(Last) Weekly Roundup: Once Bitten, Twice Shy Edition

Somehow, I knew they were going to be trouble. A college-age girl and her (sugar?) daddy, each walking some kind of pitbull-mix thing, taking up the entire width of a ten-foot-wide pedestrian bridge. I rode up behind them and rang my Spurcycle bell. The woman’s dog, a Spuds-McKenzie thing, turned and stared at me. As I rode by, it bit me on the right calf, just under the knee.

It took me a second or two to realize what had happened. That dog actually bit me. I stopped the bike. The woman regarded me with the slack-jawed look of someone whose perceptions are lagging reality — possibly the same expression I’d had when I’d been bitten.

“Your dog,” I said, in a tone that suggested I had just seen a fascinating food truck of which she should not go unaware, “just bit me.”

“OH GOD DID IT BREAK THE SKIN?” I wasn’t certain of whether it had. The only thing of which I was certain was that I was becoming authentically furious about the situation as the fractions of seconds ticked by. The smartest course of action was to simply ride away, so that’s what I did. About a hundred yards away, I saw another cyclist coming towards me, so I stopped him and provided a short warning on the topic of the crazy dog. Then I went to my office, where I poured alcohol on the half-dollar-sized wound. It’s mostly a bruise, with some missing skin.

I could have called the police, gone to the hospital, all that business. It just didn’t seem worth the effort. Nothing would change. The woman wouldn’t control her dogs any better in the future. If this bite was enough to give me rabies, then I probably deserve to die anyway. And I would have made a pair of permanent enemies for both me and my employer in our very small town.

The irony of the situation is that I’ve been reading a “subreddit” called Dogfree lately, having stumbled across it thanks to a previously-bitten cyclist who sent me a link. The subreddit chronicles America’s love affair with dogs, which has become fairly Glenn-Close-in-Fatal-Attraction-esque lately. We are embracing dogs almost as quickly as we are abandoning the idea of having children. These two phenomena are not unconnected. Dogs really are replacing kids. How many young couples do you know who swear up and down that they can’t afford kids, can’t make time for kids, can’t provide a home for kids — and then they go ahead and endure an equal or greater amount of expense and suffering for a dog? “Oh, I can’t take a vacation right now, our dog is sick. We can’t stay out tonight, the dog needs to be walked.” And this is less bothersome than having an actual child of your own?

Dogs in the country injure 800,000 people per year enough to seek medical care — so I’m not part of that statistic, which suggests that bites are far more frequent than 800k a year. American dogs kill thirty or more people per year and hospitalize 10,000, which means that they are more statistically dangerous than the AR-15-pattern semiautomatic rifle. If you think the gun regulations in this country are lax, you should see the dog regulations. Nobody background-checked the woman whose dog nipped me. She can have as many “assault dogs” as she wants. Unlike the AR-15, a dog has a mind, and agenda, of its own. Sometimes they kill children. It doesn’t happen often, but if you’ve heard the phrase “If it saves just one child’s life” a million times with regards to gun control, perhaps you’re wondering why you never hear it about dogs.

The more I think about my minor canine incident, the more empathy I have for the people who hate guns. I don’t own a dog and don’t see why anybody “needs” one, so consequently I don’t see why we can’t have “sensible dog control”. I can’t take a Steyr AUG on a plane, so I don’t see why someone should be allowed to bring a dog, which could kill a child just as easily as an AUG could and with considerably less input on the part of the owner. Lastly, if I saw someone walking down the street carrying a Desert Eagle in his hand I’d probably call the cops. Shouldn’t I do the same when I see a pitbull or German shepherd?

You could euthanize every dog in America tomorrow and I wouldn’t blink. So I understand why some people cheer when Beta O’Rourke says he’s going to take all the AR-15s away. What’s perhaps more relevant to his website is that I can see how a significant percentage of the American people won’t lift a finger to prevent the eventual banning and destruction of, in this order:

  • sports cars
  • gas guzzlers
  • jacked-up trucks
  • trucks of any kind
  • gasoline-powered cars
  • gasoline-powered motorcycles
  • 50cc Ruckus scooters
  • classic cars in museums

Don’t think for a moment that the 30-year-old “social media engineer” who takes the subway from Bushwick to Manhattan every day would greet the proposed destruction of personal automobiles with anything other than a Twitter Like. Don’t assume that our private ownership of anything, whether it be a Barrett .50 or a tenth of a Bitcoin, is sacrosanct. Chances are that a significant percentage of Americans would either ignore or actively assist a confiscation or “voluntary surrender” of anything you can name.

Fifty years ago, this country worked a bit differently. I recognized your right to have a dog as long as it didn’t bite me. You recognized my right to have a straight-piped Rat motor. We both recognized our neighbor’s right to shoot his M1 Garand. All of us were brought up with a common curriculum which heavily emphasized the American position on rights like that. Not any more. The Millennials are having “fur babies” instead of babies. An entire generation has checked out of the game; they will vanish from the earth leaving nothing but unpaid student loans and vast cathedral-like doggie-daycare buildings. By contrast, the most common age of Hispanic-origin people in the United States is… eleven. Those are tomorrow’s adults. They are growing up in a society that vilifies the Founding Fathers, and America itself, as entirely rooted in the original sin of slavery. Consequently, they are unlikely to put much stock in your, or my, claptrap about “inalienable rights” and “sovereign citizens” and whatnot. As soon as your dog — or your gun, or your car — proves inconvenient to the majority of them, don’t expect the ghost of Antonin Scalia to rise up and save you from their coordinated community action.

In the unlikely event that the humanity of 2300 exists in any state of organization, literacy, or sophistication whatsoever, how will they regard this era of American exceptionalism? Will they see it as a ridiculous aberration, a racist and capitalist stain on an otherwise unbroken history of communal poverty and tribal loyalty? Will they be puzzled by the mere existence of “individual rights”, the way we gape at the Mayans’ casual acceptance of human sacrifice at the top of a ziggurat? Or will they see the American Century as a brief moment of warmth and decency in the otherwise miserable and humiliating march of human history, the Venerable Bede’s sparrow flight, a tantalizingly unfathomable moment in time where our natural cruelties and insane inanities were suspended in favor of something better? And what will they make of the haste and alacrity with which we dismantled and destroyed that moment? From whence will they date the fall? What will they say caused it, what will they say marked it? Indeed, will some future gibbering psuedo-Gibbon document the precise moment when the greatest nation in history went… to the dogs?

* * *

At Hagerty, I suggested a left-field idea for the future of Lotus.

75 Replies to “(Last) Weekly Roundup: Once Bitten, Twice Shy Edition”

  1. AvatarJames2

    I hate dogs. One block from my uncle’s house on Maui is Pit Bull Central. Every house, fortunately fenced, has some variant of an always snarling, perpetually angry animal. Who wants a mad beast for “a pet”, I don’t understand. Walk this block at your own risk. Next door to my uncle’s house is a dog who never ever sleeps, apparently. At 2 AM Every Effing Day it has to start yapping. Then the dog over at the next house joins in, because barking has to be done in stereo. No, surround sound. I don’t know how my uncle has managed to sleep his entire life. Last time I visited him, I booked a hotel on the main drag. I would rather listen to traffic than any effing dog.

    • AvatarDisinterested-Observer

      Years ago (pre-boom(s)) some friends lived in a Denver neighborhood that was like what you describe. I don’t recall the area but I saw it on “House Hunters” recently and their ~$50k house would be worth at least ten times that now. I was visiting once and went for a terrifying walk around the block. It seemed like every house had a Cerberus barely restrained by 2′ fencing.

      Where I live now there are probably 0.8 well behaved dogs per house, and this might shock Jack but everyone has multiple kids too. Things aint all bad everywhere.

  2. AvatarLynn W

    Well said Jack: “Those are tomorrow’s adults. They are growing up in a society that vilifies the Founding Fathers, and America itself, as entirely rooted in the original sin of slavery. Consequently, they are unlikely to put much stock in your, or my, claptrap about “inalienable rights” and “sovereign citizens” and whatnot. As soon as your dog — or your gun, or your car — proves inconvenient to the majority of them, don’t expect the ghost of Antonin Scalia to rise up and save you from their coordinated community action”

    However, tomorrow is September 11th and as long as those of us who will always know the exceptionalism of America are still around, please take a moment to reflect on the Americans our great country lost that faithful day.

  3. AvatarTommy Erskine

    Living in one of the most liberal states in the country, I see this every single day in spades. I hate that, from what I see, nearly every word of this is true. I hate it for my freedoms, for my love of cars, and for my sons. Ironically, Im up at 12:11am on a work night (yes I work and pay almost 50% of what I make in taxes) because my liberal neighbor’s dog is barking.

  4. AvatarEric L.

    I learned recently that the pit bull was created as a bull- and bear-baiting breed. They wanted a dog brutish enough to clamp onto a bear and hold it still to be shot and skinned, or tough enough to kill bulls in “games.” And… that’s now one of the most-popular breeds in the ‘States. [astonished emoji here]

    • AvatarDuong Nguyen

      Don’t tell the PitBull lovers that… They’ll swear up and down that they were a “Nanny Dog” that practically babysat kids!

      • AvatarHarry

        They are nanny dogs! Until they aren’t. The crazy thing about dogs is they can be both.

        I am biased on the pro dog side of things. Aside from being OK with dogicide, the part I disagree with in the post most vociferously is that amount of input from the owner it would take for a dog to kill a child. We are probably all familiar with the stock arguments here, so I will just say that dogs are a great experiment in nature vs. nurture, and are also a fantastic reflection on the emotional health of the dog’s owner and family life.

        You have to give any breed of a dog a lot of bad input over a long time for it to go seriously wrong. I am sure the owner of the dog that bit Jack “loves” her dog. I am equally sure she is herself nervous and fearful in unfamiliar situations, is emotionally demonstrative when frustrated or angered, and swings wildly from one response to another in situations that seem identical from the dog’s POV.

        There is probably something in here about narcissism and nature rights as well.

        • Avatartrollson

          Bingo. The dog is simply reflective of and is the responsibility of the owner. Hence the owner should be held responsible for all actions of the dog.

          But the real issue here is dogs off leash. Jack didn’t mention whether the dog that bit him and triggered his dog rage was on a leash or not, but I’m suspecting it wasn’t.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            It was — the leash, however, was held by a 110-pound twenty-something woman. She might as well have tried to lasso a rodeo bull.

      • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

        Every time some idiot gets mauled to death by the pitbulls the rest of the pitbull community goes “I don’t believe it”
        I love dogs, I have 2. I had a very strict no pitbulls in my house policy when my former roommate wanted to get a dog.
        I’m also a Millennial. A mid 30’s millennial but a millennial and I had my first daughter. Hoping to get the dog to child ratio at 1-1 sooner rather than later. (By adding another kid, not subtracting a dog)

  5. AvatarRyan

    You’re right, the dog “thing” is only getting worse. One of my closest friends and his wife refuse to have children for the reasons you listed, yet they seemingly have time to train a new leader dog every six months. The previous dog recently failed and is now living with them as they train a second puppy, which seems like a lot more work than raising a child.

    I don’t hate dogs by any means. Like anything else, it’s the owners who are shit. People don’t know how to train or discipline their dogs, and suburbia is now overrun with barking shit factories. Hell, I can’t even go to a “nice” restaurant or bar without someone bringing a dog inside.

    The real problem for me personally is that dog ownership used to signal certain qualities in a women: I found that “dog girls” tended to be more physically affectionate and demonstrated more paternal behavior as they were used to caring for someone outside themselves. In comparison, all women with cats had toxoplasmosis and were emotional wrecks who were excellent in the bedroom. Now, I just avoid anyone who mentions the word dog in their Tinder profile. Better safe than sorry.

    • Avatarhank chinaski

      Purse dog over 30 is a big red flag.

      Selective breeding works. Our leaders, elected or otherwise, are more comfortable running a manor populated with docile campesinos than armed citizens and will skew the incentives to effect that. We are the giant pandas that won’t fuck but aren’t even deemed worthy of a spot in the zoo.

      Ah, pit bulls, the canine equivalent of 13-50. There are more than a couple of tat-sleeved, 120# soaking wet, tarts in my ‘nabe that walk these rescue monstrosities on the same blocks where bait-dog sized children walk to school with their parents and siblings. It makes me pine for an Airweight every time.

      • AvatarRyan

        I have yet to come across anyone with a purse dog, either in person or otherwise. Most 20-something female dog owners can be divided into two camps. The first consists of what you described above who will defend “the breed” to death, while failing to see how the same argument of object vs. handler applies to firearms. The second is always a washed up sorority girl who “rescues” a golden retriever and posts incessantly about it on Instagram when she’s not throwing up gym selfies or a picture of whatever Jeep product she was able to lease for $299/mo.

      • AvatarJustPassinThru

        The term is “Behavioral Sink.”


        Researcher John B. Calhoun created a Mouse Utopia, with unlimited food and water, plenty of (but limited) space, and let enough pairs for a colony in, to live and reproduce. LONG before all the nesting warrens were occupied, the mice first turned on one another; and then, the following generation became antisocial and unable to breed. They no longer interacted, even to fight.

        Eventually, the colony was wiped out.

        This is where we are. We are so frazzled from the anomie of shifting social rules and demands, of constant emotional assaults from professional agitators; from the institutional shaming of the Middle Class, in a world where suddenly only racial identity of sanctioned minority races can protect you…people have cut the ties. Two generations back they stopped learning their neighbors. A generation back they were suddenly denied civic and social clubs and activities. Now the very act of courtship is fraught with social, legal, and lifelong danger. Moreover, being just male, is to be an object of disgust.

        Normal mating no longer occurs. Nor children. The result of this, is “fur babies.”

        I see this in my apartment warren in a mountain town home to a state university. All the adults, mostly single, seem to have dogs – most of them do. Newly retired, I’m home most mornings…and I hear the yowls. Then there’s the noontime rush, to get home to walk those dogs…a quick, hasty walk that probably does nothing for the dog’s needs or mental health. Back inside, alone, for four more hours…and then, home…the dog NEEDS to get out and the dog-owners are exhausted from one more day of cubicle hell or classroom drudgery.

        That phrase…the dog’s a good nursery-dog…until it isn’t…is so much the truth. Dogs were not meant to live this way. And dogs made to live this way will, literally, lose their minds – go mad.

        People, too – except we’re getting the panacea, marijuana…the real-life Soma, made available.

  6. AvatarGene

    Mailman here. I’ve started righting 3 different responses to this column but i keep getting so angry i lose all train of thought and comprehensible wording. Nothing makes me madder than stupid dog people.

    It’s not the dog i want to use my pepper spray on. Dogs do what dogs do. Owners though i want to hold down and empty the can straight into their retinas.

  7. Avatarrambo furum

    I have no objection to hunting dogs. Any gunowner can have a dog.

    On a side note, I’d like to believe that the burgeoning Hispanic population will be apathetic to “the original sin of slavery” and other irrelevant guiltings. May the cloud have a silver lining.

  8. Avatarhank chinaski

    I believe that there have been more than a few flight attendants and child passengers bitten by ‘service’ dogs on flights, but no negligent Aug discharges that I’m aware of. Delta was recently shamed by the FAA for specifically barring pits in such a capacity in response to an attack.

    The ‘verse was atwitter last week after pics were posted of an AA flight that hosted a ‘service miniature horse’. The owner looked exactly like you’d expect. Honk!

    I’m not a dog hater and might own a big slobbering Lab one day after the nest is empty, but am not at all keen at picking up warm piles larger than my own.

  9. AvatarDR Smith

    Jack – do what I do & practice a bit of self defence.

    I live in a far Western suburban nee almost rural area in metro Detroit (Ronnie probably can make a good guess which one). A place were literally everyone wants to move to because it is still clean and relatively crime free which good housing values. Anyhow, I walk my my suburb everyday – it’s about a a 3.5 mile walk.

    The dog problem, as Jack says, is real. In the two years since i started doing this, I have been bitten once (which ruined a pair of workout pants but barley broke the skin – caused more of a scratch than anything) and had close calls on three other occasions. So now I walk with a stainless steel double walled thermos type bottle that has a carrying hook on the lid. I tell people it is to carry water; however, because of the hook on the lid which swivels, it can double as a quick club. In fact I let it be known one day, to one very obnoxious dog owner whom used to seem to delight in having his dig run up to me on the sidewalk and snap at me, that this was not a plastic water bottle…and rapped on it so he could here the noise…and I would use it if I had to. Lo and behold, later that week he had brand new electric fence installed.

    I get your problem is a little different, so you might just have to attached a short bungee cord to a similar type bottle (you can get them to fight the water bottle holder on your bike frame) to give you a bit of length. If you let people know and maybe swing the bottle close once, you find it might be all the incentive they need to change their behavior….cause that is what is needed in most cases. People are lazy and self entitled nowadays…they need some sort of incentive to change their behavior, cause that is all it is…bad behavior

  10. AvatarRy-cakes

    What a shit storm. Literally. My dog-friendly town is having a big issue with pup-poo disposal. Even with the recently added doggie waste stations, and most dog’s desire to eat other animals’ feces, pedestrians need to watch their step on sidewalks and through greenways. It’s a shitty situation. Some might say it stinks!

  11. AvatarMarkXJR

    “And this is less bothersome than having an actual child of your own? ”
    Well to be fair, one can leave their “fur baby” unattended while they are slaving away at the day job, but if they do the same with their “rug rat”, the cops, child services, etc. will be called

  12. AvatarCJinSD

    This piece reads like an act of courage. Sometimes it feels like you could stop a transgender activist in their tracks by suggesting that animals shouldn’t have rights.

    My COA was successfully sued by a nutter with a support dog that some other nutter said should have to wear a vest. Supposedly we’re a pet-free community, which was a feature for me when I bought my condo. Meanwhile the litigious lady with the support dog watches CNN on the TV in the bar at our community pool every night. Why shouldn’t the rest of us be expected to walk through animal waste at our pool because some shameless bitch says she needs a literal bitch to get through the day?

    Two years ago, I was hiking with an ex-girlfriend who has to bring one of her dogs everywhere. Her harmless little beagle-terrier mix was attacked by some Subaru-driver’s pitbull. I had to choke out the pit to get it to stop ripping my friend’s dog to pieces. I’m big and strong. I have no illusions about how my bout with that dog would have gone if it had been focused on me instead of tearing all the skin off of poor little Casey Jones. The pitbull’s owner pled for mercy, swore that the dog was always gentle and had never so much as growled before. That’s a good reason for banning pitbulls right there, if you ask me. Don’t have a dog that can lull you into a false sense of security and then kill you the second it changes its mind.

    My ex shed some blood in the melee. She wound up getting rabies shots, which law enforcement wanted me to receive as well. I opted out, and am probably not rabid to this day. I did pay for Casey Jones’ surgeries, for reasons I am not proud of. The tattooed lesbians escaped through the woods while I carried Casey Jones back down the mountain wrapped in my shirt. I resent not having killed the pitbull while it was incapacitated. Chances are that if I had I would now be a nationally-known villain.

    San Diego is a pretty big city. Terrible things happen to people there every day. Crimes committed by illegal aliens are swept under the rug. There was a crazy homeless guy in Ocean Beach stabbing tourists on many separate occasions without the media or law enforcement considering it a problem. Active manhunts for rapists in Balboa park were not as important as hiding the ethnicity of said rapists. I don’t know how many times I was stuck in gridlock created by lane-splitting motorcyclists being scraped off the pavement, but I do know that I never read or heard a news story about the body count. Do you know what the local media did cover like the Steele Dossier? Someone poisoned two nuisance pitbulls. You’d have thought Dave Chappelle had said that everyone should be able to take a joke.

  13. AvatarCarmine

    The marketing powers that be have discovered this, notice the incredible increase in “dogos”(I so hate that term) In advertising, it seem that there is no need to even talk about your mediocre product anymore, just use doggies. I don’t think Subaru even mentions models or even has any voice overs in the some their ads, just doggies driving cars, that’s enough for the idiots.

    My next hated term-“Pet Parent” No shithead, its a fcking DOG, its property, you own it, you can love it, I certainly did love mine for 14 years, but its property.

    • Tom KlockauTom Klockau

      I roll my eyes so hard that I almost give myself a headache whenever I’m behind a car with a “I love my granddog” bumper sticker.

      And don’t even get me started on the ‘I have low self esteem so I MUST take my dog/iguana/armadillo on a commercial aircraft’ feebs…

  14. Avatarstingray65

    There are very few bad dogs, only bad dog owners who don’t take the time to train their dogs to behave properly and/or abuse the dog. I think a key question not addressed in Jack’s essay is the degree you would want bad dog owners to be parents of children.

    The product of a bad dog owner might bite a few people or in extreme cases do something worse, but will be dead from natural causes in 8-12 years and can be put down earlier by police or animal control if it becomes too unruly or destructive. In contrast, the product of a bad parent(s) will be misbehaving for decades at great cost to society in terms of extra education costs, policing costs, prison costs, and welfare costs. For example, almost every mass-shooter of recent times has been the child of a single mother with no father figure in the picture, and/or suffered from some sort of abusive parenting, and a large majority of single mothers are themselves the product of single mothers riding on taxpayer supported welfare across multiple generations. Not to mention the social costs associated with the poor genetic legacy that too many parents give their children in the form of low IQ, destructive personalities, and poor health.

    Frankly society would be better off if more “bad parents” adopted fur babies (preferably a non-violent retriever breed rather than more potentially destructive pit bull) instead of giving the world another violent disruptive student/drop-out, drug addict, armed robber, welfare queen, single mom, or mass-shooter.

  15. AvatarNoID

    I think the focus on the average age of Hispanic-origin people should be qualified by the appropriate population statistic. Your focus on them implies that this people group is the up-and-coming majority (or a minority sizable enough to matter) but I think your point would be stronger if the link was explicit. Without it, you just sound like one of those deplorable fear-mongers.

    Plus I won’t know how deep to dig my moat until I can quantify the problem.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I didnt to browbeat the reader with statistics. It would appear that the country will be majority Hispanic within my likely lifetime. Which is neither good or bad on the face of things, but when you look at their differing educational experiences it becomes worrisome.

      • AvatarWill

        Or care for this country as a whole. They often actually don’t care about the US and maintain an affiliation for Mexico or their home country unlike my Grandparents who immigrated here and embraced their new American Identity.

  16. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    I’m not impartial on this subject. I’ve owned and loved dogs and pet owners fed me in my youth (my late father was a veterinarian). Still, I’m annoyed by owners of aggressive breeds that go on about their favored breed’s qualities (many of which are genetic in origin) but freak out if you dare mention that they’re aggressive. Just as there is a gene for companionability in the canine genome, there’s one for aggression as well. Oh, and Golden Retrievers are only “the most dangerous breed” because it’s the most popular breed in America so they’re responsible for the largest absolute number of bites. Pit bulls, akitas, chow chows, and dobermans are still more aggressive than retrievers, which have been bred, as working dogs, to get along with humans.

    One of the things I learned from my father is that all dogs bite, no matter the breed, if they feel threatened. When examining a dog, he’d usually muzzle it before poking and prodding where it might hurt. His clients would typically say, “Oh, he doesn’t bite,” and my dad would reply, “There’s no such thing as a dog that won’t bite. That’s its only defense and I’m likely to cause it pain.”

    My ex and I adopted a retired racing greyhound. You know the saying, “let sleeping dogs lie”? Well, greyhounds are known for “sleep aggression”, you really don’t want to startle one awake. Unfortunately for me, Annie sometimes slept with her eyes open and I didn’t know she was asleep and when I went to rub her head I was attacked by a 70 lb dog that was taller than me when on its hind legs. Didn’t break the skin but she did put a hole in my suit jacket. BTW, another thing my dad taught me is that if you’re attacked by a dog, protect your head and neck first, which is how my suit got torn.

    That being said, the notion of “fur babies” offends me, as do “emotional support” animals.

    Hell, when I ask car collectors which of their cars is their favorite and they start to say, “Well, that would be like asking me which of my children is my favorite,” I’ll stop them and say, “Are you equating an inanimate object with your kids?”

    If there was a flood, I’d save the teenager down the street who stole my tools out of my garage before I’d save my own dog.

    To the dog haters of the world (and I’ve been chased by a cur or two while cycling myself) I’d say that an argument can be made that without dogs humans would never have been able to build civilizations. Humans figured out how to breed retarded, infantile wolves that will guard our encampments while we sleep, guard and help herd our livestock, and provide companionship. Humans and dogs can communicate better than humans and chimps.

    • AvatarDaniel J

      I’m convinced I have neighbors and even possibly friends that would save their dog or even their neighbors dog before saving their neighbor from drowning.

      I mentioned this on Reddit once and the response I got was that the neighbor might be a mass murder. I’m convinced people value pets over their fellow man.

      I shake my head at society where we are free to kill an unborn baby but God forbid you hurt your dog or someone else’s. Dogs have more rights than a fetus does.

  17. AvatarFrank Galvin

    Dogs are a reflection of our culture’s rot and narcissism. I’m a dog lover, currently on my fourth. I have two kids and a wife, who grew up with the family dog. Done right, its a wonderful addition.

    Service dogs are a fantastic accommodation for the disabled. We train them on the grounds of my workplace. Between the breeder, the prison program, college student acclimation to public spaces, and placement in a work environment, someone is going to have an immensely better quality of life.

    That’s all under attack due to the “emotional support” breeds that we all know to well. Legitimate users and their dogs being banned from public spaces and employment due the proliferation of untrained companions to make someone ostensibly feel better despite knowing that these animals have no place at work and other areas.

    Another reason to delete facebook all together – the vapid caterwauling to only “adopt” a “rescue” dog and never, ever, ever, ever – buy a puppy, as they all come from a “mill.” Man’s best friend is now part of the call-out scold culture. Bleep Me. We went the rescue route, once. Great tempered lab, until his reaction to a startled wake up was to bit my kid in the face. Goodbye. We bought a puppy, a nice beagle mixed with another calm breed. Fantastic dog. Loves the car. No questions about our home, yard, fencing, vet, re-homing fee, blah blah blah. We bought a thing.

    Meanwhile in lunatic social media land – narcissistic tsk tsk fur mommies and daddies expressed some strong opinions on this. Why would we BUY a PUPPY WHEN THERE ARE POUNDS THAT ARE OVERFLOWING 500 MILES FROM WHERE WE LIVE!!! Well, I’m training, fixing, walking, and feeding a puppy I own. Not you, not anyone else. We’re not the delinquents the who adopt a pit mix, and turn him in because of the obvious. And sure as sh*t, we’re not responsible for someone’s else bleep up, and won’t hectored into cleaning up someone’s mess.

    The Narcissistic Scolds have gutted the altruistic (get a mutt from the pound) and replaced it with a demand that a dog may only be procured via an adoption process that delves into every aspect of your life and home for a re-homing fee. Anyone with half a brain is going to a) go to the pet store b) shell out some nice coin with a breeder and c) may choose either A or B if the local pound doesn’t have a friendly mutt that not’s a kill mix. The Scolds will then pull the unwanted from the pound, and attempt to re-home them while screaming at all of us in the A & B world for being the repugnant monsters.

    Well, despite my designer mutt being on sale, I got some great points on the credit card and a companion that doesn’t mind wasting gas on back country roads for no reason.

    Suck it Furparents

    • AvatarDirt Roads

      “Narcissistic Scolds” I love it and am going to adopt that.

      We bought a dog, I used to always get them from the pound (for a fee) and they were the best dogs ever. Mutts usually are better than purebreds, IMHO. I grew up on a farm and we always had a dog, or dogs, horses, sheep, ducks, what-have-you. All animals have their quirks, and you better know as a dog owner that it’s up to YOU to take care of it and the way it behaves in society. My 8 pound dog couldn’t hurt you, but I’d love to have a “loaf pincher” for the back yard and to protect my wife while she is at home alone (aside from the array of firearms we possess). I love dogs, have trained dogs, horses and other critters and believe that’s the only way to have an animal. One that’s trained, loved and part of the family. In addition to the kids of course. I may be a “dog daddy” but only in words, not reality. Good grief.

  18. Avatar-Nate

    #1 : ? Why didn’t you toss the damned dog off the bridge ? .

    #2 : ? Who says I can’t shoot my M1 Garand ?! . it was the second best rifle I ever owned after my WWII Mauser .

    #3 : Only people whe are deeply frightened want aggressive dogs that scare others .

    #4 : I was that kid who always got bit when I was young, I’m a dog owner and you’d best believe no dog of mine, not even the boxer whom I had to give away to a country home ever bit _anyone_ .

    I make damn sure of that and anyone who doesn’t know how to heel their dog(s) doesn’t deserve them and should lose them or have them killed (rat poison in ground beef works well) , not be allowed to keep them period .
    Nothing wrong with Pound Pups, most of my dogs are rescues, I let the dog choose me because who wants a dog that doesn’t like you off the bat ? .

    If you don’t like collecting poop, (I don’t) simple : get a small dog .

    I know a Woman who has a tiny apple headed Chihuahua in her purse, what’s wrong with that ? .

    Act like a child, expect to be treated like one .


  19. AvatarPaul M.

    This is the most vile disgusting post you have ever made. I love children. I love dogs. I love cats. My dog sits next to me all day quietly as I answer calls and take care of work. Expects nothing of me. My best friend. Will always be. You are a sad sad human being.

    • AvatarCJinSD

      If this is the most vile and disgusting thing that Jack has written, do you mean to say that his other commentaries are somewhat vile and disgusting? Do you come here to test the waters outside of your safe space?

      This is a dog bites man, man doesn’t like dog story. Some people can still learn from experience. It really doesn’t matter how inherently warm and fuzzy dogs are when so many of their handlers are completely unhinged.

      • Avatarpanatomic-x

        actually, you lost me, too. i have to constantly avoid irresponsible cyclists. in fact my dog was hit by one going the wrong way down the street while i was walking him in a crosswalk in front of the elementary school while the kids were being let out.

        i think it comes down to this – there are all kinds of assholes out there. some have dogs, some have guns, some have bikes and some have all three.

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          Mayor Bloomberg says he is going to license and regulate cyclists for exactly this reason.

          The irony here is that if I’d buzzed the people and their dog I’d have been fine. Instead I rang a bell and waited, which probably agitated the dog.

          • Avatarpanatomic-x

            you’re right about the bell but it’s not your responsibility to lnow that. it was woman’s job to control her dog. pitbulls are notorius for attacking dogs that come up to them with their tails wagging looking to play. it’s happened to my dog’s twice. i once kicked a pitbull on the balls to get it to let go of a dalmation’s snout. im everycase, i blame the owner. if you want to learn about guns, you don’t start with a bazooka. on the orher hand, there are pitbulls that i trust completely. it all depends on the way they are raised and handled. if you have a dangerous dog, you know it snd you have an obligation to put them down.

            as to the bike licensing, it’s actually deblasio. it’s an interesting idea but it’s way beyond his power to get anything passed. especially because he is loathed by everyone here. also he is a complete no show at city hall.


          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Of course it’s DeBlasio… I must have temporarily lost my mind. Probably because although Bloomberg is gone he keeps talking about Mayors For This and Mayors For That 🙂

      • AvatarWill

        Who wants to see Jack wholesome? I love dogs (and have had my current one for 11 years) that also doesn’t mean I necessarily disagree with what he wrote. Why is it so hard for people to competing thoughts?

  20. AvatarHarry

    I’ll throw this one out there. Pit Bulls are to dogs as AR-15 are to rifles. Lots of them out there, some of them in wrong hands, and involved, or identified to be involved, in a high proportion of notorious incidents.

    Breed specific legislation is to solving the problem of bad dogs, as the NY SAFE act is to stopping gun violence.

    • AvatarCJinSD


      From 2005 to 2017, 65.6% of fatal dog attacks were executed by pit bulls. There is no similar correlation between AR15s or other plastic-stocked semi-automatic rifles and any type of violence. If you don’t want breed specific legislation, since it would only stop two-thirds of violent deaths by dog, then banning all dogs from public property would be an acceptable compromise.

      • AvatarHarry

        Reported as pitt bulls. So, for example, the dog in Jack’s story would be considered a pit bull for that statistic, despite the fact that it may not be a pit bull. There are no accurate statistics for what “breed” or dog attacked, and for that matter great difficulty in determining what “breed” of dog a particular dog is unless it has AKC or equivalent papers. I don’t know it for a fact, but I am guessing most of those dogs involved in those fatalities don’t have much in the way of AKC papers.

        It would be like making gun statistics from people reporting what they thought they were shot with, from a list of choices limited to what they know.

        • AvatarCJinSD

          It sounds like eliminating dogs in public spaces is the only reasonable alternative, although people who can’t identify a pit bull at this point are likely to struggle with many obvious distinctions. It isn’t like there are red-faced members of the hip-hop community who’ve shown up at the dog-fights with their next aspiring grand-masters only to learn that they’ve had yet another poodle or scotty passed off on them.

          • Avatarhank chinaski

            The gun:dog comparison is worn argument. Even an evil black rifle will not chew its way out of its safe with its fellows to harm innocents.
            Most young children would not be able to rack a slide/charge a rifle if left alone with a firearm for a few minutes. A lazy search yielded this: https://www.fatalpitbullattacks.com/children-killed-by-pit-bulls.php Many include pics of the dog involved and they are clearly at least pit mixes. The accounts are harrowing and emotionally charged, particularly regarding the newborns, even if the numbers are lower than deaths by MVA or drowning or perhaps child abuse (or, opening a can of worms, in utero). And I hate the ‘but it’s for the children’ argument as much as anyone.

            Regarding the ‘new Americans’ vs. ‘our claptrap’ discussion, this is confirmed in polling, and is ‘a feature, not a bug’. The ghosts of Lee or Davis may be ultimately more helpful.

            CJ, Casey had better put in a good word for you with St. Francis. badass.

  21. Avataryamahog

    All bad dogs could disappear overnight and I wouldn’t blink. If all people who made bad dogs disappeared overnight, we could turn the party dial back to peak boomer years and keep the party going for a few hundred years.

  22. Avataryamahog

    I looked into banning pitfalls and saw a literal bitch wearing a muzzle. That’s the common sense dog regulation we need – every dog in public needs a muzzle. Maybe except security dogs. If a dog looses its muzzle or doesn’t have a muzzle, bystanders can kill the unmuzzled dog.

  23. AvatarShortest Circuit

    I remember a dog trainer friend of mine telling me that Pitbulls and some Amstaffs have a degenerative brain disease that causes an aging dog to suddenly change behavior. I think it has to do way more with the owner’s own brain issues.
    I grew up in a small town in a house with a garden, my parents always had dogs, so I will probably never hate dogs (I hate cats though) but when I started living on my own, it became quickly clear that I am okay with “outside dogs” and not okay with “inside dogs”. I had roommates that had doxies forever – great pets, but whatever you read, you can’t house-train them. I resented having to look for hidden wee-spots after they were left alone for a while.
    I noticed this strange similarity too: if you explain to someone why you don’t want to sit near a dog or a toddler on a plane, why I don’t want to pet your cat, the response is always the same, regardless of the subject – “but MINE doesn’t do that!”. Then it goes on doing just that. The only difference is the kid will (hopefully) stop shitting itself around 3 years of age.

  24. AvatarAoLetsGo

    Long time dog owner/lover here. But don’t have one now, why you ask? Because we both work a ton and there are no longer kids home to nominally take care of the dog during the day. I really miss having a dog and when I go for a walk in my little town I feel like a creeper without a dog. When I retire and can devote my time I will have another dog. Both of my millennial children have dogs, they are not totally fur babies they know better than that. Also they tell me it’s more of a let’s see if we can take care of a dog before we have kids.

    My worst dog/bike story was when we were in the middle of a long road ride. We were just finishing a long, steep hill and of course the house on top of the hill had a big, mean beast that came after us.
    We all got our second wind and thank goodness nobody was hurt.

    Funny millennial video:

  25. Avatarbaconator

    I was 100% with you up until maybe the last two paragraphs. A threat to gun ownership is indeed a threat to *ownership,* which is just one reason why I’m a proud 2A supporter and gun owner. (More of a Ducks Unlimited guy than an NRA guy, but if Beto gains steam I might send my membership forms in to the Church of Charlton Heston after all.)

    However, we’d all be much better served if we agreed that American exceptionalism is about *values* and not blood or soil. There are plenty – plenty! – of Hispanics that like their big trucks, guns, red meat, and freedom. These are the guys on my work crew. They don’t understand SJWs any more than you do, but they get that Trump wants to demonize them for the sake of white-guy votes. If the right wingers would quit pretending that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a set of ideas that only “Anglo-Saxon” people can own (NB: The Ancient Greeks? Not Anglos), you could bring us brown folks into the tent. Don’t deny that American history features slavery, the Trail of Tears, etc. Just say that that isn’t what we’re trying to be now. (Or are we?)

    • AvatarCJinSD

      If Hispanic American citizens think Trump is demonizing them, then they are being fooled by the left. Pointing out the dangers of an open border doesn’t say anything about people who are here legally. The costs of illegal immigration are as great for your crew as they are for any employed American and many unemployed ones. If you don’t think that any tribalism is a danger sign, then what of the identity politics that are offered by the Democrats in lieu of economic opportunities, freedom, individual rights or security?

      American history does have all sorts of horrible features from times when the Democrats had too much power, but so does pretty much every other country or civilization. Destroying the good ideas that are unique to the American experiment because of reprehensible behaviors common to every single authoritarian entity is insane.

    • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

      However, we’d all be much better served if we agreed that American exceptionalism is about *values*

      Can we kick people out who don’t support american values like the first and second amendment of the constitution? Because this “America is about values system” doesn’t currently check values at the door. Also called “magic dirt”

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The greatest lie the media ever successfully sold was the malicious association of “brown people” with illegal immigration. It’s like when someone proposes taking the vote away from felons and the media calls it “anti-black.”

      That being said, there’s no such thing as magic dirt. America is great because of the people who created it from scratch, not because it is on a particular side of Lake Michigan or the Rio Grande. As someone whose family arrived from Germany after the turn of the twentieth century, I don’t include us in that. We arrived to find all the American basics in place.

  26. AvatarCliffG

    One of the “things” now popular in my area is restaurants allowing people with dogs to sit in the outside seating areas. In order to enjoy the relatively few weeks a year that one can sit outside and eat and not have dog hair in my food, I have discovered that I am allergic to dogs. Uh, uh, excuse me waiter, um, I’m allergic to dogs can I sit well removed from them? And um, sir, can you keep your dog away from me, I’m quite allergic. Seems to work, and given my best friend and my son in law are both allergic to dog hair, I don’t feel out of place for doing that. I’ve had dogs in my past, but have no use for one anymore. Leave your dog at home when you go out to eat or shop. For goodness sake, have some consideration for others.

  27. AvatarMike Briskie

    Websites called “dogsbite.com” and “fatalpitbullattacks.com” are no less biased about the danger of dogs than the NRA is about the danger of guns, or NADA about the benefits of state franchise laws. Let’s be honest, if you buy a dog as a weapon, that’s a pretty unreliable form of defense. Also if you need a dog for protection, you picked the wrong friends, wrong neighborhood, career and a myriad of poor life choices.

    A dog in the hands of the public is a companion, not a weapon. They are not born as killing machines. In the wrong hands they can learn to be violent, but they are no longer wolves, genetically or neurologically, and most are bred and trained successfully for nothing more than entertainment for their humans. I understand there are people that see dogs as dependent leeches that tie you down, and that may be true for certain people, however dogs have a special capacity to bring happiness into a household with their own range of emotions, including joy and love.

    Caring for a dog teaches responsibility, empathy, and often is a great way to meet people. It is not a substitute for a child, and shouldn’t be treated like one. Bringing one onto a plane or into a restaurant should be decided by business policy and the type of patrons they wish to cater to. If you don’t like dogs, don’t fly on a dog or mini-horse or duck friendly airline. Service animal laws, especially for “emotional support,” are egregiously unenforced. Your pet can be emotional support when you get home… if you can’t go outside without having a breakdown you need more than a dog.

    But for those that wouldn’t blink at the eradication of all dogs, you may be saying it facetiously, but plenty of dems say they’d like to see the eradication of guns as well, and the means to get to either end would be no different than any other goverment action – coercion using the threat of force, also known as violence. To say either thing is remarkably similar, and both are a grotesque abuse of power if ever wielded under the pretext of law. You can’t advocate for the euthanasia of another’s living property and simultaneously hold fast on 2nd amendment principles. “Take my neighbor’s dog, but try to take my gun and I’ll shoot you.” That’s hypocrisy pure and simple. That same neighbor is saying “Take his gun, but I’ll be damned if I give up my dog.” You can’t have it both ways.

    There will never be a substitute for responsible ownership and skillful handling of anything from cars, to dogs, to guns. We simply have to be grown ups.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      That’s part of the point I was trying to make. With that said, there is a line between “nice to have” stuff like IC engines, 2048 bit encryption, private aircraft, et al., and privately owned firearms. The country was not founded by, with, or on the right to drive a Hellcat on public roads.

      Dogs are on the Hellcat side of the equation. There’s no intrinsic American right to operate a dog off your own property. At that point, you are swinging your proverbial fist in our mutual hope that it doesn’t hit my face.

      That’s happening with bicycles, to my immense annoyance. Urban centers are going to regulate bikes any day now. It infuriates me but it’s a matter of common law; nowhere does it say in the Constitition that you’re entitled to drop a set of 15 stairs on a Guerilla Gravity Smash 29.

      • AvatarCJinSD

        It isn’t a ringing endorsement of so many leftists that they claim they can’t understand the difference between an item specifically protected by the bill of rights and wedge issues used by Marxists to destroy individual rights by claiming them to be constitutional rights. Did the framers think they were creating gay marriage or that society would ever be so diseased as for it to be a concept? Then it probably isn’t a constitutional right. I see nothing in the constitution to suggest that it can’t be legislated into existence, but every judge, every lawyer, and every politician who claimed it to be a constitutional right to deny the results of every referendum should have been stripped of their robes, licenses and offices. The same goes for universal income, healthcare, and laws that only apply to protected groups.

        I’m not calling for the eradication of dogs. I do think they should be removable from public spaces and I do think that service dogs can be recognized while support animals can be sent home. The left used Shrub’s endless wars to inflict support animals on us. “How can you not support the veterans?” It’s funny that every Democratic politician would step on a veteran’s open wound to shake the hand of an illegal future voter, but crazy people with animals on planes were a necessary part of reintegrating the people who Democrats didn’t succeed in making homeless when they were discharged from the military.

      • Avatarsgeffe

        They seem to be letting bicycles have free rein over urban core areas by putting all the damned bike lanes in everywhere, and squeezing the existing traffic into smaller spaces! Something which isn’t useful year-round the further north you go!

        Of course, that’s probably another way to get the cattle, or is that sheep (like the idiot doing 20mph in a school zone—at 3:00am on a July Sunday morning—‘cause government knows best), out of their cars and into public transportation, androgynous autonomous GoogBezosAllYourLifeAreBelongToUs pods.

      • AvatarMike Briskie

        @jack If the Founders had Hellcats they might have reconsidered!

        About those flying fists, if an owner or their dog (which is private property) is maliciously provoked or attacked on public property I don’t see any reason why the consequences for the aggressor would be seen differently than self defense on a trespasser or intruder in your house, which is forgiven due to the violation of your person or property. But if a dog bites unprovoked in public, the state absolutely has a right to protect the person who has been assaulted by the dog. I’m sure if you complained to the cops or reported that dog it’s days would have been numbered.

        Lots of interesting considerations around property rights and common law with this one, although my main point was to point out the similarities in mindset of those willing to ban literally anything (carbon emissions, bicycles, etc) and the means to those ends is always force, regardless of what is already protected by law.

    • AvatarScottS

      M. Briskie,
      “They are not born as killing machines. In the wrong hands they can learn to be violent, but they are no longer wolves, genetically or neurologically, and most are bred and trained successfully for nothing more than entertainment for their humans.”

      Please explain to me then how a cat that has never lived outside of a human house can cunningly stalk and kill birds and small animals without the benefit of having lived in the outdoor world or learning the technique or behavior from it’s mother? Do you think there is any possibility this could be related to genetics that generations old?

      • AvatarMichael Briskie

        Yikes I’m reluctant to even peek through the cats vs dogs door you opened there. Apples and oranges. Dogs have been selectively bred for 19,000 years to get specific uses out of them that help humans. If an already-domesticated dog has puppies today they will not survive past nursing without human help. Do English Bulldogs have a prey drive? With their breathing problems, hip displaysia, degenerative spine disease, inability to swim and need to be cleaned daily by humans they must be a ferocious predator. My point is WE as humans are responsible for our dog’s behaviors.

  28. AvatarHex168

    On the co-evolution of humans and dogs, from Jerry Pournelle’s website (took me a while to find this again). Subsequent research supports this idea. There’s more, somewhere on his site, on the ancient pact between humans and dogs, but I cannot find it:

    Cocktail party theories.
    Cocktail party theories are theories you would defend at a cocktail party or a home salon, but which you don’t publish in peer reviewed journals. I have many of them.
    I was reminded of one recently. I have for decades – I think I first published it in Galaxy in the 70’s – had the cocktail party theory that humans and dogs coevolved. It goes like this: the same brain areas that needed for a sense of smell are also those needed for smarts. A long time ago humans made a deal with dogs. You keep the sense of smell. We’ll get smart. We’ll watch out for each other’s kids. Thrive.

    Evolution goes more by villages and clans than individuals. Villages that have dogs tend to have more kids growing up to have children than villages that don’t. Dogs are an advantage.

    What reminded me of this is the discovery, way back in one of the cave picture caves with the buffalo pictures of some 25,000 years ago, there are some footprints that turn out to be from that time. (How they were preserved and how we know how old they are isn’t obvious to me, but it seems to be accepted.) One is the footprint of what appears to be a ten year old human. The other is that of either a wolf or a dog. Since it’s unlikely that the cave painters would be allowing their children to wander back in there and then let a wolf in, I imagine that’s a boy and his dog. From 25,000 years ago. Now I’m going to go pet Sable.

  29. Avatartrollson

    Don’t these “Dog Free” wackos realize that what they’re running is just the dog version of anti-cyclist forums?


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