Don’t Worry. He’s Vicious…

Whether to walk a dog leashed or off leash is roiling into the sort of controversy not seen since America asked itself, “Who shot J.R.?” Many still suspect it was an off-leash dog.

At issue is the legality of walking unleashed dogs in leashed areas. No, wait! It’s that leashed dogs must be unleashed in off-leash parks. Look, whatever the statute, everybody freeze! You’re all getting tickets.

Although many communities have established municipal codes prohibiting unrestrained dogs in parks, many owners ignore such rules as unfair and unenforceable. Like seatbelt laws. Or manslaughter.

This topic has deeply divided the pet-owning community as well as the general public. One group believes that dogs should be kept on leashes at all times like any other taxpayer. Those who unleash are the dreamers; the rejecters of establishment’s labels. Screw your middle class values, man! Don’t chain my dog-person’s freedom! Let her slip the bonds of Earth and soar! Oh, and that’s not her poop. So I’m not scoopin’.

Between these two polarized camps are the dogs, some tethered, others roaming, all just interested in whatever spilled from that garbage can by the kiddie swings. Leash, no leash, dogs don’t care. Ain’t got no fur in the game. Let owners decide.

<strong>Use appropriately sized leashes to tether dogs. And boats.</strong>
Use appropriately sized leashes to tether dogs. And boats.
Use appropriately sized leashes to tether dogs. And boats.[/caption]

For dogs, that’s hardly an ideal solution as it often results in a lot of Giants shouting, a quick ride to the vet, and a shot. However, since Giants control the means of production we are responsible for deciding if our dogs are leashed or unleashed while they sniff around that garbage can by the swings.

A quick method for determining if your animal prefers or rejects the leash utilizes a process called, “Getting Bitten.” If this is the dog’s initial response, explore the alternate choice after seeking immediate medical assistance.

When it comes to leashing preferences, no two dogs are alike. Well, except maybe those cloned dogs, but that opens a whole other creepy can of worms. Whether to walk your dog tethered or free depends on many factors including time of day, locale, temperament, crowds, and proximity to a spilled garbage can by the swings.

Also on whether you’re in possession of a terrier.

Oxford, our formerly alive terrier, was whip smart, so not to be trusted off leash in most situations. You know those thriller movies where a clandestine government agency requires an operative with a very particular set of skills? So they recruit this special agent from a maximum security federal prison. And they wheel him out strapped to a gurney immobilized by a straightjacket, his mouth, eyes, and ears restrained by a leather-and-metal mask? And he performs the mission flawlessly, but escapes after killing everyone, everywhere, except Jodie Foster?

Oxford would have killed Jodi Foster.

Only my wife, Giant 2, could walk Oxford without a leash. And then only in the forest preserves. Just before sunrise. When no one was around.

And, of course, never in Autumn. Oxford was the color of fallen leaves. He’d walk obediently beside Giant 2, then suddenly leap sideways into the underbrush and blend perfectly into the terrain. The only way to track his progress was by following the clouds of disturbed fauna that leaped, slithered, or flew out of the brush.

“Did you guys see that,” wildlife would scream. “What the Hell was that thing?”

Because Giant 2 was the keeper of the cookies, Oxford always returned, proud and wild, often with pieces of Jodie Foster dangling from his jaws.

That’s a dog you walk on a leash.


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2 thoughts on “Don’t Worry. He’s Vicious…”

  1. Ever since our dog was attacked by an unleashed dog a few years ago, my wife has been pretty hard core on the issue. But I’ll bet Jodie Foster could have calmed everyone down.

  2. I don’t Facebook but I did truly enjoy the humorous consideration of the major problem in my life. Our dog can walk himself if it weren’t for the other dog owners who seem to lose their lives when they see an unleashed dog. So, thanks for the essay!

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