A pleasant Easter gone to the dogs

Published 10:38 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We spent the Easter weekend at Cape Hatteras. Friday was “brisk,” as it often is down there. Saturday was in the 40s — 40 degrees with 40-mile-per-hour winds. But Easter was delightful, calm offshore winds, sunny, warm — except for one incident.

We took our old dog, Poot, for an extended walk on the beach. She’s 13 people years old — about 90 dog years. Other dogs were everywhere, some more friendly than others, but under control on leashes…until we got to the Rottweilers, who weren’t so friendly or controlled.

The two teenaged sons of the Rottweilers’ family each grabbed a dog. But the third dog, a Rottweiler-German Shepherd mix, who was “confined” to the beach vehicle — with the windows wide open — jumped out and attacked our dog at the water’s edge. The owner ran after his dog, who was not hampered by being on a leash.

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The owner luckily got to his dog seconds before I did. The owner was ranting on about how well-behaved the other two dogs were, and that because this dog was so “aggressive,” he was confined to the interior of the vehicle (with the windows wide open). Finally, he squeaked out an “I’m sorry.”

If looks could kill, there’d be a funeral somewhere today — and I’m a man of peace.

As he dragged his dog away, we determined that Poot had no puncture wounds. She got up off her back, shook herself two or three times, and we walked on. On our return trip down the beach, we noted that the group packed up and left before we got to them.

Some observations:

“Aggressive” dogs should never be off a leash except in their own fenced-in back yards — and 6-foot fences are good.

The dog will mirror its owner. If the dog is mean and evil, what does that tell you about the owner?

There are hundreds of miles of sandy beach between Cape Henry, Va., and Hatteras Village, N.C. Much of it is protected for dog owners who want to let their pets run free. If you even see a dog or person, restrain your pet.

Don’t push people to extremes. I’m the most animal-friendly person I know. If I hadn’t had Poot with me and that dog had come up to me for a petting, I’d have obliged with loving words. But if I had been two seconds faster, I’d have committed caninicide. And I would not have apologized.

So on Easter Sunday, the most loving day of the year, I wanted to kick somebody’s pet because he didn’t control his vicious “best friend.” The lowest point of 2018 thus far!

To keep your pet safe, restrain it.

 

Susan and Bradford “Biff” Andrews are retired teachers and master naturalists who have been outdoor people all their lives, exploring and enjoying the woods, swamps, rivers and beaches throughout the region for many years. Email them at b.andrews22@live.com.