Why are dog owners so damn inconsiderate?
So I go to play frisbee last night with Ian and his older sister, because she's been wanting to play with us for awhile now... We go to pick her up at her house in Waterdown, and she brings her frickin dog out with her. Why are dog owners so clueless? This isn't some fluffly spoiled lap dog named 'Muffi', this an active, manic terrier or something. Of course, I'm too polite to say "I'm not playing frisbee if you bring your dog." And so we play over at some park near her house, and the dog predictably intervenes repeatedly, slobbering all over it and, more importantly, biting it. As a result, the inside lip of this gorgeous, 175 gram, white (very important, as we play mostly at night) frisbee is now destroyed... roughened, gouged, with bits sticking out in places. This is not just annoying for the thrower, but in fact can damage your fingers (I have a bruise on my lower right middle finger now from one of my later throws). So the frisbee, for me, is ruined.
So when we get back to Ian's house, I tell him that he can keep the frisbee. I'm going to have to replace it regardless, and someone might as well get some further use out of it, since I'm not going to. Of course, he takes offense to this, since Monika (his girlfriend), gave it to me for my birthday. She doesn't care what I do with it, but it apparently doesn't make any sense to Ian. It should be clear. The inside lip of the thing is wrecked. That's a lot different than scratching up and gouging out the outside of the disc, as we do on a daily basis playing the sort of high-impact, urban frisbee that we partake in on tarmacs and around school buildings. Exterior damage doesn't really effect your toss, and maybe even aids it (it might give you more control of the disk as it rolls off your index finger). But damage to the interior lip, where you put the rest of your involved fingers whose bottoms you drag against their natural slope during the toss, is a different matter. It can fucking hurt. At any rate, he didn't force me to take it, so I guess it's okay... Maybe he'll give it to his sister, for her dog to play with. I would have, but then she would have felt obligated to buy me a new one, and as I said, I'm too fucking polite to do that.
But the physics and mechanics of it are beside the point. When someone's coming all the way out to Waterdown, and bringing the frisbee, in order to involve you, what goes through the dog owner's mind in order for them to think that it is acceptable, even desirable, to bring their dog with them, without even bothering to ask before showing up at the van with the dog? Clearly the dog is going to interfere with play. That much is blatantly obvious. Moreover, if the dog owner stops to think for more than two seconds, they should clue in to the fact that their dog has teeth, and can cause serious damage to the frisbee. These things aren't cheap. A 175-gram frisbee, with a good aerodynamic profile, is going to set you back about $30 (CDN). We're not just talking about any old $5 bargain store disk, okay. That's a pretty expensive dog toy, especially when it isn't yours.
It's a common fault among dog owners though. For some reason, they seem to inhabit some alternate universe where their pet can do whatever and it doesn't affect them or anyone around them, where everyone wants their pet around and has a responsibility to treat it with total difference. Well, I'm sorry, but one would expect a dog owner to be rather weirded out, if not angered, if i were to start biting and slobbering over something of theirs. But for some reason, it is apparently acceptable for their dog to do just that. It's also apparently alright to allow a dog to do its business wherever it decides to, to rummage through flower beds and bound up to people and jump up at them without their express consent, and so forth. This is all ridiculous. Keeping dogs for something other than specialized work is ridiculous and pathetic in a modern context. Our ancestors domesticated them because they were useful for security and for keeping the hunter-gatherer camp clean of the sort of refuse that would attract less desirable scavengers and predators. But in a modern domestic context, they are a nuisance to everyone around them. Their only purpose is to serve as a second-rate replacement for the real, beneficial relationships that a person would form within their community if it wasn't for the fact that work, consumerism and teletainment have isolated them in a lonely, unfulfilling shadow of a life. The act of being a dog owner, enslaving oneself to this stupid, smelly, obnoxious animal, is little more than a rather disgusting form of self-inflicted mental illness, a vaguely symbiotic form of obsessive compulsion triggered by social anguish. Rather than committing suicide or committing violent crime or, more positively, making an attempt to reach out to the people around them, they go and buy a dog, and feed it food, and have it "love" them. It's a form of wankish gratification that's purchased in bags of chow and timely shots and bending over several times a day to clean up another animal's shit (or leaving it to rot on their lawn or someone else's. (Cats on the other hand are rather inoffensive and downright charming by comparison)
At any rate, that's all for frisbee this summer I guess. I can't really afford to buy another large tournament disk right now, and the only other frisbee I have is a smaller 135-gram blue one, which isn't very ideal for night action. ARGGGH.
At least I have my new bike now. We put most of it together on the weekend, just needed to get new brake cables (my dad bought the wrong type), but he went and finished it and brought it over yesterday evening. I took it out this afternoon and it works marvellously. Excellent glide... we cleaned out the bearing sets in each wheel and replaced the chain and rear gear set. I'm still getting used to having clipped/strapped pedals, but by the end of the day I was getting fairly competent at getting back into them after intersections. After stopping at the mall to get a roll of film developed and send some mail out, I did a 15 km ride around the eastern hemisphere of Burlington. It took far too long to get the thing, but now that I have a decent bike, for the rest of the summer I'm going to try to take it out every day for a few hours in order to make up for the past two months of not riding.
"A heartworm on all your houses!" - gut-wrenching dialogue from the hit off-Broadway show, Romeo and Juliet are Cats