Wednesday, 25 July 2007

'No dogs allowed'. But why?

I’m not a dog person so it’s something of a surprise to find myself the owner of a dog. She just turned up at my house one day and refused to leave, and it’s cold and rainy here at the moment, so I let her stay. And not only is she ridiculously pretty with her long legs and huge bat-eared-fox ears and whippy tail and Indian-goddess eyes, but she also turned out to be sweet and playful and adore me in an almost embarrassing way, so what could I do but return the compliment? (The four resident cats weren’t so sure, but Sarah – that’s her name – is so ridiculously gentle and friendly that even they’re warming to her.)

Now, for the very reason I’m not a dog person, I’m very sensitive about how other people feel about dogs. I’m eternally grateful for my friend Johann who loves dogs and has two of his own, so he listens without appearing bored to hours of my Sarah tales, invites me on lovely long country walks, and allows me to bring Sarah over to his place to play.

But for those many people who would quite frankly rather not have their crotch publicly nosed, I’m careful to keep Sarah on a short leash and take her only where her presence is appropriate and appreciated.

So you will understand my surprise today when, going into my local DVD-rental store, with Sarah on her leash, I was told by the snippy clerk, ‘No Dogs Allowed!’

I looked at her in surprise. I was the only customer in the video store. It is a video store, not a food store. Sarah was on her leash and behaving, as always, impeccably. And there was no sign excluding dogs from the premises.

‘She’s not doing any harm,’ I said. Sarah pressed home the point by sitting down prettily at my feet and giving the clerk her most endearing smile.

The clerk folded her arms. ‘I said No Dogs Allowed,’ she snarled.

I am one of those nasty people with a hair-trigger temper, and when I felt the blood rush to my face I knew I was about to behave in a way that would embarrass my exceptionally well-behaved dog. So I turned around and, Sarah obediently at my heels, departed.

I drove home feeling deeply aggrieved. Not only had I not got a DVD to watch, I felt that both Sarah and I had been treated in an unnecessarily shabby manner.

After I’d calmed down and my blood supply had evened out across my body again, I realised why the clerk had been so peremptory: it’s other people’s dogs that are the problem. I know a few of these annoying folk, who think nothing, for instance, of allowing Fido to practically rape you and then saying, with a fond smile, ‘Oh, look, he likes you.’

Or – and this one has always absolutely stymied me – bringing Rover along to a restaurant.

Or turning up for a visit at your home with their beloved man’s-best-friend in tow and saying, as Spot tears across the living room and cats go screeching in all directions, smashing potplants and dislodging furniture, ‘I hope you don’t mind, she’d have been so lonely at home.’

Or staring into the middle distance while Fluffy dumps a big steaming turd right in the middle of your favourite greenbelt, then walking on as if it isn’t there.

Or allowing Brutus to run snarling at you when you’re on a nice peaceful beach walk then yodelling, ‘Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite!’

Or, I suppose, taking Sarah into a DVD-rental store and allowing her to crap on the tiling/chew the DVDs/hump the clerk/frighten the other customers (if there are any).

So a little request for you other people out there with dogs: try not to spoil it for the rest of us, okay?

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tonypark said...

Ah yes, other people's dogs.

Did I tell you about (God)zilla the Boerbul bitch of Bulawayo? (there must be a Limerick in there somewhere).

Whenever I visit she backs me into a corner and tries to have sex with me. Most disconcerting. Very big dog. Very demanding, and obviously very frustrated.

It takes all of my 6'6" 105kg-ness to protect my honour. I'm often reminded of the joke about what to do if a Rottweiler tries to hump you... fake an orgasm.

angel said...

this was hysterical- other people's dogs indeed!!!
no dogs for me, i have three cats & i used to take my cat greebo with me to the dvd rental place on his harness & leash... caused quite a stir i tell you!
i have a problem with people taking their dogs for a walk without a leash and letting them "chat" hysterically to other dogs behind their fences, this is NOT okay people!!!

iScatterling said...


Speaking of dogs..........go check this out: