Grasshopper Soup: Good dogs bite good people
Special to the Sun
TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; This world couldnand#8217;t be more interesting if extraterrestrials landed on Lake Tahoe.
If aliens landed arguing about how they got lost when they were trying to avoid earth altogether, they would fit right in. There would be nothing unusual about them, even if they each had two heads. Even with no heads they would be at home on planet Earth.
Last Saturday I awoke early to a perfect Tahoe morning as smooth as glass. An ideal sleep had done wonders for my mind. My head was totally clear and calm. I woke to a sigh of sheer ecstasy that came simultaneously from the Tahoe Basin and me. The jabbering and squawking of squirrels and blue jays had no irritation in it, only pleasure.
Then I read the story in the Sierra Sun about the Truckee Thursday dog issue. The story was well written, but I did get the sense that the writer felt trapped, like a baby-sitter trying to answer the parents when they asked, and#8220;How were the kids?and#8221;
and#8220;Well, they were fine, but, you know how kids are.and#8221; The sitter might be able to get away with saying something like, and#8220;Well, they are beautiful kids, but they sure can be a handful!and#8221; or, and#8220;Theyand#8217;re great kids, but they donand#8217;t always get along, especially when they fight, which they sure like to do!and#8221;
Itand#8217;s a delicate situation for a baby-sitter to be in, like trying to walk a loose tightrope.
You know Truckee is going to the dogs when a dog controversy creates an outcry and makes the front page. But there is a ray of hope. If knowing where we can and cannot take our dogs is all we have to worry about, we really are living in paradise!
Now we know that dogs have their place, and should be kept out of places where they donand#8217;t belong. Itand#8217;s simple. Even a space alien can figure it out, although theyand#8217;d probably bring their dogs with them, even though it would be much easier to leave them home on planet Ork. But some aliens just canand#8217;t be seen invading other planets without their dog.
The article forced me to begin the drudgery of having to cowboy up and make the transition from a perfect Tahoe morning into reality. I put on long pants, socks and tennis shoes instead of my usual flip flops, and headed out the door. As I was walking down a narrow gravel pathway next to the outside seating area of a local eatery, I saw a beautiful, full grown collie in my way, leashed to a fence, reclined, perhaps not so comfortably, in the gravel.
I made eye contact with the seemingly contented animal and sensed a slight tension between domestication and the call of the wild, which I ignored. As I stepped over the dog, the whacko canine bit my foot! If I had worn flip flops the bite would have been severe. I heard the words, and#8220;Damn it!and#8221; come out of my mouth and felt the sincere desire to kick the dogand#8217;s teeth out and break its jaw, but I did not do so, because I love dogs. The owner acted surprised and said her dog never bit anyone before.
Sources tell me that on a raft bus the other day that was filling up with paying customers, a lady brought a beautiful, chocolate colored Lab aboard and put her wet, muddy dog, who did not pay, on a seat! The bus driver embarrassed her by simply stating the obvious in front of fifty people and made her put the dog in its place, on the floor, so the seat could go to a human. The bus load of people cheered and applauded the driver for making the dog owner change her selfish behavior.
It sounds as if some dog owners see the dog controversy as black and white. It is not!
I am on Coumadin, a prescription blood thinner. It is an anti-coagulant. If I get bit and bleed, I can die. Statistics show that at least a thousand people attending Truckee Thursdays are also on Coumadin. Are they of any concern to dog owners?
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.
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