I’m still bothered today. I don’t know what the guy was thinking. I don’t know why he reacted like that. IF you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their dog, I don’t like this guy.
Here’s what happened.
I was out biking with my dog. No, Hurley (my dog, pictured above) does not have his own bike. He rides next to me, connected to the bike by a spring and harness contraption that works pretty well.
Anyway, we decided to get off the main bike path and head on the “Bird to Gird” trail which was packed down enough for me to ride on the snow. It was a bluebird day. The temps were about 24 degrees and the sun was bright.
On the way we met up with a runner, running with his dog. This was a big dog. It was a bulldog mix of some sort. Maybe a pit bull. Hurley and I stopped on hill so Hurley could “use the facilities” and we were getting ready to get going when the runner and dog came up behind us. The bigger dog just wanted to play and started barking. Hurley was barking…because he, too, wanted to play…and because he always barks.
The runner? Well, he wanted to keep running and wasn’t happy about his dog pulling him backwards and barking at Hurley and me. So he yanked him…hard. And he yelled at him. Then he picked up the dog and tossed him in front of him. The dog still wanted to play. So the runner, a young man, tossed the dog to the ground and smacked the dog’s rear end and yelled and yanked until they were far enough away that the dog didn’t want to play anymore.
This was a big dog. I was never thinking that the dog was in real danger with what was going on. But, it seemed to me that this behavior with the dog was disproportionate to the problem at hand. And it made me wonder what kind of treatment the dog gets at home. Now, I know that I didn’t know this runner at all. Have no idea who it was. But, after seeing how he behaved with a dog in his care, I know that I don’t like him. That might be judging him way too much with way too little information, but I really think I’ve seen enough. I think you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their dog. I don’t think this runner was a very nice person. At least it didn’t appear that way to me. I may be completely wrong. I admit that. But, what the guy showed me yesterday was ugly.
May the way I treat my dog…and my kids…and my spouse…and my parent…and my friends…tell a far different story about the person I am.
(And it really was a beautiful day. See another pic below.)