So, we took the girl and the maniac dog for a walk with the girl’s wagon. (It was really fun because I tied rhubarb’s leash to the wagon. If I would have had another leash to keep Rhubarb from taking off with my daughter, I would have left it. Ivy thought it was hysterical.)
We just walked on on our street and ended up at the elderly couple’s house at the end of our street who have a nice big, inviting porch. It’s funny how everybody hunkers down for the winter and then get caught up at their porch in the spring…
So, Rhubarb’s on a leash, they have a dog, another kid from next door comes over with his little dog on a leash, there are lots of adults and lots of kids. Rhubarb is insane, especially when there are other people or dogs around (and here are both…) She’s got a big bark and when I’m not physically holding her down, she’s going nuts. I go back and forth between trying to keep her calm and then just letting her play on the leash with the other dogs.
Next thing I know, a lady pulls up in her white mini-van and gets out. She’s probably in her 40’s or 50’s. Here are snippets of what I remember that she said:
“I’m from the next street over. I’ve been driving around the neighborhood for awhile trying to figure out what’s going on with the terrible barking going on.”
me: “oh there’s no problem, the dogs are just playing.”
her: “well, I work all day and when I come home I really need to relax and that dog’s bark is just so loud…”
me: “oh. Well, we’re from down the street and we’ll be heading home soon.”
her: “I just want you to know that I’m not trying to be an ugly person or anything. I have had dogs and I love dogs. It’s just that bark is terrible.”
me: “Well…” (internal voice: If you’re not trying to be an ugly person, you must just be a natural…”
her: “you know I’m a census taker and I deal with people with dogs and you can get them to stop barking.”
me: “Oh believe me. I tell her to stop all the time. She just get’s riled up around other people. If you knew a trick to make her stop, that’d be great…”
her: “oh, I’ve got something here in the car. Let me get it and show you.” (she proceeds to go get a little water bottle. Much like the water bottle we use to try to deter Rhubarb all the time. It’s just that usually, it makes Rhubarb bark more…)
So, this just proceeded with her trying to tell me how to train the dog. Nothing I don’t know and nothing I haven’t tried. And then proceeds to tell me that I “can’t ever give in.” because “you’re the master. You just need to say no. Otherwise, you know, they become spoiled like children…”
I stayed nice and smiled and tried to listen and tell let her know that I’ve owned a dog and I have some experience and she’s not impressing me with her know-how or expertise we’re going to be going back down the street and she’ll probably never hear my dog again. Until my beautiful, awesome daughter came up to me and said, “I need to go home now.”
But, since this is my blog, I can say it now:
WHAT A BITCH!! She had been driving around the neighborhood from the next street over! There are at least a dozen dogs residing within a 6 house radius of where I was standing with Rhubarb.
I think that I am actually overly conscious and mindful of other people. I think this is a quickly dying characteristic in our society. I’m careful about playing my music too loud outside. I get irked when others play music loud in the neighborhood after a certain hour. I had a hold of Rhubarb’s leash THE WHOLE TIME and holding her close to me so that she wouldn’t jump on or annoy anybody or crush the little dogs or kids that were around. GET A FREAKING LIFE, LADY!
So, as we were leaving, we decided with our elderly friends (who’s house we were visiting) that we’re going to have a block party and I’ll bring my PA and we’ll play music really loud and get all the dogs together for a real rip-snortin good time… I’ll keep you posted.