Crotchety About Mine

“Oh, honestly,” said the woman on the trail, grabbing her frothing Rottweiler by the collar and pulling him away from me so I could continue unmolested on my hike.  As we passed, she squatted down and nuzzled the drooling dog like a lover, whispering endearments that ended with, “She doesn’t like Baby Wuggums, does she?”

Baby Wuggums had come tear-assing around the isolated woodland corner, no owner in site and no leash despite a state park law.  He bypassed my husband and cornered me, accurately singling me out as the weakling in the herd.   I froze as he circled me – I don’t like dogs, and they know it.  Wuggums took advantage of my vulnerability and stuck his slimy nose in my crotch, where it stayed until his owner waddled down the trail, leash hanging in her hand.

Dogs Must Be On Leash“He’s just a big lunkhead!” she called, gaily.  “He won’t hurt you!  Come here, Baby Doll!!”

Baby Doll sat there, tense and poised on his haunches, eying my tender throat and daring me to move.  I chose not to.

“You can go on ahead, honey!” she laughed at me, still a good twelve feet away.  “He’s OK!”  Wuggums did not remove his steely gaze from me, and I tried my damnedest not to appear threatening – as if my standing there frozen in terror could remotely seem aggressive.

“Please get your dog away from me,” I asked, in a sweet and friendly fashion.  That’s when she became impatient, flouncing over in exasperation to catch him just as he lunged for me, veins popping in his neck.

I would have let the whole thing go, but she rolled her eyes at me.

Now, I can tell from the back of his head when my husband rolls his eyes at me.  I can tell from the next room when my kids do.  There is nothing that pushes me over the edge faster than a rolling eyeball.

I let out a string of invective that would make a sailor blush, something I’m able to use to great effect since I look like a meek mealy-mouthed mild-mannered librarian.  Alas, I could finish up with nothing more powerful than “ . . . and . . . and . . . I’ll report you to the park ranger!”

Whereupon she told me to get a life, and moved on.  Now, this is the sort of thing I can brood about for days (which probably has something to do with my hypertension).  But I decided to let it go and move on myself – it was too lovely a morning to stew.

A mile or so farther down the path, a beautiful big buck went bounding across the field.  My husband and I were doing that tiresome yuppie-nature-appreciation thing, admiring the symmetry of his leaps and the beauty of his movements and the wonder of it all, when two does noisily followed him.  The does were not graceful – they were running headlong in terror.  There at their heels was Baby Wuggums – I knew him by his neon green high-tech expensive collar.

Where I grew up, they shoot dogs that run deer, and no questions are ever asked.  For the first time in my life, I wished that I had a goddamned gun – and knew how to use it, and had it with me.

But I’d have had to shoot Wuggums’ woman, too.  And even for eye-rolling, she (arguably) didn’t deserve that.


I realize that I risk losing my fledgling readership by admitting that I am not a Dog Person.  While I might be forgiven for raging bleeding-heart liberalism, only an anti-American baby-hating atheistic socialist could object to having Baby Wuggums’ snout stuck between her legs.

3 thoughts on “Crotchety About Mine

  1. A Dog Lover

    There’s a difference between well mannered dogs and ill mannered owners with untrained mutts who don’t follow command and terrorize wildlife. I’d have reported them to the ranger too… and it’s darned uncomfortable even if you are a pooch lover to have a nose shoved into your nethers. Though I love dogs, I don’t blame you for your reaction in the slightest!

  2. Jules

    I don’t think for me that would have been the FIRST time in my life I wished I owned a gun, but it would have been added to the string of times I’ve wished it; and as you implied, perhaps it was better they weren’t available at such moments! I did live in Vermont for a year and remember well their laws about dogs harassing deer. Here, the authorities worry about dogs harassing people, but dog owners too often don’t. Now I have a dog, a goofy golden, but it wasn’t my idea. And she’s a nice dog. But now I’ve learned from dog-walking that everyone thinks their dog is “friendly” and that that makes it “OK.” It’s NEVER OK when someone’s dog comes running at me and my dog…and a good percentage of them look and sound anything but friendly. My niece, when she was maybe 7 or 8, got her face bit by someone’s friendly dog. I nearly got my hand taken off by a dog that was being “socialized.” Another friend walked by someone’s house whose dog was in the FRONT yard “held in” by an invisible fence, so that when it runs at you snarling and barking, you don’t find out until after your life flashes before you that it can’t really get to you. They are animals with instincts and like a drunk in a bar can start something just because they don’t like your looks. So you haven’t alienated this reader! But good for you for the string of invectives; lack of gun notwithstanding, sounds like you were shooting straight from the hip!

  3. Dear Dog Lover —
    When I was a kid, a bunch of us hosted a haunted house one fall. I was in charge of a bowl of cold wet spaghetti, into which people were to plunge their hands as if it were guts or brains or something equally attractive. The neighbor’s dog wanted that pasta in the worst way. I stupidly held the bowl over my head, damned if he was going to get it — whereupon he chonked into my arm instead. I still have the scar. But! He didn’t get my cold spaghetti.

    Jules —
    I love your comment about dogs being drunks in a bar, who can start something just because they don’t like your looks. There were no leash laws where I grew up; I used to have to walk two blocks out of the way to school to avoid a couple of vicious dogs. Riding a bike was a harrowing horrifying experience, too. There were many streets the wise rider wouldn’t venture into (more than once).

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