Real life

Pampered middle-class pooches are in charge of their owners

My spaniel and I take our lives into our hands every time we go to Tooting Common

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

Why won’t the middle classes shout at their dogs any more? My suspicion is that the bleeding heart liberals, having succeeded in stopping right-minded people from shouting at their children, have moved on to stopping us from emotionally scarring animals.

The result, of course, is that our four-legged friends are becoming about as unpleasant as your average infant.

The spaniel and I take our lives in our hands every time we venture on to Tooting Common, running the gauntlet of ADHD dogs throwing their weight about as their owners cower in the distance calling politely at them to desist.

These are not dangerous dogs, in any official sense, you understand. I did once see a pit bull being walked by a hoodie. But I have to say, the everyday threat is not from conventional attack dogs, it’s from the pampered pooches owned by people called Larry and Fenella.

I have learned this from painful experience. An Alsatian cross called Max, for example, once jumped me from behind nearly breaking my back. As I screamed for someone to get him off me, the well-spoken owner sauntered over murmuring absent-mindedly: ‘Oh come on now, Max…’ And then he uttered the crowning insult: ‘He does like to play, you see.’

Oh, does he? Well, why on earth didn’t you say so before? Because if he likes to play then I’m happy for him to fracture my spine in three places while attempting to hump me. I mean, what’s not to like?

I had to shake Max off myself in the end and, bent double with pain, tried to make my escape. But Max was having none of it. He jumped on the spaniel and wrestled her to the ground. Cydney likes a good rough and tumble, but she was no match for the Alsatian. As she whimpered, I had to implore the owner again to do something. ‘Oh ha ha,’ he was chortling, ‘he does like to…’

‘Play. Yes, I know. But I’m afraid he’s breaking my spaniel into several pieces.’

In the end, Cydney extracted herself and limped away. She was limping for days afterwards, having pulled something in her leg in the struggle. That could easily have been a vet bill. So the next time we saw Max bounding towards us, we made a run for it. We still do. I’m sure we look hilarious. And he’s not the only one we run from either.

We also avoid the spoilt Labs after an incident when I was walking with a friend and, as she was midway into telling me about the death of her beloved father, a boisterous young Labrador hurled itself through the air and knocked her to the ground.

The owner made no effort to approach any faster, or to apologise. ‘Oh, he does love to play,’ she said. ‘I’m going to start training him next week.’ I shouted at the dog to get down. ‘There you are. I’ve started training him for you,’ I said. The Labrador sat down obediently. But she looked gloopily at me, as if I were a child abuser.

There’s really no point telling these people that dogs are pack animals, that unless you are pack leader and dominate them, they will become pack leader and dominate you. You’re wasting your breath. Very much like those lefty mums you see having long-winded conversations with their little toddler Tallulah as she screams her bratty head off because she can’t have a fifth ice cream, the liberal dog-owners like to think you can reason with a dog.

And so it was when I was walking through the park this week and a whippet suddenly ran at Cydney from behind. She had been pottering quietly with her ball, minding her own business, when the whippet pounced, and made a grab with its jaws for her neck. I sprang into outraged lioness mode, yelling at it to leave her alone.

I was about to grab its back legs — neat trick, I’ve seen it done and it works. Lift a dog half off the ground by its hind legs and by some reflex it has to open its jaws. But just as I was about to perform this manoeuvre, the owner made herself known. I wouldn’t say she rushed to help. She called casually at me, while continuing to place a poo bag in a bin, ‘You can’t shout at him or you’ll panic him.’

Actually, she was so posh she said: ‘You can’t shiite at him or you’ll pe-anic him.’

And she proceeded to call cheerfully: ‘Come on, Paddy.’ Or Pee-aaaddaaaay, as it came out.

I shouted again, even louder, and the dog dropped Cydney, who was thankfully unharmed. ‘Your dog’s in charge of you, that’s the problem,’ I told her.

I felt sorry for the dog. It had got its work cut out.

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  • Sue Smith

    It surprises me that nobody else has commented on this story. Bad dog behaviour is one of the biggest urban problems we have today. And I agree that the mad brigade of lefties who told everybody not to punish or discipline their child – so that an entire generation failed to learn how to do this – have now influenced dog-owners. I can’t believe the worldwide fetischisation of dogs, robbing them of their doggyness and making them neurotic and dangerous to be around. They smell, vomit, excrete, scratch fleas, smell each other’s backsides, roll in manure and eat rotten food. Time to wake up folks; though some of you might behave like a dog, I’m sure there are many people around who are aware that animals are not the same as human beings and should not be treated as such – sharing their intimate spaces, licking their faces, lying on the couch, jumping up on furniture. Eeeeeew.

    Almost weekly we hear about these vile, pampered and extremely possessive animals garotting very small children, even adults.

    I’m afraid nobody knows how to discipline children anymore (all too busy working) or showing the faintest understanding about animal discipline; both part of the same miserable paradigm of selfish, narcissistic, entitled people who care only about themselves and who are in an extremely unhealthy relationship with their animals.

    When my dog can discuss Beethoven’s 7th Symphony with me it can come inside; not a second before. Outside in the kennel, where the dog can be a dog and I can be a human being – with dignity and self-respect. And I treat my visitors with respect; none has to fend of a dirty animal when they enter my home.

  • Precambrian

    “There’s really no point telling these people that dogs are pack
    animals, that unless you are pack leader and dominate them, they will
    become pack leader and dominate you. You’re wasting your breath. Very
    much like those lefty mums you see having long-winded conversations with
    their little toddler Tallulah as she screams her bratty head off
    because she can’t have a fifth ice cream, the liberal dog-owners like to
    think you can reason with a dog.”

    Spot on.

    The infestation of the irrational and unreasonable are a pain in the rear. Limp excuses for parents and dog-owners alike because they have so swallowed liberalism that they lack the ability to tell someone “No”…..except, ironically, to those who themselves say “No”.

    Relativism made flesh, they hate anything that has even the appearance of absolute morals. So the only thing you can say “no” to is the act of saying “no”.

    • Sue Smith

      Got to agree with this 100%. Terrible children with bad behaviour is a consequence of lefty ideologies and we are reaping that harvest. Our increasingly uncivil society of spoiled children and dogs is unpleasant to the level which reflects the truly narcissistic nature of society. It’s a frightening look. And, of course, these advocates don’t care a damn about any other human being but themselves.

      My late mother used to say, “discipline your children so that others don’t despise them”. Today that seems a badge of honour in the “all about me” world we inhabit.

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  • jonathan banks

    Bloody lefties telling me I can’t let my alsatian play with people in the park. Pc brigade strikes again with this article!

    Next I will need a license to walk a dog in case it looks at people funny! Get over it

  • Ne11y

    I had a knock at my door a few months ago. It was an RSPCA Inspector who wanted to come in and check I wasn’t abusing my dogs. When I asked what I had been reported for, I was told someone had reported me for shouting at my dogs. I call it discipline. The Inspector found two happy, healthy and obedient dogs, and as it was Christmas, she also commented on the canine advent calendars my dogs were being treated with. I may discipline them, but I also like to indulge them as well. Discipline and love can go together – something the liberals cannot understand. The Inspector concluded I wasn’t abusing my dogs – I don’t think she’d ever been to an abusive home where the animals had their own advent calendars!

  • Teacher

    I have come to the conclusion after much observation that nothing will stop the British from loving their dogs more than they do people. I am both allergic to dogs and displeased by the indulgence of the canines by their doting owners. The other day I took a two mile walk around my village and was barked and snarled at by two dogs in gardens. Goodness knows what they would have done to me had they got loose. Also, passing the church, a dog ran out of the porch and barked at and menaced me followed by the owner who neither disciplined the dog nor apologised for his animal’s vicious display.

    Dogs are dirty, smelly, path fouling and invariably poorly disciplined. Their owners display blindness towards them and their faults and seem unable to make the simplest command stick. The order, ‘Sit’ has the mutt running about and I have never, ever seen a dog obey the command, ‘Down!’ when the creature has jumped upon a hapless member of the public.

    I am going to a social meeting soon and the venue has been changed because one of the members has a new puppy and assumes we wish to see it while it is still small. I am sure it will be appealing in a new-baby kind of way but I cannot help feeling that the venue change is hardly mature and rational for a group of adults. Expressing such thoughts to the others would be unthinkable, however, as they are all dog-mad. English people are dog mad.