Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Dog Behind the Fence

That's Toby. He's my best buddy and closest confidante. I don't write everything here, but I tell him everything. He knows all my darkest secrets, but so far he's not talking. You never know, though.

Here he's checking out the laptop. He wants me to tell him how it works but I'm not buying it. Once he starts blogging, I'll be finished. I let things out a little at a time but he says everything all at once.

Also, he's catching on that toys often come from Amazon. Once he starts using this computer, I'll have my house full of toys and treats. Who knows whether or not he understands about credit limits? I stopped his formal education after Puppy 2 over at Petco. 

I spend more time with Toby than I do with most humans. Toby's a good little walker, and I'm out with him as much as I can be. I usually walk him twice a day, in the morning and evening, and my wife covers the afternoon. If I'm off I'll cover afternoon too.

This has really piqued my interest in winter coats. I have these heavy fleece things that I wear, and I'll cover them with either a leather jacket or, on really freezing days, a North Face parka, seemingly designed for Antarctic exploration.

Toby also has a little coat that I found on Amazon. When it gets to be freezing or below I make him wear it. He doesn't hate it nearly as much as the raincoat I bought him because it hasn't got a hood. Toby does not care for the whole hood concept. I do, though, so I've thus far bought two hooded jackets from LL Bean, one labeled, "warmer," and another, "warmest." I was kind of surprised that neither outperformed the leather jacket I bought at Costco, even though they were over double the price. I sent them both back.

My point is it's January, and it gets really cold out there. And yet, around the corner, every time I walk Toby, not matter what time it is or no matter how cold it gets, there's a big dog behind a six foot white fence who barks at us. I think it's a big dog, judging from the sound of his bark. Also, I've seen this big black nose protruding from below the fence on several occasions.

Toby and this dog have an odd relationship. Of course Toby's curious about that big old nose, but I don't let him get too close. I'm not sure how much flexibility that mouth has from under the fence, and I don't want to find out either. The two dogs behave oddly. The dog on the other side barks wildly at us, but cries when we leave. Toby sometimes cries from the street, like he wants to play. Other times he runs, like he's afraid of the big dog.

What bothers me is that whoever owns this dog just leaves him out in the yard all the time. I understand that some people may have issues walking, and may sometimes let a dog out in the yard. I think it's better to walk with the dog, but that's just me. It's one thing, though, to let your dog out to do what he needs to do. I think it's another to just leave him out there by himself all the time, no matter what time it is.

It's also pretty goshdarn cold out there in January, and I don't think February is gonna be any better. I'm not an expert, but I think treating someone "like a dog" is one thing. (Sometimes there are reasons to do that. Think how Bloomberg Leadership Academy-trained supervisors ought to be treated.) Mistreating an actual dog is another thing entirely. 
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