My Turn: Saturday stroll turns into nightmare
Saturday morning my wife, my eight-year-old daughter, our ten-month-old puppy and myself went for a walk on a beautiful day in Truckee. We live in Prosser Lakeview and like to do a loop from our neighborhood.
As we were walking along the new streets in Gray’s Crossing enjoying some family time together, what do we see but two huge German shepherds lumbering down the street in our direction. These dogs each easily tip the scales at 100 pounds plus.
In the background I hear the owner of the dogs frantically calling them with no effect.
In my mind I’m thinking this could be bad but what can I do? I think about picking up a rock and throwing it at them, but really the dogs have done nothing wrong yet. I hope for the best. Within two seconds of the shepherds arrival at our location our puppy is on the ground screaming and bleeding from a bite on her nose.
Now what am I supposed to do? I can let my puppy be mauled or I can risk getting mauled myself. With a healthy surge of adrenaline coursing through my body, I start yelling and kicking at the two dogs. Luckily they call off the attack and start back toward their owner who is now backing up his truck in an effort to retrieve his dogs.
My blood is boiling by this point and I start towards the owner to give him a piece of my mind. I tell him to keep his damn dogs on a leash and try to find out whom he is in case my dog needs medical attention, which I have already decided he is going to pay for. He starts giving me this lame excuse about how he has lived here for 15 years and there are just too many people now and he forgets he can’t let his dogs loose anymore. He admits that they can be unpredictable.
My family and I now continue on our way. We have to retrieve my daughter who is hiding behind a tree crying and scared to death; my wife is angry with me because she thinks the guy could have pulled a gun and shot me because I yelled at him and my dog is still bleeding.
My blood pressure is off the charts and will remain so for the next hour or so. As we return to our neighborhood we see another dog sitting with its owner on the side of the road. Our puppy that has never wanted anything more than to play with other dogs now starts growling and barking at this new dog. What started out as a beautiful Saturday walk has turned into a nightmare.
So what is the point of this heartwarming tale? If you own a dog that can’t be trusted to behave you can never leave it out of your control. That means always. It doesn’t mean most of the time. If things had turned out for the worst, this wouldn’t be a letter to the editor it would be a call to an attorney.
Oh, and by the way mister-German-shepherd owner, I’ve lived here for going on 18 years and been a dog owner for most of them. Your excuse doesn’t fly.
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If Israel and the United Kingdom are any indication, widespread vaccination will knock the pandemic down to … normal life. Something near.