Let me start this post by stating that our dog, Milo, doesn’t really hate other dogs. In fact, Milo is as scared as a scared dog can be when other dogs come near him. Yet, the other day, on a family walk, “Our dog hates other dogs!” is exactly what I exclaimed to another dog owner on the path.
What I really wanted to yell, though, was, “Lady, put an effin’ leash on your effin’ dog!”
And yes, I meant the word you would use in place of effin’!
A Lovely, Spring Day. Kind of.
Ahh, it was a Sunday morning, birds might have been singing a song, but I wouldn’t know. It was still a little chilly. The weather app, however, said that it was 48 degrees outside with a “feels like” temperature of 54 thanks to the shining sun. “We should take Milo for a walk,” I commented to my wife. “The big park?” she replied. I said, “Sure.”
We loaded Milo into the back seat so he could cower in fear during another car ride. No sooner than when we pulled out, well, the clouds arrived. So much for that “feels like” temperature. After about ten minutes of sheer terror for Milo, with his occasional glance out the passenger window like a normal dog, we pulled into the “big park.”
The park didn’t appear that crowded, Milo jumped out of the back seat onto the parking lot, and he realized where we were. Finally, he could relax and our boy, who really isn’t a boy any longer at 15 years old, showed signs of canine happiness.
The stroll along the asphalt path began for the three of us. Milo was in “sniffy” mode, picking up any scent he could, and my wife and I enjoyed the freshness of spring even if it felt a little cooler than we would have liked.
All was nice.
This Could be Trouble
A pee for the boy, and it was down the long, straight path next to the empty soccer fields that were waiting for kids to come out of their winter hibernation. After all these years with him, I could read Milo’s thoughts while we walked, “I wonder what kind of dog peed on this rock?” “There is some poop up ahead that I must smell!” “Will you two slow down? I have pee grass to investigate!”
We approached a tree with a squirrel who was leaning around the trunk as if to say, “Hello,” so, of course, I greeted him with a “Good morning, Mr. Squirrel!” I do hope it was a male. The squirrel scampered higher up the trunk of the tree after we exchanged pleasantries, Milo was oblivious to Mr. Squirrel, but then I saw it, potential trouble up ahead.
Milo, maybe because of his height, didn’t see what was coming. He continued in sniffy-mode, but up ahead was a dog roaming free while its owner, at least I surmised the lady was the dog’s owner, was just wandering, not really paying attention to her dog.
And then the dog started bolting our way.
Here It Comes
The lady, seeing that her dog was on its way to terrorize Milo, belted out something like, “Don’t worry, he’s friendly!” My retort as I heard this was simply, “Okay, but our dog hates other dogs!”
Yes, even having enough time to process the events that would become reality, this was the best I could come up with, “Our dog hates other dogs!”
Her dog was still at a full sprint when Milo saw what was running towards him. Now, since Milo doesn’t really hate other dogs and is just afraid of dogs in general, he began his scurrying around trying to get away as quickly as he could. I always fear he is going to snap his neck.
Granted Milo can never get as far as he would like since he is on a leash, but he tries. Then it happened. The lady’s dog ran past us, still at full sprint.
Non-Stop to the Tree
“What the hell is he after?”, I thought?
The lady yelled, “Don’t worry, he’s chasing the squirrel.”
Sure enough her dog stopped at Mr. Squirrel’s tree, started barking at Mr. Squirrel, and Milo, still terrified, was trying to run the other way.
Making the turn towards us, the lady, and yes, she was the kind of dog owner who, in a situation such as this, is most likely thinking things like, “how cute,” “my dog is perfect,” “you have such a cute dog” (even though Milo was completely terrified), while seeing nothing wrong on her part, commented something to the effect, “He always chases after the squirrels.”
I’m sure the squirrels love that.
And while I wanted to, I didn’t say, “Lady, can’t you see your dog scared the $%*& out of our dog. Why don’t you put a $#@*& leash on your $#@*& dog?”
Nope, my wife and I just kept walking, trying to get Milo to forget what had just happened.
Continuing On, Then Down a Different Path
The rest of the walk was just the kind of excitement Milo likes, none. He quickly forgot about the crazed, possible squirrel killer, and continued with his search for various pee grass. The difficulty was that the walking path is mostly in a loop, and sure enough, as we were coming back towards the empty soccer fields, there they were, squirrel killer and his accomplice.
Knowing Milo had enough excitement, and that he would soon have another “car ride of terror,” my wife and I opted for an out-of-the-way path back to the car. Milo was confused as we never go that direction, but he seemed to take it in stride.
Back at the car Milo took his place in the back seat, but I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed in my reply to the squirrel killer’s accomplice. I realized, though, that no matter what I would say, it wouldn’t matter. I’m guessing if Milo really did hate other dogs, and her dog came unleashed into Milo’s safe zone, it would be our dog’s fault for any attack.
I finally just breathed a sigh that while not the best pet owners, I do know we would have done anything to protect Milo had squirrel killer come after him.
Then I felt bad for the squirrels.