Thursday, March 15, 2007

I decided that after 5 years I'd finally take the plunge and get cable television and a land line phone - so that necessitated the need to have a service person come to the house to install the phone and cable line.

I always ask the person I talk to when I put in the work order to make a note saying that I have dogs and that they're very friendly so that the person coming knows that they're here and is forewarned when the barking starts as they're coming towards the door, but as a responsible dog owner my #1 priority is to keep my dogs safe - so when I saw the Eastlink van pull up - I put Daisy and Charlie out on the deck until I talked to the guy to see how he actually felt about dogs - and when the door bell rang and I asked him and he said "are they pit bull type dogs?" - I knew right there that the dogs were going to be staying out on the deck.

At one point the fellow looked at this picture here of Daisy and Charlie wrestling at Crystal Crescent that I have on the wall and said "Are these the dogs you have out on the deck?" and I said "yes" and he said "I'm very glad we're in here and they're out there, if they were in here I'd be so intimidated I wouldn't know what to do with myself" - so it just goes to show you that a picture as silly as this can scare someone - to me this is a silly picture - to him it was too dogs fighting.
But I think that part of having a dog friendly city is having everyone feel safe around all dogs - and that includes having this Eastlink employee feel safe going into dog owners homes when he goes on calls. He said that he goes to some people's homes and dogs are right at the front door snarling and the owners don't do anything - which does nothing to curb his fear of dogs - that's for sure. And that's not being a responsible dog owner. I told him that unfortunately even assholes own dogs - and that is too bad. I wish we could fix that fact, but we can't.
Buddy didn't mind Buttercup at all though - so she got to stay inside - I didn't tell him that she was the worst dog of the three - haha! She even got to poke him with the stuffed animal that you see next to him in the first picture!

1 comment:

  1. Marjorie4:53 PM

    Hi, Joan. I enjoyed reading the entry.

    I have a slightly different view of these kinds of situations in my own life, which I'd like to share.

    As you know, I'm all about dog acceptance, too. At the same time, I have seen many different philosophies on this subject.

    One of my former neighbours, for instance, used to take his dog everywhere...even places where it specifically stipulates "No Dogs Allowed". His theory? "All they can do is ask us to leave."

    That's all well and good, and there are merits to that way of thinking. (...A kind of commando or forced dog acceptance.) Unfortunately, the down side of that ideology is felt by those of us who never, ever disobey dog-related ordinances.

    What happens when people flout existing dog controls is those controls become even more restrictive and more stringently enforced. What often starts off as a simple request that dog owners be respectful of those around them turns into corporate or governmental policy disallowing dogs, or a virtual police state of enforcement, with all eyes looking at those of us who have never, and would never, flaunt the law, anyway. (In all areas of life, the real culprits often get off scott free while everyone else pays the biggest price: loss of personal freedom.)

    When I have service people or workmen coming to my home, I don't really care whether they like dogs or not. I honestly don't give it a second thought because I have properly trained my dogs(s), and they won't interfere with the job the person is coming here to do.

    Take a previous cable installation, as an example. Like you, I'd been happily living without multiple cyclops box options, by choice. But I don't live in a vacuum, and my husband decided he wanted to have cable again...mostly for the cable modem, he'd be sure to protest.

    Two workmen arrived, and quickly went to work...never knowing I had a dog and a cat. (I think I've written about the times when I've had multiple Danes, and once a delivery person leaves, I've thought to myself, 'They have no way of knowing I've got two, three, or four hundred pounds of dog in here!')

    When it came time to work in our master bedroom (giddyup!), both men went in and barely noticed the Great Dane and cat resting quietly on our very large bed.

    They made maybe one comment, and continued working as I gently stroked my dog and observed. But as they neared completion of their work in that room, one asked me how I was able to get them to behave so well. (I get that a lot.) I didn't want to go into a lot of detail, so I just grinned and quipped, "I run a tight ship," as I swept my arm above the dog and cat, in a very 'television spokesmodel' kind of fashion.

    We all chuckled. But the man was serious. Again he asked, saying he'd been thinking of getting a dog and didn't realize a dog could be so well-mannered, or a cat, for that matter. I then admitted that I'd been training dogs for some time, and we talked about that for a few minutes. In no time they were off to their next appointment, and the dog and cat went back to sleep.

    That's pretty much par for the course at my home. My dog, in particular, meets so many strangers every day, it's just not that big of a deal when workmen come over. (If people want a bigger reaction they should bring kongs pre-filled with peanut butter, I think.) ;-)

    Being so philosophical, I often say, "We live mostly inside our minds, and not in reality." I point out that people react to their own (sometimes psychotic) thoughts, rather than what is actually going on around them.

    For example, my Dane and I can walk silently behind someone for a kilometre, with no problem. But as soon as we walk past, they see the dog and become hysterically fearful. It's their own mental issues at hand, and not anything I or my dog is actually doing. (We were three feet away from them for the past 20 blocks, but because they didn't know, they weren't afraid. That should tell them something about their thought process.)

    Here's the thing, though. If one's dog is actually doing something to interfere with, concern, or otherwise heighten a person's sense he/she needs to be cautious around the dog, then I see that as justification for requiring that dog owner to restrict his/her normal behaviour in favour of the other person's right to "feel safe".

    I draw the line when neither I nor my dog are doing anything at all (literally) and it's still implied we should restrict our actions or abide by someone inexpert person's requests because of someone's totally imagined "concerns".

    I guess my philosophy is better explained the article on phobias I wrote:
    http://www.goodpooch.com/ISSUES/phobias.htm

    Any thoughts?

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