Dogs aren’t humans.

This may be the quickest and ranti-est post in a while, but the anger is fresh and I like to express it creatively.  I’m not arguing science or proof, as that doesn’t de-prove the bullshit I experienced lately.

This is about unconscious dog owners  – well meaning but dangerous  morons.

I have had  two nasty interactions with unmuzzled, unleashed dogs in the recent past.  The first fucker, a mix (that seem to include doberman) got excited when my running group passed by.  It was leashed, but unmuzzled.  The runner in front jumped aside to avoid the dog, after which the dog went hostile and targeted the next person – me – scored a thigh shot.  It was minor contact, but as a precaution it required a visit to the doctor, a booster injection, and antibiotics.  The leash did fuck all good as it was far wider than the path we were on and provided no resistance.

Today on my run I encountered an unleashed black lab.  As I passed it decided that something very important was on the bush to the other side and darted across, slapping into my legs, sending me flying and the dog running.  Luckily it was scared as opposed to angry and ran off to it’s owner.

I’ve managed both situations with the respective dog owners.  Sorting the medical bill and dealing with them to assure the dogs will not be a danger to others –  but for fucks sake after the second time my patience  has ended.  In the past I’ve had a cartoon like thought of dog control, and how the laws/restrictions were somehow vindictive, but my recent experiences has turned me around considerably.   Compliance to dog control laws cannot be seen as some sort of personal attack or arbitrary rule (like how many might consider a TV license).  I wish they would be adhered too.

I know people love their dogs and trust them and think that they are not aggressive when not bothered, but the dogs themselves literally do not give a fuck what their owners think.  They will always fall back to instinct and flight or fight when surprised or threatened.  They don’t care if its a runner passing by, a curious child or an actual threat.

I’m getting to a point of zero tolerance for this Disney movie bollocks that spreads the thinking that a dog is just an odd-shaped human that has similar concepts of the world and other people.  Something that is perpetuated by the internet.  I’m sure you are familiar with the saying ‘Dogs are the best people’.

They have personalities yes, but any sort of familiarity or perceived understanding is conditioning.  It’s near complete programmed response to stimulation.  There is no space between; which is a thing that makes humans ‘human’.  We have that space between stimulation and response that allows us to critically think and consider our actions – even in sudden (if not all) circumstances.

‘But I know by dog!’ Some might say.  ‘It does Understand‘.  No, that’s conditioning again.  It gets a validating reaction when it acts in certain ways to the beings around it.  That might be putting it’s paw on you when you look down.  It’s responding.  It doesn’t know your name.  It’s not cheering you up.  If it accidentally cheers you up and you give it affection, then it’s going to respond to your  future frowns to get more affection, threats etc…

I suspect the following two arguments will be returned here, 1.  That it’s not bad dogs, but bad owners – and 2.  Humans can also be unpredictable and dangerous, so why pick on dogs.

For the first – of course it’s bad dog owners.  I’m not writing this for fucking dogs to read.  I keep hearing this argument that it’s not the dogs fault that they were raised aggressively, poorly etc… and my response is simply…’so what?  what’s your point by that statement?’  To quote David Wong here – the tribal man who stopped running to consider the wolf’s attack to just be ‘it’s nature’ was not a tribal man that lived long enough to produce offspring.

Similarly when that first dog jumped me I didn’t stop to think ‘oh that poor dog and its unconscious upbringing’ I thought ‘Oh shit what is happening…dog attack…run.’  Followed by ‘if it follows Ill need to seriously consider finding a rock to cave it’s head in’ while screaming in terror.

So of course it’s bad owners, as I said before, THE DOG DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT.  Neither will the victim, nor the parents of the victim, authorities etc…  The dog was the dangerous entity in the situation.

Secondly.  Of course we have unconscious, dangerous people in the world.  You know what else we have?  Prisons.  Police.  Even death sentences in some countries.  We’ve completely accepted that people can be dangerous and have governments that spend obscene amounts of money keeping criminals incarcerated, laws to prevent crime, restrictions, social rules both spoken and implicit.  Some more competently than others, and while I’m sure that there are plenty of debates to be had on the matter,  it is a serious topic that we try to address.  That’s  what we do for humans – the apex, evolved predator that rules the world and again, has at least some consideration.  I feel it completely fair to expect an animal to be less considerate.

I want to say that I like dogs.  I’ve more or less always had them  growing up and know how attached a person can get to their own dog.  Some get great mental health benefits from having a companion that provides unconditional friendship.  These are all positive things.  However, it gets incredibly dangerous to ignore the negative, which I see time and time again.  It seems to me that people begin to see their dogs like family members – human family members – and may get defensive when requesting they leash or muzzle their dog.  Some take it very personally – like the request is an attack on their identity, similar to the person that refuses to believe their child is capable of hurting a fly because it may reflect poorly on them as a parent.

I would be more thrusting of a parent that says that about their child, but if I hear the same about their dog then alarm bells begin to ring.  If they believe their dog wouldn’t do anything harmful, and trust them off a lead or un-muzzled – then they are potentially the most dangerous dogs of all, and will teach the owners the harshest lesson – when a kid (or anyone) is perceived as a threat and is seriously harmed.

That ends with the dog being euthanized.  So whether or not you agree with any of the above, or finding it offensive, or causes you to be defensive – know and comply with dog laws, not because I or others want you to yield or submit in some way, but because I can promise you, your dog does very much give a shit about living.   It physically cannot do anything about it’s nature, but people still need to be protected from it, and that’s a responsibility that must be realized by those who want a dog’s company.

Breakdown of Irish Dog Laws