Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Going commando, doggy style


Let me preface this by saying, “Albert” is my dog’s first name; his full name is Albert Dammit.

He’s a good natured, but slow-witted chap of the Labrador persuasion. If you were to crack open the Albert brain, you’d find the words "Tennis Ball" stamped in the Northern Hemisphere and "Kibble" in the Southern Hemisphere, with a small lobe in between reminding him to breathe and swallow.

There’s certainly nothing in that noggin configured to hear, capture, and interpret my verbal commands. So “Heel, Albert,” “Stay, Albert,” and “Get down, Albert, Dammit!” are all met with the same blank, tongue-lolling stare.

That is only one reason why, when we go hiking, Albert remains clipped to the leash.

I don’t think many other owners are as clear-eyed about their dogs’ limitations as I am about mine. They think their dogs actually listen. Such a mistaken belief results in lots of, “Mollie, come here. Come here. Here. Did you hear me? Mollie come. Now. This time I mean it. I won’t say it again. Mollie, come here. Come”

I’m of two minds regarding dogs hiking off the leash. If the dog obeys the owner’s commands instantly, then I’m ok with it. Rather, I’m sure I’d be okay with it if I ever were to see such a thing.

Usually the leash-less come charging up the trail to meet the leashed, and in the case of Albert and almost any dog I’ve ever owned, such manners are rarely appreciated. A little scuffle ensues, with lots of rude doggy language included; well, rude language all around, for that matter.

To head off a confrontation, I’ll shout to the owner, “Please call your dog, my dog isn’t friendly.” But that normally results in, “Rocky, come. Rocky! Rocky, Rocky! ROCKY! ROCK-EEE!" We only have a five-second window, so by the second “Rocky!” it’s already too late.

Albert’s a coward. You know those little scarecrow dolls people prop up in the front yard around Thanksgiving time? They scare him; he drags me, with a look of doom and dread in his eyes, to the opposite side of the street, and we have to jog to safety. Even then, Albert looks over his shoulder to see if the Children of the Corn are in hot pursuit.

So you can imagine... More on Patch.

(Ok, I'm off Patch duty for awhile, so this is the last time I have to split my posts. It's a copyright thang, believe it or not.)

33 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

For one thing Albert looks like he could be ferocious- size alone... but those eyes say he's just a big baby... I agree w/every word about the owners who let their dog off the leash.. I have a neighbor who does that.. he runs and lets his dog go from house to house.. that dog is so brave he will run up to your front door... The owner assumes that since we're in a gated community, his dog is safe? hah! the crazy-ass drivers as well as other dogs... Case in point- another neighbor has a Bull Terrier (Target mascot).. and that breed is one breed that is known for its 'not get along w/other breed' temperament.. I've seen him in action,and even on a leash this dog intimidates others...anywho, I wish there were more responsible owners like u and Petrea out there, it would make my life easier.

Mister Earl said...

A fun read as usual. Can you explain about how the split post and copyright work?

bandit said...

German Shepards. I had two that taught me how to communicate.

bandit said...

Sorry, Albert . . . I didn't mean anything derogatory to you, buddy.

altadenahiker said...

That's ok, Bandit. He didn't understand anyway.

Mister E, although most mags I've written for take only First American Rights, AOL takes it all. So if I were to post the entire thing on my site, it would be copyright infringement.

Kalei, Petrea's dog is much better behaved than mine.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I've met Albert DAMIT!!! when his tail took the glass of coke off the table

OK that concerns me about Copyright at Patch. I don't claim to know your business but I do see problems here. Most of the work on Patch is of an editorial persuasion; but yours has legs and a possible second life elsewhere. Like when you wrote about the Huntingtons....or this story. It just seems like a lawyer "in the know" could challenge AOL. It's a brave new world and AOL is taking advantage of this transitional period at yours and others expense.

AOLDAMIT

altadenahiker said...

Thanks, PA. The reason I'm not overly concerned is that, while I try to make the columns as clean as possible, they haven't been given the time required to be all that they can. In other words, they're not really in a final form, so I should be okay with marketing a reconstruction.

Anonymos2 said...

Oh, his eyelid is hanging!

Margaret said...

Too funny. Patch is lucky to have you. I tried saying that over there, by the way, but my computer went all wacky.

Anonymous said...

If you've seen Rocky, call me. Mollie's worried.

GG

Banjo52 said...

This is hysterical, and the photo could hardly be more apt. Sign me up and the 10,000th Albert fan.

"I don’t think many other owners are as clear-eyed about their dogs’ limitations as I am about mine."

After a few weeks watching usually well-behaved dogs and mostly moronic human masters on the beach in Florida, I'm glad to hear you say this. Dogs don't have to be mean (and some are!) to knock over little kids or the feeble elderly, or to intimidate smaller dogs. I do believe humans might be stupider about their pooches than their kids, and that's saying something.

Katie said...

Another great Patch piece, as always, and an adorable Albert photo. I'm not a dog owner, but I'm always nervous when I see off-leash dogs in public places. I assume there's always the possibility of a normally nice dog suddenly going nuts (but maybe that's just me imagining a fluffy little lap dog having just watched Holy Grail and deciding to pull a killer bunny attack just for fun).

Ms M said...

That's such an endearing photo of Albert! I agree, too, about the off-leash thing on trails. It was always problematic when I used to walk my dog. Good article on Patch.

Desiree said...

Hysterical.
And I'll save my comments regarding leashless dogs for a less public venue--

Trish said...

wait, so, let me get this clear. AOL gets First American Rights, doesn't pay you and yet gets to copyright YOUR work?

Uh, no. One big reason I don't pimp for them for free. Second reason being they drove 2 small community papers out of our town with their "coverage". The one Patch staff person who covers stuff can't spel to safe her lives. Really. Oh, wait, today there was an article about the Lockyear mess and all the "sorted" details of her affair. Sorted. Well, I'd assume if Mrs Lockyear could sort her SORDID details out, no one would have heard about this fine mess.

altadenahiker said...

How did we get into this? No, Trish, I'm paid, and our agreement suits me fine. And the pieces they have rights to are only the ones published on their site.

Trish said...

I have to admit, I was laughing thru the part you posted here and part of the Patch article. It reminds me of the Bill Cosby "Come Here, Come Here, Come Here!" routine.

Albert Dammit seems to be a love. He falls well into the category we place most of our pups in "Cute OR Smart, pick ONE!". Verrrry cute Albert Dammit! Very cuuute! He is not the only dog I know who thinks the Children of the Corn are going to do us all in. We know one who has to chase leaves to the point of having to wear a muzzle in fall to avoid rubbing her nose completely raw. Brains, no. Cuteness factor, yes dammit!

I do have a beef with off leash dogs. I've met maybe 6 in my life who I would be comfy with letting roam off leash. I've known at least a thousand dogs. That's NOT a good average.

Had an incident with a guy who let his dog roam, it came RIGHT at me and a dog. I placed a gentle, but firm Men's sized 10 1/2 4E New Balance walking shoe in the dog's chest to stop the advance---and the guy tried to tell me off. Explained leash laws are NOT for YOUR dog, but for whatever YOUR dog comes across, lizard, rabbit, pit bull, bear.

But I do disagree...I think Albert Dammit looks GREAT going commando...somehow, I think he'd look pretty silly wearing tightie whities! ;-O

Trish said...

humnn, they aren't paying anyone else I know who is writing for them....lucky you!

so, go ahead, sign your rights away, take the pay! ;-)

Trish said...

humnn, they aren't paying anyone else I know who is writing for them....lucky you!

so, go ahead, sign your rights away, take the pay! ;-)

Petrea Burchard said...

I love this photo of Albert. Love it.

I try to be clear-eyed about Boz's limitations. He speaks good English but I freely admit he rarely comes when called. He thinks he has me on this one but I came up with another command that he simply can't resist, and that is "Stop!" It works every time, which is great, but unless I'm right next to him it's not quite the equivalent of "Come."

I would never take him leash-less on a busy trail like Echo Mountain (I'm way too protective), although we visit certain open areas that way. I do know Boz well enough for that--he's too chicken to get far from me and I'm too chicken to let him.

altadenahiker said...

I know, I feel bad asking Albert to pose when I'm just going to make ill use of the photo. I try to explain the reasons why we're doing this, how it's for the greater good of dog and mankind. And he drools, thinks a bit, and says, "Well, can I finish you sandwich, then?"

bandit said...

Hmm - I think Albert and I could find a common, non verbal ground to stand on. What kind of samwhich you got?

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

Wonderfully, entertainingly put, Karin. All of it. And I truly appreciate you being clear-eyed about the charming Albert's limitations. As well as those of other dog owners. I grew up with dogs much of my childhood and teenhood, but now my interactions with dogs consist almost entirely of, "Get down. GET DOWN." Usually because the dimwitted dog owner won't say it. They're too busy saying, "Oh, she's just being friendly." To which I want to reply, "I don't care. She's not my friend." Somehow, though, I think Albert and I would be friends. Or at least nodding acquaintances.

Paula said...

Maybe not the best choice of words but I totally identify where Ranger is concerned. I'm not even sure he has two hemispheres...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150576689862617&set=a.10150550520322617.366214.297724632616&type=1&theater

Pat Tillett said...

He may be all those things, be also is so DARN cute and sweet looking! I'm with about dogs off of leashes. We had a neighbor who's three dogs always were running around the neighborhood. They were friendly, but another dog or a little kids doesn't know that when a dog is charging at them.

altadenahiker said...

Bandit, I'm afraid you'd have to fight him for the sandwich.

Terry, thank you. and Albert is a dog best admire from a distance.

Paula, maybe Ranger + Albert = one brain.

Pat, yeah, that's what has saved his life.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Your master has a very kind, patient face. And wise. Follow his lead and your problems will be few and near between.

sonia a. mascaro said...

I love this photo of Albert. So kind and sweet face.

I like so much reading your posts!

Virginia said...

I know, when my knees allowed me to walk the wonderful trails here, I was appalled at how many let their dogs off the leash, then let them crap on the paved sidewalks, etc. Don't get me started. I'm already so riled up about Rush Limbaugh, i'm a threat to spew some bad stuff tonight.
V

PS I love Albert. Don't let the thugs mess with him.

Anonymous said...

My house is overrun by the big, the fat, the slobbering, the farting, the rude. Be grateful I never take my two sons on the trail. On the other hand, everyone is happy to see my dogs.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Your hiking comments - you with a leashed dog - are all so true. Love the 'five second window' comment. It is so true! Here we hike around cactus - try telling your leashed dog to sit, knowing he will sit in a cholla!
Even the cutest dog unleashed on a trail could use a responsible owner.

altadenahiker said...

Ain't it the truth, sister-woman? I always get nervous with Albert thinks he needs to pee on a prickly pear.

TheChieftess said...

Uh oh!!! Y'all better not come to Mammoth...while there are leash laws...there are dogs all over the place off leash...Kelly gets to go off leash on some of the trails and at the quasi impromptu dog park during the heavy snow...