Sunday, August 13, 2006

Leash Your Dog

Last Monday was a postcard day in Santa Barbara, low 80's, bright sun, low humidity. So, while my wife went to work in the garden, I took off for the beach with my new body-board, a bunch of magazines and a folding chair. I wanted to have the options to read, sleep, swim or play in the waves all by myself (almost a new childhood). I arrived at our favorite little beach and walked down to an open area with a suntanning couple on one side and two women with children and two dogs on the other. When I went to unfold my chair, this one black dog took offense and came at me with fangs bared and growling that deep growl. I worked for too many years in for a veterinarian to take any guff from a dog. I took off after him with my folding chair, which got the women and kids kind of excited and they grabbed him. I kind of loudly said that their dog should be leashed according to the sign entering the beach. They did not say too much, but held on to the dog.
Within 30 minutes a Sheriff's deputy came walking down the beach with a man in swim trunks and a towel and apporached the two women. I was close enough to overhear their conversation. Evidently, shortly before I came along, this other guy tried to lie down on the beach and the same black dog took the same offense, but it BIT him! The Sheriff's deputy spent time on his cell phone and wrote up a ticket for the woman with the black dog and gave her a pretty long lecture before ordering her off the beach. Then he talked to the bitten man and told him about the impending impounding of the dog for rabbies testing and his need to go see a physician.
Now, I have thought about it all week. Why did those women allow their biting dog on the beach in the first place? And when the dog bit the guy, why in the world did they stay, and allow the dog to run around unleashed, barking at others? Dumb! It was their responsibily to police the behavior of their own beloved, though misbehaving dog.
That's my take on Israel and Hezzbolah (sp?). Where are the Islamic clerics who should say "Stop shooting rockets from residential neighborhoods into Israel! There is no good outcome for that barking behavior for anyone!" Now I know international diplomacy is enormously complex and multilayered. But still, I should not discipline your children nor you mine. We should attend to our own homes leash our own unruly pets. And I think tonight that those in religious authority are not doing their job and they should be.


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