22 October 2012

Happy Debate Day, aka Go Giants.

Where I walk my dogs sometimes, there's a car park nearby where some offices sit. It's quiet there, low key offices, bordering a windy field mostly populated with giant birds and rabbits, where probably we shouldn't be walking our dogs, but we do. There's a lot of space for dogs to run. It's a don't ask, don't tell situation, it's many acres big, and it's very near my house.

Sometimes when I walk the path that borders the offices, I see an SUV parked, always in the same spot, with a massive crate in the back. The truck's back window is flipped up, and it holds a yellow lab that must spend his work week sleeping in the crate. I suspect he takes coffee break walks in the field. Not the greatest way to spend a day, but certainly not the worst. There's another pickup with a camper shell I see there, too, with a couple dogs always inside. My dogs have certainly spent whole days in the car before, and just sleep those days away.

I was out there this morning. It was still raining, and it was only me and one other guy that I could see out there walking our dogs. I steer clear from almost everyone in the field, since many of the "friendly" dogs that walk out there are indeed, not, and frequently don't have a recall. So if I see you walking out there and I don't know you, your dog is presumed guilty by me and I turn and go the other way. My anti social behavior doesn't make me many friends from other walkers in the field. I don't much talk to anyone when I'm out there. I skirt the edges and keep my distance.

The man caught up with me at the end of the walk. He had a big, spotty dog. It was cute. I don't know how friendly it was, and I don't much care, as long as he doesn't bug my dogs. Otterpop right now has no tolerance for unknown dogs irritating her life. She just doesn't want to hear about it. The man acted like I hurt his feelings when I avoided him in the field. I ignored his remarks. I am not beholden to some random guy's feelings. I don't live in his binder.

He was one to keep conversation going, one sided as it was. Our cars were parked near each each other on the road. As I'm loading my dogs into the car, into their crates, he says to me, "Did you see that giant dog in the tiny crate back there by the offices, stuffed into the back of the little SUV?"

He had stringy hair combed over his shiny head top. He moved the seat forward so his dog could hop into the backseat of his older BMW. Kind of a beater.

"Yeah," I answer. "Doesn't seem like a big deal to me."

"Are you kidding? That dog can't stand up or turn around. He's trapped in there for 8 hours."

"I'm sure they take it out, probably why they bring it to work." In my mind, why would sitting alone in a house all day be all that different than sleeping in a crate on the edge of a field where giant herons fly, right there on the sea bluffs?

The man watches me open the door of Gustavo's car crate. He jumps up and dashes in. Crate games. "Oh no they don't. I talked to the manager over there about it and they keep it trapped in the car all day. That's just wrong." He peers in and eyes the crates in my car.

I look the guy in the eye. He looks me back. As we stand there facing each other, it's the same old story. Red vs. blue are about to enter a stand off. No one can move, each one firmly rooted in each one's important dogma.

I think, what an a-hole. The kind of guy with nothing better to do than nose his way into someone's business and mess up what probably is pretty important to them. People don't leave their dogs in the car all day at work for no good reason. He thinks, animal cager. Kind of lady who won't let her dogs play when they're free, then shuts them into lock down. Whole cell block in the car.

Everybody has their opinion, and nobody can get along.

I point my thumb over my shoulder at my crates. All my dogs have their own crate in my car. It's pretty cush for a cell block. "Lots of dogs love crates. Mine do. They'll pick sleeping in a crate all day most of the time if they have a choice. They have crates in their dog run at work and that's where they pick to sleep."

"Dog run. At least they have a dog run. But they sleep in crates?" He has a gleam in his eye, because he has caught another one. Another dog abusing cage trapper. He peers into my car again. Ha HA! "My dog's a service dog. I have a very different relationship with him than someone that would keep them their dog in a cage." He emphasizes the VERY.

It's like religion and politics. It's like everything. Everybody has their opinion, and nobody can get along. I am ready to dig in my heels and start an educational diatribe of my point of view, but his phone rings and the debate never even begins. I get in and drive off, but I am sure some day we'll meet again.