October 21st, 2007

hat, tophat, Evan, 2019

Confirmation Bias

You may know that I like to rant about Bad Dog-Owners and Stupid People.

This morning, drarwenchicken and I went to Second Breakfast at the Aleta Library Café, which was small but agreeable. When we arrived, there were several dogs on leashes outside, waiting for their people. One Australian Shepherd (perhaps a mix), was tied near a bench by the door. He mostly waited, but he'd bark vigorously at other dogs passing, and strain at his leash if they got close enough. During a quiet moment, one of the people waiting walked past him and reached down to pat the dog on the head.

The dog barked and snapped at the hand. When the guy pulled his hand back, the dog went for the guy's leg, snagging his pants briefly. Fortunately, no blood was drawn.

Well-Intentioned Guy's wasn't entirely blameless here; he reached for a strange dog's head when the owner wasn't around. Sure, most dogs won't try to bite you, but most is not the same as all. Do you see Evan ever making this move? No, you do not.

Even so, a big "WTF?" goes out to the Bad Dog-Owner. Dude, what makes you think it's okay to leave an aggressive dog tied up unsupervised, where other people and dogs are waiting? You're either ignorant of the dog's behavior (which is bad), or is in denial (also bad). If you haven't socialized your dog adequately to be safely out in public, leave him at home!

Also while we were waiting, a patron came out to let her toddler see the Whippet that was outside. The Whippet didn't care about anything but watching the door to see when his people were coming back, but they're high-strung little dogs. Do you see Evan ever saying "Come here Small Child, let's approach this unfamiliar, quivering dog?" No, you do not.

I know; not everyone shares my suspicion. One could probably go pat a thousand strange dogs and most of them wouldn't bite. It's just unpredictable. The ones that do bite may give no warning before their teeth are sinking into the hand that pats them. And this morning's episode just confirms my belief that there are too many Bad Dog-Owners and random dogs out there to make it worth risking.

Arleta Library Café's food was quite tasty, and they make their own ketchup. The place is small, so turnover is slow, but it's a pretty good place for Second Breakfast if you're there early. Beware of Dogs.
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