A Ranty McRant.

So I have a giant German shepherd, right?  Jake weighs maybe 85-90 lbs and that’s solid muscle because he doesn’t eat enough to have an ounce of fat on his frame.  Solid, hard, powerful muscle.  (His predecessor, Louie, weighed in at 105 lbs of pure muscle.)

But he’s a nice guy.

Oh, Jake has his Alpha Dog moments which generally involve nothing more than posturing, but never with little dogs, never with old dogs, never with girl dogs, and only with the nasty ass feral cat that keeps attacking his cat.  (Poor Ichi-ban is really torn up again.  Damn feral cat.)

The people at the far end of the block, who shall hereafter be known as the Multi-Prius Solar Power People– don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against hybrids or Toyotas or solar power but these people are obsessed with Prius’s and solar power– have this little dog, a terrier mix.  She weighs maybe 25 pounds.  And… Tom, are you paying attention?  They never keep her on a leash.  She roams the neighborhood from stem to stern, chasing cats and people alike and… wait for it… attacking Jake.

Here’s the long version – Since I’m avoiding nasty yellow jackets I’ve been walking Jake early in the morning and after dusk, on a leash, in our neighborhood.  The stupid Multi-Prius Solar Power People leave their garage door open, oh, I don’t know, seems like 24 hours a day, thus their stupid mini-attack dog is always out in front.

If I walk on the sidewalk past their house, she attacks Jake.  If I walk in the middle of the street past their house, she attacks Jake.  If I walk on the other side of the street, she attacks Jake.  And she’ll follow us around the corner and even across the busy intersection– attacking Jake.

Don’t you think it would occur to them to keep their damn dog indoors or at least restrained?  If not because of Jake but because eventually she’s going to get flattened by a car?

Before the election these people were really bad about ignoring her because they were apparently in the midst of a Prius convention which took up our entire block.  One morning, at 7 a.m., I approached their house.  Jake was, as usual, on a leash.  This dog came flying down the driveway, right into his face, and bit him on the neck.

Now Jake, who has never reacted to this dog, who has put up with all kinds of shit from this dog for an entire year, had finally had enough.

He growled at her and lunged in her direction, chasing her into the street.  He did not bite her or injure her in any way.  He didn’t even make contact because his leash is short.  But the dog began screaming, you know, that high-pitched barking… makes you think your dog is being murdered?

The dog’s owner ran out of his house, and then his neighbor came out of his house, and they both yelled at me – “Did your dog bite her?  Did your dog bite her?”

Yeah, blame the German shepherd.

“Of course my dog didn’t bite her.  Your dog bit my dog.”

Then followed way too much harrumphing and posturing, which ended by me informing him that his dog was the problem and had been for a year.

“I would appreciate it if you would restrain your dog so I could walk on the sidewalk past your house without being harassed.”  (You dumbshit mother fucker.)

To make a long story short, he has made more of an effort to keep his garage door shut and his dog indoors.  However, just this past Monday morning Jake and I headed out the front door and down our front walkway at 6:45 a.m. and who should fly into Jake’s face?  That stupid dog out walking without a leash with its equally stupid (woman) owner.

Damn it!  Are these people incapable of learning?

Once again Jake was having none of it and he growled at the dog.  The woman totally freaked out.  Of course she could not get her idiot dog to come to her.  The dog continued to circle Jake’s legs, lunging at him, nipping at him.  I kept Jake under control, but you should have heard me.  I was so pissed off.

German shepherds get a bad rep because of their size, but Jake has never once attacked a dog, cat, person, goat, deer, rabbit… He’d like to get that nasty cat but the worst he does is chase him out of the yard.

The one good thing that came out of this last encounter (I hope) is maybe the Multi-Prius Solar Power people are beginning to realize it would just take one good nip on Jake’s part and whoops… And the responsibility will be theirs.  I’m obeying the leash law and my dog is not the aggressor.

I’m all for calling Animal Control but my husband doesn’t want to declare war just yet…

Jake vs…..




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31 Responses to A Ranty McRant.

  1. JenM says:

    In general, I’d rather have a small dog because big dogs = big poop deposits. However, I’m not much of a terrier fan. Every one I’ve ever met has been yippy yappy and annoyingly hyper. You (and Jake) are to be admired for showing such restraint.

  2. Ah Jen… occupational hazard. I don’t mind small dogs but I’ve always had big dogs. One of Jake’s oldest and dearest friends is a mini-schnauzer named Winston.

  3. Tom Stronach says:

    Dear harassed dog owner of Northern California: Here is my advice.

    You comment that this problem has been going on for of a year and that there is a law in the State about keeping your dog on a leash and there fore that imply’s that the ‘dog owner/s MUST keep their dog under control AT ALL TIMES.

    Clearly you have the patience of a Saint, or, and forgive me for being brutally honest, as dumb as the ignorant owners of the dog that terrorises the neighbourhood and you in particular. I was going to say the offending dog, but of course it is not the dog that offends as in some breeds, it is in their nature to be aggressive, and while this can be controlled by good owners like yourself, as is evident in Jake, these energy saving morons are clearly at the opposite end of the scale when it comes to good pet ownership and in good neighbourliness.

    You often get that with self obsessed people so wrapped up in theirselves with a belief that everything they do is correct and righteous and that everyone else around them are morons and plebs, these people seem to fit into that category and in the one that their pet has it’s own rights and is too, like them, a free spirit and should be allowed to do what nature created it to do without impediment. They fail to recognise that we humans are very similar to dogs in that respect, in that our basic nature is to be aggressive and anti social to our fellow humans; this is why we have enacted laws and social niceties to moderate and keep in check our basic instincts.

    But, as is always the way with these things there is always the rat in the pack who refuses or adapt and fit in with those of us who choose to try and live in a group, treating our family friends and neighbours, both near and far, with the respect and kindness that we try and show to them. In this regard anti social dog owners always appear to be the worst of that kind. They are insular and in many regards friendless. Those whom they think of as friends are sometimes of the same ilk as them and are as transient as the passing cloud in the sky and are as likely to turn and bite their so called friends as the untrained four legged ‘friend’ they allow to run wild. No doubt these neighbours, in allowing their dog free reign are also responsible for much of the poop that no doubt litters your area too.

    It surprises me though that the local county, state or even federal officials, such as garbage collectors or postmen or women who presumably visit the local, have not taken action against these morons, and it seems that they haven’t! So, Dear Harassed, it is time for your well of kindness and patience to run dry. You Must take action against these Neandrethals and it must be direct action…

    Set loose the hound of war, Jake and let it rip this annoying little mongrel to shreds and then with it’s blood dripping body hanging from Jakes mouth go and knock on the door. When they answer the door, smile sweetly, look down and say ‘I think this belongs to you’. Command Jake to drop it turn on your heel with an expansive swirl, and continue your walk….

    On the other hand, being the utterly nice person that you are as can be seen from your note, I have a couple of more prosaic idea’sq for you:

    1. I notice that your husband is opting for the easy life, for him, in telling you to calm down – kick his ass out the door with Jake in the morning and see how he likes it and ground him for watching Baseball for two weeks

    2. Carry a small digital video camera with you and capture the encounters on camera, the dog running wild, the asinine neighbours losing it and you and Jake being the virtuous model citizens

    3. Report it immediately to the local county office

    Or alternatively, send me their details I shall try and arrive and rip their bloody throats out (I sometimes have anger management issues and

  4. Amber Skyze says:

    I give Jake credit. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be not to squash that little PIA.

  5. Hybris- the misplaced sense of pride people who drive hybrids get. (Wish I had thought of it — someone else beat me to it).I think Tom’s idea is right. It doesn’t have to be full scale camera; smart phone will do. If you don’t want to go to the cops put embarrassing videos on YouTube. Then get friends to share them on FB.

  6. Kitt Crescendo says:

    Oh, my, did you manage to hit a sympathetic nerve with me. Although one of my babies when she was just 5 lbs and 3 mos old was attacked and bitten in the face by a 50 + lb shepherd/chow mix, it was because the owner didn’t have control of him (had been drinking, thus making poor decisions & poor reflexes). Our dog, fortunately, only lost skin and fat and fur, but required 2 surgeries.

    Mine is a dog neighborhood. Because of the above situation we’re especially sensitive about dogs that are off leash. Despite the bad reps that surround Shepherds, Pitts, Rotties and Dobes I find it’s usually tied to the owners’ behaviors. In my experience, the small dogs tend to be much more aggressive. I think maybe they have Little Man syndrome. Invariably, it’s these ankle biters that are left off leash and are not able to be controlled by the owner.

    Although we have one big, yellow lab that sometimes manages to get out without parental control (their 2 year old sees my dogs and thinks it’s hilarious to watch the three of them running around and sniffing each other’s butts), she’s well trained and follows commands. All I have to do is tell her to go home, and she turns around and does so…if her parents haven’t already realized she got out and are giving the order themselves.

    No, the dog that terrorizes mine is a tiny little white Maltese puffball. The owner has him and a big dog. He’ll bike around the neighborhood with the big dog running next to him on a leash (dangerous) and the little dog running, uncontrolled and off leash behind them. The little dog, when it sees other dogs (mine) will veer off and start running at the face of the new dog, yapping and circling. My older dog (the one that was attacked) finally had enough one day and after several warning growls, lunged at the yapper. She never did any damage because I had her under control, but it sent a clear message to the dog and it’s owner (who, by the way, is a police officer and should know better). Control your dog.

    Of course we have recently run into a new neighbor who was letting his English Bulldog off leash. But after the second time his dog gave chase, hubby and I had a few choice words. He doesn’t let that happen anymore.

  7. Tim Dittmer says:

    Dogs will be dogs and cats will be cats. It’s in their nature, and you really can’t blame them for being what they are. The animal owners are the problem.

    It is the epitome of arrogance for a pet owner to allow their animal to roam without restraint, a behavior showing that their lives are the only ones that matter. The neighbors’ lawns, flower beds, pets, or safety is of no concern to them.

    Arrogant pet owners should never be tolerated.

  8. If there is a leash law, or some sort of law that says a dog’s owner must keep their dog restrained (whether by leash and/or fence), than I would suggest you take your cell phone with you every time you walk Jake and call the cops (or whatever authority). Report the little dog’s owners every time it attacks Jake. I do mean EVERY TIME.

    Maybe even have someone video tape it just to show that Jake isn’t the aggressor and has the patience of a saintly dog.

    You, and poor Jake, shouldn’t have to deal with that.

  9. I agree w/ Tom, Julia. Especially about filming it. One bite too many, and the neighbor’s dog is breakfast, and you’ll need proof of the sequencing.
    We had one German shepherd while I was growing up. Duchess. I loved her. But we had to eventually “find her a home” with a farm family where she could have plenty of room. The reason? Our mailman complained that Duchess nipped at him several times. But I didn’t get it. We were on 2 1/2 lots, the entire back yard fenced in, and the mail box was on our front porch. The mailman had to be making a special effort to go around to the back and reach over the gate to be “nipped.”
    I agree: German shepherds get a bad rap. Film the encounters to protect Jake.

  10. Katalina Leon says:

    Poor Jake, unjustly accused. He was provoked. There should be a “Stand your Hound law” (I’m sorry… : )
    What’s sad is the little terrier is headed for tragedy, either from a car or another dog because her owners are idiots.

  11. I love the filming idea, but here’s what I’d do. Take a flyswatter or something heavier if you need it and swat the heck out of that little devil. If biting Jake is uncomfortable, the little dog will stay back. Right now, there’s no down side to its aggression.
    Good luck. Nasty neighbors never recognize they are nasty.

  12. Penelope says:

    I’m still laughing about the Prius convention!

    God-d*mned environmentalists and their little dogs, too!

    I’d tell the neighbors I’m getting a stun gun, and if the dog approaches off-leash again, she will earn the Zap Of Shame.

  13. I believe there is a “doggy hit-man” section on the Craigslist website.

  14. Thanks Mat! ;) I’m thinking more bad doggy owner knee-cappers!

  15. Oh Penny, it was so bad neighbors started putting out signs and barriers that said DO NOT PARK HERE and NO PARKING. I think it was a week long Obama call-a-thon. This dog is so good at the hit and run I doubt I could get her. I may carry a stick and poke her. I’m a dog lover so I don’t want to hurt her. Your dog goes out in front, albeit reluctantly, but she’s not going to jump on a German shepherd fifty times her size!

  16. Fly swatter, now that is a good idea Stephanie. Thanks!

  17. I know, Kat. Jake is always unjustly accused just because he’s big. Not fair. I suspect the terrier is doomed. The busy intersection just one house down from theirs is a blind intersection. It’s a main thoroughfare. People speed around the corner without looking. That will be the end of her.

  18. I will, Marylin. I carried my smart phone today. I planned to video her. They had their garage door open but for once they’d closed the door into their house so the dog couldn’t get out.

  19. Thanks, Casey. Yes, there is a leash law except in designated areas in open-space parks. I would have called Animal Control when this first began, but I thought it was a fluke. When it became clear it wasn’t a fluke I spoke to them, but up until Jake actually reacted they ignored me. I do plan to call if it happens again.

  20. I do agree, Tim. With few exceptions there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. It is arrogant, insensitive and idiotic to allow your animal to roam- for the animal’s sake if not for the sake of neighbors and their pets.

  21. Hi Kit. Yes, I do think little dogs suffer from ‘little man’ syndrome when it comes to big dogs. Jake is very tolerant. There’s this teacup chihuahua who really has it out for him – Zini weighs like a pound and a half on a good day! The most Jake has ever done is kick Zini off his back leg when Zini was nipping him.
    But like you I am leery of any dog off leash in a neighborhood. I don’t want to run into another large dog because if it attacks Jake he’s at a disadvantage on a leash. He can’t run away and he’s more likely to get in a fight. There is only one other family in the area who leave their large lab out in the front yard unsupervised. It has attacked Jake – ripped some hair from his neck. Fortunately German shepherds, especially long-haired shepherds, have a mane so there was no damage done.
    I think some people believe just because a dog is small it can’t hurt anyone. Not true.
    The truth is I don’t hate this little dog. I blame the owners.

  22. Oh I like that, Steph! Smart phone… check!

  23. Amber, Jake knows he is not to hurt little animals. He and his cat are best friends and I made sure to socialize him very well because I knew he’d be big. He’s more alpha than Louie was – in a wolf pack Louie would have been the babysitter – but Jake is still respectful and he does listen.

  24. Yes, Tom. There is a law. I will call – ‘Oscar’ isn’t eager to call because we survived one neighbor war and we’re reluctant to go down that awful road again. I had my phone at the ready today, but as I said they kept the door from their house into their open garage closed for once.
    Do you think they’re learning?

  25. Kitt Crescendo says:

    Julia, I agree…it IS the owners. As for that police officer, I’m glad they recently moved because he made a snide remark about us being “scared” to let our dog near his and work it out. All I could think is that next time I should let my very sweet, gentle dog bite his aggressive fur ball the next time she feels defensive because she’s on a leash. (My dog would never do it, though, even then…she’s too well mannered and polite)

  26. Kitt – it’s very annoying, isn’t it. And I bet if your sweet dog did bite his dog, he’d have a bloody tantrum. Always happens.

  27. I hear you loud and clear. I have been privileged to share my life with a few GSDs and had to put up with the sort of shit you’re facing. I’m surprised you didn’t kick the stupid little mutt over the fence. Or maybe (as you say) the owner needs kicking over the fence. Rant on, lady. You deserve it.

  28. Hi Greta! You make me laugh. I would have kicked the poor unfortunate pooch just to get it away from us, but the little terrier is great at darting in and out. And yes, it’s the owners who are the bigger pains. You’re so right, it is a privilege to share one’s life with a GSD. Jake is my third. Once you have a great GSD it’s hard to get another breed.

  29. I can’t abide small dogs. they all seem to have this yappy, aggressive, ‘little man’ syndrome. Ugh. And your neighbours are idiots. It ain’t that hard to keep a dog where it’s supposed to be.

  30. Hi Ciara. I have mixed feelings about little dogs. I’m a big dog person but some of my friends and relatives love little dogs. Just not me…

  31. Sandra Cox says:

    Well the little yipper is cute, but what a pain. I want a Jake.