let me share with you an old adage tossed around the business. "If it smells, it don't sells." Can you imagine how much energy is spent tiptoeing around sensitive sellers to tell them, as discreetly as possible, that the home has a "slight" pet odor? Can you imagine how much money has been spent repairing or replacing carpets or chewed moldings? Do you know how many customers fail to offer or offer less because the odor may not go away? In some areas angry fleas seek vengeance on unsuspecting buyers and realtors when the home becomes vacant. More than once either I or a buyer have stepped in a pile while admiring the yard. One time I failed to discover this casuality until I climbed back into the car and ground my shoe into the gas pedal. What has been even worse is receiving a seller's showing instruction. "Don't let the dog out". Either Little Lucy yaps its brains out during the entire visit or you squeeze the knob carefully to open the front door to let yourself and the customers in when suddenly a hyper-active chihuahua shoots between your legs down the front steps and out into the street and plants itself under a parked car.

What are people thinking who confuse dogs with humans? Now I understand that dogs serve as surrogate children for owners. Just listen to the complicated jibberish which is told to dogs and the incessant orders which are often not heeded, They speak in conversational English to an animal, as if it were about to learn the alphabet. These doting parents share with everyone who is willing to listen, how smart their dog is becoming. My aunt would often urge her dog on a walk to now go and do its business and then would report to the family any successful accomplishment. I am sure there are already some kind of doggy diaper on the market.

I am well aware that most of my blog readers have dogs and are dog lovers. I want you to know that I had two dogs, Jewel and Zeke. Jewel was run over because she insisted on chasing cars and attacking the tires. Zeke had a penchant for roaming in the middle of the night 3 to 4 miles to visit females and constantly required being retrieved. I hated leashing him up and he hated feeling captive. He was a great companion until the children were born and then became a most problematic family member for all the characteristics mentioned above. Our relationship with him deteriorated. We ran him less, paid less attention to his needs, as we were preoccupied with taking care of the children. Of course, the children liked having a dog, but it was a never-ending complicated responsibility. I have seen this pattern occur in lots of families and is best summed up in The Lady and the Tramp in the classic line by Scotty while comiserating with Lady who ends up on the street. "When the baby moves in, the dog moves out."

In any case, I may have barked a lot here. I am sure that my readers now have something to growl about, since I know you love your pets. You may want to attribute my littany as just the musings and complaints of a crabby old man, who might ease his loneliness with a trusty fido. I don't know think so. My saltwater fish like me and I like them, and they don't go crazy when the doorbell rings. Then again it is awfully quiet here.


  1. Hey, crabby, old men are all over the place so you're not alone. I've had my dog for ten years, love him dearly, but there are many dogs where I live that I would gladly toss in a litter bag -- along with their owners. So, enjoy being a crabby old man, I know I enjoy being a crabby old lady -- with a dog!


  2. Some dogs are worth their weight in gold. Some are clearly not worth much. Probably same for the owners. I only wish I could have a dog where I live now. I miss my wonderful Colorado Lab-chows so much, and your post only makes me miss them more, although you described your point well and I like the ending. Really good photo. Perfect.

  3. To answer your first question: I don't know if I've ever tried to have a serious conversation with someone holding a bag of dog poop attached to a leash or not. That just isn't the kind of thing I'd notice. If I wanted to talk to one of the dog owners in my old neighborhood while they were walking their dogs, I'd just go up to them and say whatever was on my mind. I might pet the dog if it seemed friendly, and I would definitely notice if the owner was more drunk or hung over than usual, but mostly I'd be focused on whatever I was trying to communicate.

    I hope your bark is worse than your bite!