Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pet Peeves

When I lived in Parsberg, I did most of my runs in the local woods. I'd see lots of animals there: deer, huge wild rabbits, foxes, and an occasional wild boar. It was always a surprise to see the different critters while on the run. They would usually run away when they sensed me. The rabbits, which I often called, "Vorpal bunnies," were especially fast. I used to say that they had to be fast to escape being cooked. One time I got to within a couple of meters of a large deer on a trail. We both looked at each other before he bolted away. The time I saw a mother boar with her babies, I made sure to give them a wide berth. But they were more interested in foraging for whatever they eat, which was a good thing. The foxes always ran away. They were more afraid of me than I was of them, which was a sign that they weren't rabid.

These days I don't see any wild animals except for a rabbit once in a while. But I do see lots of sheep and cows. There is a sheep pasture where I begin and end most of my runs. I also see cows on several of the trails in the late spring through early fall. I'm often "up close and personal" with the cows and the tourists who want to photograph them.

But the wild and farm animals are easy to deal with compared to domestic ones and their owners. In Germany dogs are supposed to be on a leash when they're out for a walk. One would think that the Germans, who usually follow every rule to the letter and insist that others do so, would keep their dogs on a leash. Wrong! They like to let Bello (the German equivalent of Fido or Rover) run free while holding an empty leash in their hands. Most of the time the dogs just sniff harmlessly and then go on their way, or they ignore me. But there are little dogs that like nothing better than jumping on an unsuspecting runner. What do the owners do? Nothing.

One dog owner even had the nerve to blame me for startling his otherwise friendly dog. I had started off on my run and slowed my pace when I saw the dog coming my way and barking furiously. Bello jumped on me. The owner said that his dog was very friendly but went into attack mode because my movement startled him. When I saw the leash in the owner's hand, I asked him why Bello wasn't on a leash. He said that his nice, friendly dog didn't need to be on one and that I shouldn't have startled the poor thing.

My other pet peeve is the dog owners who have little Fifi on an extendable leash who stand on one side of the path and their dog is on the other side. I either have to say, "Ich komme vorbei" (I'm passing) or jump over the leash. The dog's owner acts annoyed that he either has to move to Fifi's side of the trail or move Fifi to his side. Have these people never learned trail etiquette? I also encounter these types of dog owners when I ride my bike on the same trail. When I ring my bell, those people give me a look like I'm out to shoot their dogs instead of just pass by. Whatever happened to staying on one side of the trail?

I will take the wild animals of Parsberg over Bello, Fifi, and their owners any day.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, ha, ha Very funny post!. I was certainly one of those with an extendable leash! We should have met when I had the dog. Once my dog even tied around an old poor lady, I tried to apologize but it was in vain....