Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hysterical paranoia -- not just for nervous parents anymore!

Earlier today, in my new neighbourhood:
Man: Hey, do you know whose dog that is?

(Turns to see perfectly normal-looking black lab, albeit not on a leash and seemingly unaccompanied by its owner.)

Me: Uh, nope. It's got a collar, did you check the tags?

Man: Uh, no, I'm afraid of being attacked.

Me: Come here boy, yes, who's a good dog, aw you're so friendly.... the tag says it belongs to 427. Hmm... I'm standing in front of 427. Looks like the crisis has passed.

Man -- not a boy, definitely a (young) man: Wow, that was really brave of you.
I can't vouch for everything in that dialogue, except for the last sentence, which is seared in to my brain. Are people actually afraid of unattended dogs now, even when they have visible tags and collars?

Lordy, summers at my cottage would've been like the Normandy landings for that guy -- trauma and bravery everywhere! So... many.. dogs...

(Training kids to be wary of strange animals: good idea. Not being able to differentiate, as an adult, between "unknown" and "dangerous": bad idea.)


Wayfarer said...

Also, dogs can sense nervousness and fear. So paradoxically teaching your kids not to be afraid of dogs and read their body language may make them less likely to be bitten.

Zack said...

3 dobermans live down the street from me. They all have collars, and are usually confined to their yard. I'm fucking terrified of them.

Vicki said...

*runs after them despite their slavering and barking and baring teeth*

Matt said...

Yes, I am afraid of unattended dogs, because 1) I've been attacked by several, once when I was on crutches, 2) in my neighbourhood, the subspecies of humanity that lets dogs out without leashes is generally the subspecies that either doesn't train their dog or trains them to be as slaveringly vicious as possible out of testosterone poisoning.

Niles said...

I have to speculate whoever the nervous party might be someone who has been attacked/bitten in the past, or just isn't good around large dogs, so yeah, person gets slack from me. Just like I'll cut slack for people telling me cats are evil and it should stop *looking* at them that way. I draw the line at tolerating those that bring the law into it for no cause other than their own fears.

btw, I thought labs were deceptively high up the bite (not kill) list for breeds.

pv: hinge. as in un- on certain subjects.

Noumenon said...

I don't trust my friends' dogs... much less strange dogs.