Idiot Dog Owners

April 30, 2008

Yes. Idiot. Dog. Owners.

First, to clarify, I own a dog. So I understand the desire to let one's dog run free and do doggie things and have doggie fun off leash. I love my dog. He's very cool. I let him off leash in designated off-leash zones.

But the Vancouver seawall is not such a zone. I may be a dog owner, but I am also a cyclist. I commute to work three days a week via the seawall shared bicycle/pedestrian path. Almost every day, I politely ask an idiot dog owner to put their dog on-leash, as required by the city's by-laws. Note the term "politely". The response is invariably snarky, or flippant, and usually succeeds in highlighting the idiocy of the responder.

Today, due to said idiocy, the inevitable finally happened. I hit a dog with my bike. From a hundred yards off I saw a black cocker spaniel zigzagging across the path, gamboling wildly about while its owner jogged on, oblivious. The jogger and his friend stayed to my left. The dog nipped out to my right. I anticipated what was to come and started braking. The owner, finally spotting me, turned to call his dog, which of course sent it careening right in front of me in its zeal to heel.

I managed to come to a complete halt just as the dog plowed into my front wheel. Neither I, nor the dog, was hurt. I told the jogger, not so politely, that he needed to put his dog on leash. He said "ok", and shrugged. And JOGGED ON! I lost my cool and yelled at him. "NO! NOT OK! You are endangering your dog's safety and mine."

People like this care more about their dog's freedom than its health and welfare. The last thing I want to do is hurt a dog. I love dogs. I cycle carefully. I share the path responsibly.

Idiot. Dog. Owner.

PS: sorry. I'm having a rant-inducing week. :-(

2 comments on “Idiot Dog Owners”

  1. Grr! I'm glad you're both okay.

    My favourite is when I.D.O.s use those leashes that can be tethered or let out 25 feet so the dog might as well be roaming free.

    This happened just the other day where the dog actually had enough leash to _cross the road_ and nip at me while the owner was gabbing on her cellphone.

    'Don't worry, he's friendly," she calls out mid sentence, as she yanks the dog away.


  2. Yikes!

    My dog trainer claims those leashes shouldn't qualify as leashes, since when you use them, you don't have your dog under control.

    She's a big fan of the 6-foot leash. No question of who's in control then. :-)

    But I'm coming to realize that I.D.Os simply don't care.

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