I love dogs. I love NYC dogs. They tend to have swagger as they walk down the city sidewalks. And, for the most part the dogs in NYC tend to behave. Occasionally they may growl at one another but often they do a little dance when they see each other. They dance and sniff. Sniff and dance. It is actually quite adorable to see these greetings. My old dog Milo was super cute when he would get down low to the ground to signal he wanted to play. I can think of only two times where I was a bit scared walking my dog in New York.
Now, walking my dog in Los Angeles is a whole other story. Let me first describe the situation this way. My friends and acquaintances alike have all warned me to walk my dog while carrying a stick, a rock or a bat. A lot of people here do not leash their dogs. There are also a lot of strays. There are aggressive dogs in front yards that can easily jump the fence or crawl through some hole. I may sound like I am exaggerating but it is a real issue.
A few months back, while I was walking my dog, a woman came running towards me. She was crying and screaming at me to turn around and run. I was startled and, at first, found it hard to understand what she was saying. Then I understood. A dog had killed her puppy. And that dog was loose in the neighborhood. I picked up my dog and ran home. Everyone I told the story told noted that was why they carried some kind of stick. I was haunted by that story and kept my dog in the back yard for a while. Then we started walking again. Then, on one of our walks a week ago, a huge dog came from out behind our front yard bushes. I was startled. My son was scared and went running back home. I again picked up my dog and ran inside. That dog’s owner was nowhere to be found. Sigh.
So, this is my PSA. please, please, please leash your dogs when you walk them. And, if you no longer want your dog drop them off at a shelter. It is for the best for everyone involved.