I did a shorter version of this on my FB, which will be in italics here.
On my adventures today, I have reaffirmed my love of cats and strong dislike of a fair number of small dogs.
I do love dogs in general… grew up with a dog in the family mix alongside a couple cats or three. Wouldn’t mind getting a dog one day, although not with Portia around as she hates dogs.
Returning from the art store, I stopped to let this little rat-dog sniff the back of my hand… *sniff*sniff*BARK*BARK*almost bite my damn fingers*BARK*BARK* (yes, yes, I know that many small dogs are better fucking trained, but I haven’t met one in PDX yet that wasn’t a therapy dog). Jesus Effing Christ on a Scooter!! I fucking FELT the teeth against my fingers. Little shit of a dog. Nope. Nope. Nope.
So, here’s my thing. In the past, I’ve seen small dogs behave just fine. We even fostered a Pomeranian that was abandoned. Sweetest little thing. All of our dogs growing up were medium to small. In recent years, though, I’ve seen a massive uptick in badly behaved small dogs. I know I’m not the only one who sees it. When I was living in my last apartment, I constantly heard small dogs barking up a storm, even if my windows were closed. The smaller dogs were vastly more aggressive than bigger dogs. Even before the little dog that almost bit me today, I came across several other dogs along my walk. The big dogs? Cool, laid back, had balls in their mouth wanting to play. The small dogs barked up a storm just because I was walking by.
What bothers me is how owners react to the bad behavior. They dismiss it, brush it off, etc. They’re still dogs… dogs that need training and behavior work. If that dog had successfully bit me, I would not have hesitated calling the cops. The behavior I’ve seen more and more with smaller dogs is inexcusable. They are not toys or accessories. They’re living beings that need structure and positive reinforcement.
This all coming from someone who was bitten by a GSD (German Shepherd Dog) who was protecting his property that I was there to care for (I was a petsitter for several years). I understood his thinking. He was a working dog, a protector. He knew me, but still didn’t always trust me. I get how people fear the bigger dogs, but most are doing their jobs. Many are working dogs just as he was.
What I’m trying to say is that behavioral training should be mandatory for all sizes of dogs. Period. End of story.
Then I continued back to the house. A few doors away, this STUNNING tortie/calico DLH was sunning herself on her human’s minivan… jumped down and trotted over to say hello. Vocal, SUPER friendly, and absolutely gorgeous. Light gold eyes. Her face was speckled more like a tortie… but her body and tail was more like the calico colors started to run down the canvas…. absolutely stunning cat. Gave her some attention and then she got distracted by the “neighborhood dog” (friendly giant poodle or something similar, always has a ball in his mouth) and I took my chance to finish my walk home… if she hadn’t been distracted, she likely would’ve followed me.
I rarely meet a cat I don’t like or can’t charm over. And even then, I still love them. I helped adopt out some difficult cats in my years as a shelter volunteer. Teaching the humans about certain body language, as many times, that’s how cats communicate. The beautiful cat I met down the street today was vocal, but reminded me of the Siamese in the place where I adopted JoJo. He was super-friendly and wrapped himself around the ankles of anyone who came in the door. This girl today was no different. Maybe she could tell I was a cat person. Not sure. But she wrapped herself around my ankles and purred up a storm. I may try to get a picture of her sometime. Her color and markings were truly something else.
Sorry dog people, today in my world, Cats rule, dogs drool.