I live in a very, very doggy neighborhood. Just about everyone has at least one dog, several neighbors on my block have three or more dogs. Because we all have older homes on small lots, dogs are spoiledy-rotten house dwellers who get to go on walks a lot. The few times Big Dude's labradorks have gotten out of the yard, they are not only scooped up and rescued within half a block, they're often taken back to someone's house and fed a nice warm meal before we are contacted. A couple of years ago, the big black labradork was missing for more than 24 hours without his tags on. While we were visiting every pound and dog morgue in the city, he was languishing on a floral sofa, being catered to by a pack of Girl Scouts who had found him, bathed him, fed him pizza, taken him to the vet for a check-up and were working on rewriting their parents' wills so that he might inherit a goodly chunk for his future care.
At any given time, I can look out at the parkway steps from my house and see doggies on leashes, doggies tied to strollers, doggies riding in strollers, doggies trotting next to runners, etc. And, generally, without fail, these dogs all have the same trick that owners proudly demonstrate.
It's the You-Sit-On-The-Curb-While-I-Step-Off-It trick. I agree that the intent is a good one. It allows the owner to check for oncoming traffic, and teaches Fluffy or Fido to not run in front of a car. However, my observation is that most people only make their dog do this if there's already a car at the stop sign. Which means, they're basically just showing off. "See here, car? What my St. Labradoodleshire knows? How to sit! Please wait while I reinforce his training on your clock."
And I patiently wait and nod with a knowing, "Wow, that's a super dog you have there, and what an original trick!" smile on my face.
This morning, though I saw the ultimate.
I was dropping the giant middle schooler off at his giant middle school. He hopped out of the car just as the light turned green, and I needed to turn right. But I couldn't turn right because Dudely Dogwalker wanted to cross the street and Denver says pedestrians in crosswalks have the right-of-way. FINE. Please let me now paint you a picture of Dudely Dogwalker. Imagine if you will:
1. Dorothy Hamil haircut
2. Liza Minelli sunglasses. Large. Like 5" circles per lens.
3. White mesh tank top. Tight.
4. Levi's cutoffs, with an approximately 3/4" inseam. Again, tight. As in, I know for a fact he was circumsized tight.
5. Striped knee socks. Red and yellow striped.
6. Those Skecher shoes that are supposed to work your ass out.
7. Mesh backpack.
8. At least 6'8" tall, approximately 167 pounds.
Can you see this fella in your mind? Got it? Add a bitchy smirk. And a sweet little yellow lab who was in desperate need of a sandwich. The image should now be complete.
So Mr. Dudely "My friends call me Cameltoe" Dogwalker pulls the ultimate trick by parking the dog on one sidewalk and then sashaying across the street. Alone. At a snail's pace. With his carefully powdered nose in the air, completely ignoring the dog, the fifteen cars waiting to turn, and his gender. He then makes it to the other side of the street and, still not ever looking at the dog OR traffic, looks up to the sky and slaps himself on the denimed ass. This was apparently the leashless, collarless dog's clue to run to him.
The only reason his dog is alive is because I didn't feel like having to furminate my front bumper. The only reason I didn't get out to kick his ass is because I had fourteen cars behind me. And pajama pants on.
But tomorrow I'm totally getting dressed and bringing an extra leash. Being weird-looking to get attention is one thing, endangering your doggy so that you can feel special is just plain wrong.