June 27, 2007

Mr. Chips Fights the Pit

Mr. Chips' short-lived days of off-leash hiking and dog-park romps have officially come to a close. Last weekend, while hiking off-leash in Elysian Park with Lea and Wylie Avenue, Mr. Chips decided to "go street" on a leashed pit bull. I mean, Mr. Chips going street can be pretty ferocious, and he has been known to draw a drop of blood or two in his day, but all in all, the little guy isn't going to do much damage. But, this DID NOT matter to the pit bull's owner, who promptly started yelling at me.

"Did you know your dog was capable of this?!?!"

Well, yes...he's a dog. Aren't all dogs "capable" of dog fights? I understand that she most likely meant, "hey..if you think you've got a wild one on your hands, he should be leashed up." But, I wanted to try this less-dog-packed off-leash scenario with Mr. Chips at least once to see if he could hang. Now that I have my answer, he most definitely will not be allowed off leash until he's received some anti-street training.

The pit owner did have some good points while yelling at me. If her dog did the same thing to Mr. Chips, he'd probably be dead. But, I was surprised at how defensive and unfriendly I became in the situation just because this lady's level of craziness was so off the charts. It really is a small glimpse into what I'm sure it's like when little Joey hits little Mikey in the gut, and then the parents have at it--both not stating the obvious, underlying sentiment: "I think you're a shitty parent."

In retrospect, I wish I'd behaved differently toward the pit owner. Maybe apologized. Maybe leashed Mr. Chips up before he was able to go back for a SECOND round (at which time the pit owner started dousing him with citronella spray -- WTF?!). But, at the time, I really didn't think this crazy, overly dramatic lady deserved my neighborlyness. So, perhaps I've created some sort of bad dog karma that will rear its ugly head in some oddball form in the near future. I really hope she can forgive and forget. I mean.. Mr. Chips is STREET. He just can't help that he's so badass.

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