Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Rant and a Little Random

I'll start with the rant to get it off my chest. We'll call it purging. Let me just start with this: I do not advocate people being rude and disrespectful of leash laws nor do I think it's cool when completely out of control dogs are off leash when laws indicate otherwise. That said, there have been two instances lately that just chapped my hide. The first was a couple of Saturdays ago when I was out walking both of my dogs plus my dad's dogs. We were just at the end of our street where it butts up against a small park and closest to the basketball court. As soon as I started into the street I could see two small dogs off leash on the basketball court and two women talking on the far side. I kept my eyes on the dogs - theirs and mine - and tried to keep moving as best as possible. Fortunately my dogs weren't acting interested at all but they were getting a bit tangled in each other's leashes since I did have four of them so it slowed my progression out of the line of fire, so to speak. I would have guessed these dogs were around 12 pounds or so, probably large Chihuahuas from the looks. Of course, as I had suspected would happen, the two started barking and coming toward the dogs and I just as we were passing them. Anytime a dog take that tact I worry about a tendon being bit on the ankles. I yelled for them to get the dogs and they didn't move. Oh, and at this point they weren't even watching the dogs or reacting at all. Yes, steam started coming out of my ears. When they still did not react I had a few choice words about off-leash dogs and the propensity of Chis to bite (I apologize to anyone with Chis who are nice but there is a statistically proven greater likelihood of small dogs to bite than larger ones.). One of the women hollered back at me something along the lines of being a bitch but the dogs and I kept moving and enjoyed the rest of our walk with no incident even when encountering plenty of other leashed dogs.

The latest incident was this Monday. My son went with me on a bike ride with both dogs to the water treatment plant. When we got there I let both dogs off to run. Yes, off leash despite the signs indicating dogs aren't allowed to be. Of course dogs aren't allowed off leash anywhere unless it's a designated off leash park. But, and here's my argument for my decision to do so. I have excellent verbal recall over both of my dogs, particularly Vegas. She will return to me 99% of the time and the only times she might not would usually be when faced with the entertaining opportunity to chase a cat or a squirrel. She's a mama's girl so she's not about to be left behind and she just plain knows better. I've trained her to be that reliable.

So Monday we were happily enjoying our time and the park was empty; we were the only ones there. We had stopped at one of the waterfall areas and were watching the water and I decided to take the dogs around on another lap. I had just headed around the loop again when I saw a man walking his two chocolate Labs. Instead of going the long way like I usually would I took the path up the center so I could go in front of him and come around where I started instead of coming up behind him. Pretty respectful, right? Both of the dogs were with me and hadn't even really glanced at his dogs. I made sure I sped up at the intersection of the two paths and kept talking to the dogs. He was about 15 yards from the intersection at the time I passed through. We looped around uneventfully and came back toward where we'd started to pick up my son. I didn't see the man and his dogs. At that point I wanted to loop around again and so we took off the long way. As I rounded a bend I saw the man and his dogs again, this time farther out from us. We kept an even, slow pace to maintain the distance but he kept looking over his should back at us. I didn't recognize him giving us a dirty look at the time but I have little doubt now that he was. When he reached the end of the path from the park heading back toward the residential areas, he turned around, pointed at the sign and told me in a completely rude voice that I should read it. "Maybe you should read the sign!" he said several times as he walked away.

Grrrr!!! I went out of my way to maintain a distance and be respectful of his enjoyment at the park, too. Even more so than I might at other times, I am extremely careful at this park because we LOVE to go there but it's also a city building and working environment (during the daytime) so I don't want to lose the privilege. Plus I am quite the spectacle with my itty, bitty Pomeranian and my big, black Dane. I know people will remember me so I take extra care. I even picked up loose, unused poop bags flying all over the park that same day. So the fact that he yelled at me really irks me. And it's bugging me two days later which I shouldn't let it. But dammit, I don't try to hinder others' enjoyment outdoors. I just happen to believe my dogs should be able to run when they can and have trained them to be under my control in such an environment. Humph. So there's my rant. Stupid people should not inhabit the earth - at least not in my world when I'm trying to enjoy a beautiful Spring day with my son and my dogs.


I don't usually include product promotions here on my blog but I kind of have to this time on these two items. One is new and the other is something I've had for a couple of months but realized I can't live without.

The one I can't live without is the Premier Gentle Leader Treat Pouch designed by trainer Terry Ryan. I love this thing! It goes with me nearly everywhere from training class to dog walks and I even wear it around the house for training. It's so convenient with it's flat style. I have used other pouches that are more round and they get in the way and fall off and are a general nuisance. This one is smooth with the body, has an adjustable nylon belt with a sturdy, plastic buckle. Plus, the main compartment is lined with a waterproof fabric so moist treats don't soak through. The hinge at the top snaps shut so tightly treats don't fall out nor do they dry out quickly if left in there. There's an additional pocket on the face of the pouch, too, that, while smaller, is useful for poop bags and keys. Plus, if you put your treats in a Ziploc in the main compartment, there's still room for your cell phone, if you choose, when away from the house.

There's another model of this pouch available, too, that I found when looking for a picture that I don't think I would like as much. Mine has the front pocket that is almost as wide as the whole pouch. The newer style has a smaller front pouch which I think would be less convenient.

My next spout off for a great product that I enjoy although I used it just once so far, last night, is Walkies-Online. This is an app I downloaded to my HTC Evo a few days ago and didn't think to turn on last night until we were a ways into our walk. Still. I love it!

Walkies! is a dog walk/run/bike ride/hike recorder for your phone. It makes it really easy to record routes so you can see where you've been, and how far you've traveled. Once you've recorded a route you can upload it to Walkies! Online to share and show your friends.

Walkies! is freely available for the iPhone and Android devices. To get started, either download Walkies! from the App Store or the Android Market, or ask one of your friends who already have the app to share a route with you.

Here is the information it gathered for us last night.


Duration 50m 24s
Distance 3.8 km 2.3 miles
Min Altitude 0 m 0 ft
Max Altitude 29 m 95 ft

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