This isn’t about golf. It’s about dogs.
I used to use the extensive bike and running trails in my home county for speedwalking, but I had to quit because so many people take their dogs there and let them run alongside, off leash. We have fenced dog exercise parks in just about every neighborhood, maintained at taxpayer expense, but that isn’t enough for these people; around every bend in the trail you find mutt-face running free (sometimes they yell at me “he’s friendly!” or “he’s under VOICE CONTROL!” while the dog barks fit to kill and hurtles toward me with every apparent intention of doing exactly that). Dogs have already bitten me three times in my life; on those occasions I had done nothing to alarm the dog and in fact did not even know it was close to me, so goddamned if I’m going to take chances with dogs that are telegraphing their intentions. I took to carrying pepper spray and drawing down on the bastards but it wasn’t worth the aggravation; these days I stick to public roads instead. Better a slow death by car exhaust than fending off three assaults every day I went out.
This morning I knocked out five miles, digging gorgeous weather, good hills and a completely pain free stride (not always a blessing I can count on). On my return swing through a little ‘hood that contains, among other things, my old grade school, I spotted a driveway set up for a yard sale, right at the top of one of my favorite slopes. I usually spurn yard sales — I don’t want other people’s smelly old clothes, broken lamps or bedbugs — but there on a table were a half-dozen red glass goblets that looked worth inspecting. The man arranging things on the other side of the drive greeted me, I said Good Morning and began to approach the glasses, and right then a hundred-pound dog, of indeterminate breed but with a mean mastiff head, launched itself from the porch in my direction, barking nonstop and planting its legs with that foursquare territorial stance that says One step closer and I go for your throat.
I was already holding my pepper spray, aiming two-handed and saying in a steady bullhorn voice GET AWAY FROM ME GET THAT DOG AWAY GET YOUR DOG GET IT AWAY FROM ME NOW. Dumb Owner didn’t meet my eyes as he hustled the dog back toward the house by its collar, nor did the wife who bounced out onto the porch to see what had upset Fido, and I said as I turned to double-time out of there, “If you want to have a sale, sir, you’re going to have to tie that dog up or keep it inside.”
Please explain to me why someone had to tell him that.
Here is what a pro-animal organization has to say about dog bites in the United States. Roughly five million a year, two or three dozen fatal, over half a million requiring medical treatment. If a dog goes for my hand or arm, I could lose my livelihood, and these bozos act oppressed if they have to keep the bastard on a leash.
I hate dogs. I hate dogs. I hate the stupid people who own them and refuse to even try to control them. I hate the people who perpetuate the myth that a vicious pack animal, with a mouth full of ugly yellow teeth and a brain the size of a cherry tomato, can ever truly be controlled. There is no place for them in human society outside of, perhaps, sheep pastures and police kennels. I wish every dog bigger than a large cat would blink out of existence tomorrow, and that the people I care about who, bafflingly, think they need to have a big dog would recover from their delusion. There is no reason for them.
I hate them.