I’ve long said that I wouldn’t mind a well-behaved working dog.
(Working like the breed, not like I’d make it work, per se. Although a doggie backpack that holds a liquor bottle seems like a good trade-off.)
But every time I think about getting a dog, one of them annoys the crap out of me.
And by them, I mean dog owners.
I don’t want to become one of them.
They were everywhere last weekend, at a crawfish and oyster party I went to at a park.
We humans were about to play a game of Bocce, where you throw a small, white ball about 100 feet in front of you (100 feet? I’m really bad at math...and distance) and then you throw heavier balls at the white ball and whoever gets the closest wins.
We looked around nervously at the number of dogs running around with no leashes.
“I hope they don’t mess up our game,” someone said as we started dividing up teams.
“ANY ball on the ground is Fido’s ball,” announced a dog owner, unapologetically, who overheard us.
My jaw almost dropped. I assumed she was kidding.
She was not kidding.
“Any ball” absolutely included the ones we were playing with.
“DOGS! Play with your own balls!!!” I yelled, frustrated. “Shooo! Shoooo!”
Yet, with many of their owners off somewhere else, and the owners present believing their dogs were entitled to eat anything they wanted, our attempt at continuing the game was fruitless.
Annoyed, I went over to another one of the dog owners, who was across the park eating crawfish.
“Hey,” I said. “We were trying to play a game of Bocce but your BARKUS kept messing with the balls and we had to quit.”
She LAUGHED, shrugged and said, “Dogs like balls. There’s nothing I can do about that.”
If I was told that my dog was the reason for why eight people had to stop playing a game of Bocce, I’d insist they set up the balls again and keep my dog at bay.
Maybe because I’m overly self-aware of how inconvenient I am to others. And I don’t want to adopt a dog if I’m going to have to adopt a “my dog rules my world and EVERYONE ELSE’S world, too” attitude.
This was on display most prominently three years ago, when my friend, her dog and I were at the beach enjoying a beautiful Saturday in South Carolina.
Two shirtless, athletic guys started playing football on the beach and crept closer and closer to our blanket and towels.
One of them threw a wild ball (what are the odds??) and it fell right near our blanket. One of the shirtless guys had to come over to “apologize” and take the ball back.
But her dog had already gotten to the ball first.
“Hey, let go buddy,” the guy said in a cute voice at first. But the dog refused to drop the ball, its strong jaws latched on like superglue.
“Ok...let go,” the guy said, annoyed. Then they started playing tug-o-war.
I was mortified.
I told my friend to get the effing ball from her dog’s mouth.
“Baby, drop it,” she said. The dog refused.
“Drop it!” she said more firmly.
The dog refused.
She must have said, “drop it” 30 more times with no luck.
The guy then got creative and picked the ball up, the Boston Terrier dangling from it. He swung it around a little. The dog’s jaw tightened.
Then, obviously, the football popped.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!” I said.
“Uh, it’s OK,” the guy said as he picked up his sad, deflated pigskin that the dog no longer wanted and walked back to his friend.
I glared at my friend once he left.
“What?” she said. “They shouldn’t have been throwing a ball near my dog.”
“Are you kidding me???” I said. “They can play football wherever they want!”
“Well, they should have seen my dog here and known he was going to get the ball.”
“But, you can’t even get your own dog to drop something? What if you were screaming, ‘DROP THE BABY’S FACE?!!!’”
She didn’t see the problem.
Tell these types of stories to someone and you’ll hear 10 more about dog owners with a warped sense of entitlement.
It’s becoming an epidemic.
Last night, my friend told me a story of an obnoxious dog owner who yelled at her for bringing her children to...a playground.
My friend said several dog owners had turned the playground into a leash-off dog park, which she was fine with, as she had a Great Dane and her kids were very comfortable around big dogs.
Yet, one dog was scaring the kids by barking and being aggressive, so she shooed the dog away from...THE MONKEY BARS.
“EXCUSE ME,” the scary dog’s owner said smugly to my friend. “You REALLY shouldn’t bring your kids around big dogs that they don’t know.”
So this was the children’s problem and not her aggressive dog’s problem??? Does her dog have more of a right to be there than actual children?
“THIS IS A PLAYGROUND!” my friend yelled back. The woman walked away.
If only I could find a boyfriend who would treat me like these owners treat their dogs. Then I could do whatever I wanted and piss off whoever I wanted. And instead of being embarrassed or mortified, he’d be like, “Oh, that’s just what she does. THAT’S MY BABY!”
Not a bad thought.
I mean, I already have a backpack that holds liquor...