I haven't had dogs for some time. I had forgotten the social side of dog walking. Its funny how you get to know people and their mutts whilst on the regular well trodden routes. You know the characters of the dogs and the owners and react accordingly.
(I have changed the names of the dogs to protect their identities)
A small wire haired hound like creature crossed with a very large bag of nerves. He is scared of everything, in fact he is scared of being scared. I have never seen a dog shake so much. His owner is a man of about 35 who I think lives with his Mum. He looks like an accountant and I think he shakes a lot. The dog is always immaculate. Lewis and Monty are besotted with him. The photograph (above) was taken after said hounds had undertaken a particulartly dirty mooch ( note ears). Titch and owner looked at me ( and hounds) like we were carriers of the Ebola Virus. Titch doesn't go for a walk, he goes for a shake.....
Biff is a Boxer. He is also completely mad. Not just in that "aahhh isn't he cute and funny" type way. I mean mad as in madder than a mad thing type way. He has the IQ of a lentil, a split one at that. He has never actually met Lewis and Monty because when he gets off the lead he runs. And runs. And runs. And runs and so on.My hounds look at him disappearing over the horizon with that "one day we will meet" type look in their eyes. Personally I doubt that. The owner has won three marathons and a road race. She hadn't actually entered, she was just looking for Biff....
Blacky is a Colly. He also is the meanest most bad tempered colly in the world. Blacky growls at his own reflection. He is a dog with issues, lots of them. He is very fair though. He hates all dogs equally. In fact he hates everything. He has the most severe anger management issues in the canine world. Monty and Lewis also love Blacky. Sadly their love is not reciprocated.....
Stranger in our midst
The list is by no means exhaustive and changes with regularity. I have to say that on the whole 99% of dog owners are really responsible. If their dog is bad tempered they keep it on a lead and or shorten it as you approach with your mutts. This usually gives you the 'heads up' as to whether; a) your dogs are going to be attacked b) you are going to be attacked or c) It is shaky titch and owner who are scared of everything. There are of course exceptions to the rule, one of which I ( and subsequentely he) had the misfortune of meeting recently. Now I'm a patient fella. I like to think I'm easy going with a good sense of humour. I am also 6'5" and 17 stone. If I want to to be a little bit cross I can be.
It was early morning out with 'the hounds' as usual. Now given that they are only 5 months old they get short walks (necssary for Bassets) and I keep them on the lead at the moment. In the distance I saw a youth on a cycle. Picture this:-
I would say he was 16/17 years, he was carrying a can of Stella ( whilst cycling) in right hand and fag in left. He had a Burberry Baseball cap and blue shell suit. It was about 9.18 AM. Running alongside him without a lead, was a Staffy. Said Staffy had a leather belt and braces type collar studded with brass figures. As they got closer I heard said boy genius calling at Staffy. " Rambo (yes Rambo) f***K get away from me bike." I kid you not.
Being and intuative sort of chap I guessed that Rambo may not be a friendly sort of Muttly. Effectively cornered by the geography of the footpath, it was inevtiable our paths would cross. As they neared boy genius garbbed Rambo by his collar. Rambo now looked like he had been stuck in the arse with a "Rage Virus." This dog was spitting growling, snarling and pulling. He looked like someone had just nickedc his bone. Not any bone but the berst bone in the world. Boy Genius was now 6 feet from me. Before I could say anything Boy Genius managed to link a sort of sentence together:-
Boy Genius " Are they fucking dogs mate ?"
Me " I beg your pardon."
Boy Genius " Yours , are they dogs, if they are mine might go for them."
Me "Well put him on a lead then please"
Boy Genius " Ain't got one mate, ee don't need it."
Me " Well he does now."
Boy Genius " You will have to go back"
Me " Well why should I turn around, you need to keep him under control"
Boy Genius " Well I'm f****ing tellin' yer mate, he'll do them."
Me ( now ruffled) " Can he swim?"
Boy Genius " Yeah"
Me " Can you?"
Boy Genius " Yeah."
Me (now very ruffled) " If you or that f****ing mutt comes within 6 inches of my dogs, which incidentally are five month old puppies I will throw it AND you into the lake. Whilst the dog is swimming to the bank I will repeatedly throw large bricks at you to prevent you from doing so. I am am an expert stone thrower. If you think I am joking walk past me."
This had a strange effect. Rambo ears pricked up and he made a sort of whining sound. I think Rambo knew I was serious. Clearly in his short life NOBODY had ever spoken to Boy Genius like this. I could almost hear the two brain cells collide. His response kind of summed up the UK today:
Boy Genius " I'll get my Dad."
Any how Boy Genius retreated and made good his escape. Monty & Lewis said something about "reeeespect Dad ........!"