Only a person who has no clue who I am — well, millions, really — wouldn’t know that I’m a dog lover — and animal lover, really. (I like the ducks. There’s just too many.)
In another lifetime, I would be a veterinarian or a zookeeper or something to do with the care of animals. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.
I thoroughly enjoy the companionship I share with my dog and the pleasure my husband I get from being dog owners.
I also want everyone else to enjoy my dog, too. I don’t want him to jump on people (Jack Russell, hello) or make a nuisance of himself.
We don’t feed him “people food” so he doesn’t bother people when it’s time to eat. Of course his sister got people food and we learned from our mistake.
We took Ringo to classes and still work with him on his commands. Some days he works us.
I won’t fib and say he hasn’t misbehaved or jumped on someone or made a pest of himself. He has. He’s a puppy.
He’s also ornery as all get out. Sometimes it just oozes out of him. He gets this little gleam in his eye and cocks his head ever so slightly as he pins you down with his blue-black eyes. This is all the warning you get that something’s going to happen.
On two occasions now, one of us and our little guy have been confronted by someone else’s dog in our own yard while Ringo’s on a leash.
A dog is a really big responsibility — time, money and effort.
They are dogs and we are the masters. That means it’s up to us to teach the dog manners and a cute trick or two along the way and ensure their safety, health and well-being.
That also means they stay on their own property.
We have had a dog for almost 14 years and have never just opened the door the let one of them out, unleashing them on people who perhaps don’t like dogs or just don’t like someone else’s dog in their yard or bothering their children or animals.
It’s a good neighbor, courteous thing.
It’s also safer for the dog. That way there’s no chance of it getting hit by a car or injured in some other way.
I know it’s hard to believe that everyone else doesn’t love your dog as much as you do. I am surprised by this on occasion myself.
For whatever reason - because it’s the right thing to do, because you love your dog, because you like me — whatever; please fellow dog owners, keep ‘em on a leash.