Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

I have but two grievances about Denver. I really love this city, the weather, the stunning lack of mosquitoes, the weather.

The two things that bug me about living here:
1) Summer is too short. It usually takes until June to warm up - and by mid-September it's chilly. Coming from Nebraska where the heat of summer blazes from Mid-April to the end of October... three puny months just isn't enough!

2) All the freaking dogs! I read once that Denver has more dogs per-capita than it has children. I believe this to be true. But allow that to roll around in your head. More dogs than children.
That means most households have two dogs and no kids. Instead of DINKs (double income no kids) we have DITDs (Double income two dogs)! The longer I live here, the more I look at dogs with disgust.

Don't get me wrong. It's not the dogs that bug me as much as the dog owners. In my condo building we have 22 units. 8 of them have dogs. (have mercy, I just did the count and was surprised it was only 8 dogs. It feels like I live with 18!!) These dogs bark at the drop of a hat. They run and jump on people. They have taken over the courtyard. It's a mad house!!

I don't understand how anyone takes pleasure in having a dog that isn't properly trained and socialized. Why wouldn't you want your dog to be a good citizen? A dog that is a joy for other people to be around.

On the first floor, there are two little yippy dogs and real dog (laborador) just moved in.
The first yippy dog barks when anyone gets their mail, opens the front door, or walks up the stairs. Seriously. That's at least 22 people coming and going every day. I can't believe this dog still has vocal chords (and I am very tempted to snip them myself!).

What if I had a tantrum every time someone came in the front door? Don't you think they'd send me to the looney bin?

The first yippy dog sets the second yippy dog off barking... and now the new dog joins in. I may as well live in the animal shelter.

Yesterday I went out to the courtyard to soak up some sun, and one of the neighbors was out there with her yippy dog and the Golden Retriever she was watching for one of the neighbors. The Golden jumped up on the hammock I was lying in not once, not twice, not even three times... but at least FIVE! Knocking me out every time!!
When I told him to sit he just ignored me! I raised my voice asking, "Why doesn't this dog know commands?!"

Someone please tell me - why would you have a dog and not bother to train it?
That is very much like having children and allowing them to grow up to be dull, stupid BRATS!

Tips for dog people. If you don't want other people to hate you - please try the following:
- Teach your dog to sit on command. Any one's command.
- Teach your dog to stop within at least 3 feet of another human (or dog) unless invited to approach.
- Teach your dog not to jump on people. You may enjoy being part of a pack - but some of us are wearing nice clothes, thank you very much.
- Keep your dog on a leash and teach it to heel. That means the dog stays in close proximity to you. Your dog should be able to heel even when not on a leash. Learning this will make all the steps above that much easier to accomplish.
- Pick up your dog's doodie. If you don't like this duty - don't have a dog. This is non-negotiable.
- Ask your neighbors whether your dog is quiet when you are away at work or out on errands. If the report reveals that your dog barks for more than 10 minutes upon your departure... this means your dog is a nuisance. Buy a shock collar or citronella collar and use it until your dog is trained not to bark. It works. Do it. I don't care if you think it is cruel or not. Forcing your neighbors to hear your bundle of joy bark all day is cruel and unusual punishment as well.

Please, if you are going to have a dog make it a dog that isn't a nuisance to everyone but you. You owe it to your dog. If it could speak, it would tell you it wants to be a good citizen.
Doing less than this is lazy and inconsiderate and dare I say... cruelty to animals.

Thank you.

Stepping off my soapbox and signing out.


J said...

Oh man. I feel the EXACT same way. I know it is not cool for me to say that is how I feel about it in front of my we-had-dog-so-we-could-train-for-having-kids-and-then-forgot-to-train-the-dog-friends, so I am glad you did :-)

jean said...

If you live in a condo building, have you complained to the mgmt co about the barking dogs? When I moved into a condo building like yours with a common entrance, apparently my dog barked every time the door opened, too. She obviously wasn't happy about her living situation, and ended up having to go & live w/her 'dad' (my ex) who had a house where she could be outside. Enough calls to the mgmt co should get some action. Good luck! (at least you can do something about it - now I live in a house where the neighbor's dogs are out ALL THE TIME and bark constantly - I can't even enjoy my own back yard...)

Laura said...

There are lots of dogs in my building too.
I really appreciate it when they owners WAIT for me to encourage interaction with the dogs.
I do NOT like (okay I'm scared of) pit bulls so I am not at all interested in having one near me.

Katie said...

So true.

As someone who has spent HUNDREDS of dollars and hours training our dog it really ticks me off to see poorly trained dogs. It's really not good for the animal since they crave discipline and rules. Our dog does not take one step into our kitchen and sits quietly on his bed when we have guests over.

Hey, would you be interested in doing a blogger to blogger interview on my site? Let me know!

TRS said...

Katie!! I Love you for training your dog. (love you anyway!) You are right - they are happier when they have discipline and I can imagine you are double frustrated when other owners set a bad example.

I just think - what a pleasure it must be to know your pet understands you to the best of his ability and that you can manage him in any situation.
And yes! I'd love to do blogger to blogger sometime! I hope I have enough clever questions!!

Anonymous said...

I agree. 100%.

Also, in my apartment building, we have Great Danes and other HUGE dogs. Who would be so selfish and CRUEL, as to have huge dogs left in a tiny apt. ALL day and most of the night, and NEVER train them?

One time, I went to visit a friendly acquaintance, and the second I walked in the door, their enormous German Shepherd, which was bigger than I am, slammed me against the front door, pinning me there with its front paws on my shoulders and barking and snarling in my face. I thought I was going to die. Seriously, be ripped to shreds by a huge untrained German Shepherd (or have a heart attack).