Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Letter

Dear Crazy Dog Lady,

I want to start out by saying that I feel really bad for you. I realize that your unprovoked and neurotic attacks on me on the walking trail are a direct result of your miserable, lonely, and presumably divorced life. I further want to add that I feel sorry for you in that you seem to honestly believe that this world revolves around you, that you are the center of the universe, and that your demands, wants, and needs must be fulfilled before anyone else's in this world (oh wait, is there anyone else in this world?). I am sure it must be very hard when your grocery shopping is done mainly in the "Meals for One" section, and when you have to buy your mangy, malnourished cocker spaniels O.l R.oy Dinne.r Rou.nds, but that is no reason to take your sad life on anyone else.

I don't understand why you feel the need to take your miserable life out on me, a complete stranger who was minding her own business, walking her dogs with her infant, and trying to enjoy a walk that was much needed for relaxation and therapeutic reasons, and without taking into account what battles I might be fighting in this world. I did nothing to you. I said nothing to you. And in fact, had you not felt the need to be so completely heinous to me, I would have treated you like any other person on that walking trail, which is to say I would have smiled politely and told you hello.

I realize that you have some serious neurosis going on, and I wish that for the sake of all dog owners on that trail that you would seek help. I know a great doctor who can prescribe you some wonderful anti-depressants along with some Xa.nnex (which you can take before hitting the trails), as well as a beyond wonderful psychologist who can help you work through your anger against the world.

I would like you to note, while not screaming over the top of me, that my dogs are very well trained and very well behaved. Had you taken two seconds to take your tunnel vision off of yourself, you would notice that my dogs could care less about you or you sickly looking dogs. They are Border Collies. When they go to "work" (i.e., walks and play fetch), they are focused on ONE thing and ONE THING ONLY, and that is the task at hand. Last time you decided to scream at me at the top of your lungs, my dogs, much like you to us, didn't notice your existence as they lay quietly by my feet waiting for the next ball to be thrown. Why? Because they are trained! I have yet to be told they are anything less than amazing dogs by anyone but you. Should you require it, I am sure I can have literally over 100 people write up letters of recommendation for my dogs and their behavior.

Had you not opened your pie hole tonight, I would have never noticed you on the trail, and would have gone home thinking how blessed I was to not have encountered you. You very obviously did not notice that I was enjoying pointing out all of the duckies to my daughter as my dogs also looked on at them (not you or your mutts). But no, you could not pass by me in silence. Of course not. What would this world be if you didn't ruin someone else's evening? *GASP!* Just as with every single other time we encounter one another, you opened your hole and spewed hateful words at me to provoke yet another fight.

I am not a confrontational person at all. In fact, I am so nonconfrontational I ate lunch in the library my entire 8th grade year to prevent having to fight a couple of girls who had a misunderstanding with a friend of mine and me. The fact that you are so easily able to bring the fight out of me says a lot about you, and it isn't good. In fact, when I tell people of our encounters, they can't believe you got me riled up to the point of shouting back because it isn't in my nature.

I haven't done anything to you, never have, never will, so please, next time we pass each other on the trail, please for the love of God and everything holy, keep your dad-blasted yap shut and let me enjoy my walk in peace!

In closing I would like to share a favorite quote with you that goes something like this, "Be kinder than is necessary to everyone you meet, for we are all fighting our own battles." I'll paint it on something ceramic for you and swing it by.

Your Fed Up Neighbor

P.S. Yes, I had my friends follow you home and I now know you where live too. Big freakidy woop.

For those of you to whom this letter is not addressed and would like a little back story, see these posts:


Fran said...

Oh my God...I actually went reading the CDL other posts, I cannot believe it! he' has obviously some issues of her own, no doubt about it, but it's such a pity that she can ruin your nice walks! Anyway, if you can ignore her it would be the best, although I don't think I could! Fran

Suzanne said...

I'm so sorry that CDL is driving you crazy. I didn't realize that you know so much about dogs. I love border collies - they're so beautiful! I know they do need a lot of exercise. Can I ask you a dog-related question? Whenever I go on a walk I have a problem with my dog barking at other people and other dogs. How can I get him to stop barking?

Saige said...

Suzanne, in that case I would either buy one of those head muzzles or a pinch collar. The latter should work fine. It might seem cruel, but really it is humane. It imitates the "bite" that dogs give one another when they get out of line. When one dog doesn't appreciate the other's behavior, they bite them, usually on the nose, but this collar sends a biting sensation around the neck and very, very rarely injures the dog when used correctly. All of my dogs were trained using a pinch collar.

I would also put yourself between your dog and the other dogs. Pull your pooh in so he has just enough lead to walk right next to you without pulling his front feet off the ground. When he barks, give his leash a quick, sharp yank, and tell him no. If he still barks, either grab him in a bite-like fashion (e.g., grab a bunch of his fur and skin on his back in a fist and "bite" into him), or put your foot into his middle. Don't kick him, but put your foot into him so as to break his concentration on the other dog.

One other thing you can do is distract him with a treat any time he sees another dog. Don't give it to him unless he is completely focused on the treat and not the other dog. Over time he will associate other dogs with being a treat.

Those are all things I have tried in the past and seem to work well most of the time. I had a dog who would bit any other dog that got near her because of a neighbor's dogs who were untrained and ran down to my yard to attack through our gate every chance they got. It took a couple of years in dog classes to undo the damage those dogs did, and it honestly never went away.

I hope one of those things helps you. :)