I admit I’m not really a dog fan. I wasn’t born that way; they just seem to hate me. And after years being intimidated, chased, bitten (from both their slavering jaws and their fleas), slobbered on, sexually violated (don’t ask), kept awake all night by relentless barking, and unwittingly trekking dog excrement through the house; I don’t have much love for 'Man’s Best Friend'.
But one day, after a being struck by a crystal clear lightning-bolt epiphany - I realised something important: there are no bad dogs - just bad dog owners.
Cerberus – this dog owner has at least 3 heads whenever he goes out for a walk. Leashes fan out in all directions from Cerberus into an unpredictable whirling maelstrom of barking incisors and malevolent spittle designed to ensnare unsuspecting joggers. Even if the hapless jogger miraculously sidesteps this abomination, he then has to negotiate an impossible minefield of fresh dog stools.
L to R: Ancient Greek jogger, Cerberus & Ancient Dog Owner.
Exempt Stautus – these owners arrogantly ignore signs like "Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times" designed to prevent the weekly occurrence of dogs tearing the faces off toddlers, and mutilating endangered wildlife. They think nothing of taking their ill-disciplined mutts to crowded outdoor cafes where they are oblivious to their dog climbing onto other patrons tables and snatching food with its slobbering jowls.
Tough Guy – living life vicariously through his dog, Tough Guy opts for the macho dog option, ill treating and brutalising it from birth so it attacks anything that moves. Tough Guy and has a smug look of satisfaction on his dim-witted face as lesser canine foes are vanquished and children hurriedly ushered to safety. The worst of all bad dog owners, and possibly, all humanity.
"Master, may I have my toy rubber bone please?"
The Accessorisor – On the other spectrum of ill-treatment of dogs, this perpetrator buys a miniature dog to place in handbag, and pretends to be a celebrity socialite. As this is not a natural life for a dog it becomes frustrated, under stimulated, and (like its owner) can’t stop yapping and annoying the hell out of everybody. Worse, Accessorisor seems to think everyone loves the exercise-deprived dog running rampant around the office, knocking over coffee cups, licking peoples food, dislodging carefully stacked files and ‘watering’ the pot plants. More disturbing is the ‘lovers’ one way dialogue between pet and owner, and the intimate mouth to mouth sharing of delicacies.
"Kill me now."
The ‘Everyone Loves My Dog’ Guy – may love nothing more than being knocked over and pinned to the floor by his over-caffeinated Alsatian; as it alternates between barking fetid breath in his face and using its slimy diseased tongue, (that, mere minutes earlier was greedily feasting on his neighbours rancid garbage) to slather his head in saliva; but I can assure you – I don’t.
As I lie there, making a mental note to stop in for an emergency tetanus shot on the way home, the owner will say one (or all) of the following:
- He’s just playing!
- Aw, he likes you!
- Ha ha ha – the look on your face! Don’t worry, he’s just playing!
A final thought, slightly off-topic, but I blame Hollywood for glorifying the dog as the ultimate pet, whilst vilifying the cat. In movies, dogs are always the good guys: a fearless, loyal, selfless companion - while cats: ever the sinister villain. It's straight up demonification, animal racism... or something. But I’m yet to hear about a cat crapping on the pavement, ripping someones throat out, or keeping the whole neighbourhood awake all night barking.
How cats really are.
...and as portrayed by Hollywood.
Coming soon: Cats Vs. Dogs: a fair and impartial statistical analysis