Tag Archives: dog walking

Petiquette

Off and on dogs end up in the news, usually when people are attacked in some way. Inevitably the media latches on and worries the question to death as to whether this breed or that should be banned, put down or punted to another planet.

Personally, the people in the baby poo yellow house a few doors from where I live should be punted. They have one of those little tufts of fur for a dog, barely bigger than palm sized but with a mouth on it that you can hear for blocks. Mr. Dog Owner (they got this critter when their daughter left home) thinks it’s cute to walk his mop and let it run after the cats and sniff them. Luckily the cats are smarter and faster, and leave. He also thinks it’s cute to let the thing yap for hours, getting all excited and probably jumping up and down like it’s spring loaded. I don’t know though, because I’m usually trying to sleep in at 9 on a Saturday morning, the inevitable time for the yapster to begin.

Sure, some dogs are more “talkative” than others, but just like kids, you can train your mutts not to bark (kids can be taught to be polite). It’s not cute to anyone but the englamored pet owner when their wee snookums does its noisy tricks over and over and over again. So, folks, take your dog to school. A bad dog usually has a bad owner.

I think it should be mandatory that every dog owner has taken lessons on how to train and discipline their dog. Taking a dog for a walk means respecting the space of other people and dogs around you, and being able to call your dog off should an altercation begin. Socializing animals is imperative and an off-leash park for dogs does not mean that your dog can intimidate other dogs and people.

Petiquette means that your dog will come when called, obey commands and won’t attack every moving thing it sees as a threat. I was with friends sitting on the grass in an off-leash park. A dog came up and pissed on my bag and then ran off happily. One of my friends went over to talk to the people about what their dog did. They were unrepentant, believing that since they were in a dog friendly park it meant that their dog could do anything it wanted. Hello, people, knock your head on a brick wall! Parks are for people first and foremost. I should have gone over and pissed on those people.

Don’t presume everyone likes dogs, or wants them in their vicinity. It’s not okay to tote your dog with you to anyone’s place, unless you ask first. Even if it’s an outside do, there are a myriad reasons why dogs might not be welcome. Space, other animals, delicate objects, cherished gardens, allergies, bratty children, are just some reasons to leave Fido at home. I have friends who have brought their dog to my place when we’re barbecuing. They haven’t asked and some day it’s going to be a problem. If this was last year when my other scaredy cat was still alive, it would emphatically have not been okay and they would have been told to take the dog to the car. I like the dog but there are times and places for dogs, and asking is just plain considerate.

Dogs aren’t children and do not get the same rights of accompanying a parent everywhere. They may be no more emotionally mature or intelligent than a two-year-old, which means you have to be in control, but they aren’t children. Oh, and they are not freakin’ fashion accessories. A co-worker once said that someone was a yappy as a Yaletown dog. An apt description because in Vancouver, Yaletown is the nouveau glitzy trendy place for condos and restaurants and people spending too much money on clothing just to say they spent too much money.

Putting a Gucci diamond/rhinestone studded collar on Boopsie and a nice little matching coat and booties to match, borders on vomitous. Dogs aren’t dolls. Tossing them into a matching carrying case doesn’t make you cool. Having a big, mean looking dog doesn’t make you tough. All living beings that we make ourselves responsible for, should be treated well. Leaving them in hot cars or cooped up in cute little cases and dumb outfits doesn’t serve them well. Oh and driving with your dog on your lap while talking on your cellphone goes beyond idiotic to downright dangerous. I’ve seen it often enough. If your dog can’t stay where it belongs while you’re driving (and that’s not your lap), then go and get some training.

If you’re driving a car or walking a dog, taking a course is a great idea. Like I said before, this isn’t limited to big dogs as the only dog to bite me was a dachshund. Every time I see a bad dog, I know that most of the time it’s because there’s a person who lacks discipline and politeness themselves. Be considerate, take care of your pets and control them.

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Video Gaming as an Olympic Sport

You think that’s a joke, don’t you? Well CBC’s The Current interviewed Johnathan Wendel today, a champion PC gamer who is campaigning to get video gaming as an Olympic Sport.

I’m sure there are many eyes a’rollin’ out there. But he argues that professional and champion gamers these days are fit and not eyeglass wearing, out of shape, pimple faced geeks. He runs and does sit-ups and his hand-eye coordination and trigger finger must be fast and accurate. As well, he must work out strategies to gain on his opponent or to be able to psych them out.

O…kay. So there is some activity with the eyes and the mouse finger and maybe spinning quickly around in your chair to answer the phone or grab a health drink while shooting down your opponent. But I know some gamers, adults, and I have to say they fit the stereotype of eyeglass wearing and out of shape. They’re past the pimple faced stage but I’m sure they imbibe their share of pop and chips. However, I also know at least one person who’s as likely to have Fillet Mignon and burgundy wine while gaming, and he has a doctorate in computer graphics.

I’m aware that there are more than the stereotypical video gamers out there and that to compete for any length of time in anything, be it word games or running, you have to keep in shape. This means eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and exercise. But Olympic level? Mr. Wendell argues that there is as much activity as someone who is skeet shooting. Fair enough, but one thing the Olympics have in all sports and that’s actual physical movement that amounts to more than a shift of the eye or a twitch of the mouse finger.

We haven’t seen chess made an Olympic sport and darts has a better chance. I mean, when I played darts I considered it exercise. Shoot with the right hand, lift your pint with the left. Both sides of the body exercised and you get up to stand before the board. Actually, I’d love to see some medieval style darts where the darts were like short spears of up to a foot or so in length. But then I wouldn’t make it on the Olympic team no matter the length of dart.

I can see it now. The future Olympics; here are just a few sport to watch:

  • video gaming (with streamlined mice and chairs and special goggles)
  • Wii sports (in truth they’re closer to being an Olympic sport) alongside the same sports with real equipment
  • caricature drawing (it takes hand-eye coordination, artists must be checked for doping)
  • writing a book in three days (that takes speed of typing and a calculating, organized and creative mind)
  • dog walking (physical skill to weave around the leash while trying to control the beast)
  • cat brushing (make the pelt shiny and smooth and avoid the swift moving claws)
  • fly fishing (hand-eye coordination of getting the worm on the hook, casting the line and luring the catch, and not falling into the drink)
  • chess (oh heck, why not, it’s uh…stimulating)
  • card dealing (not poker but the shuffling, flipping and turning of cards in record time)
  • prestidigitation (just so I could use the word, sleight of hand, takes wiles and much coordination)
  • political double speak (takes fast wits, dodging hurled insults and making up things on the spot)

I wonder if Mr. Wendel knows just how much he could expand the realm of the Olympics. He could become the father of the new sports Olympics and cyber athletes, just as Bill Gates father the new computer age. And I know I could try out for several areas.

Ah yes,

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