January 21, 2009

a run-in with a retractable leash

I personally DESPISE retractable leashes. You have very little control over your dog, the tension in the leash actually encourages your dog to pull, AND I have been on the receiving end of some wicked leg burns due to the combo of a retractable and a crazy dog on the end of it. All of that aside, I don't care if someone else chooses to use one as long as they can and will keep their dog in check... but I've learned that actually rarely happens.

And in order to prove my point, I will relay my recent experience... I had to take Quincy, my one-year-old Pit Bull, to the vet this past Monday. I walk in (Quincy in his Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness so that I can actually control him) and go to the front desk to sign in. I realize that signing in seems to be going very badly because Quincy is pulling on me like a freight train. I look down to correct him and determine the problem. It turns out the issue is a small spaniel mix that has crossed the entire waiting room on a retractable and who is wrapping said retractable around my ankles.

I manage to extracate myself and Quincy and take a seat as far away from the gentleman with the spaniel and bad retractable manners. But those darn retractables! You can't get away from them. Within 30 seconds the little spaniel (who appeared to be rather old and frail) came back for more. I put Quincy into a sit and grabbed both his collar and lead in case he decided to pull his signature move where he pancakes another dog (totally in fun... but still). I was already imagining the sweet spaniel as nothing more than a greasy spot on the floor.

This is where the following conversation with "Retracta-Man" comes in:

Me: (Big smile) You might not want to let her get so close... my dog can be a little too enthusiastic with other dogs and he might hurt her by accident.

Retracta-Man: (chuckles) Nah, I think she's fine.

(Overly friendly spaniel now has her nose between Quincy's legs... well... sniffing. And Quincy, bless him, he's actually keeping himself under control.)

Me: (trying really hard to figure out a way to get this guy to reel in his dog without coming off as a complete jerk) Well, he also might have something that's contagious and I'd hate for her to catch it...

(complete lie, but who knows why Retracta-Man's dog is here either... SHE might be contagious... PLEASE get a CLUE)

Retracta-Man: Ohhhh... (pulls her back slightly and she turns her attention toward the OTHER Pit Bull on the other side of the room)

At this point, the lady across the way gets a look of panic on her face and says "I just rescued her yesterday and I have no idea if she's dog-aggressive. It's probably best if you keep your dog away."

Retracta-Man then gets this really offended look on his face like WE'VE been the ones to do something wrong. Luckily the waiting room door opens at this moment and the vet tech takes Retracta-Man and his super-friendly spaniel back to a room. The other lady and I roll our eyes, and then proceed to have a really great conversation about dog rescue.

Anyway, I try to keep this blog as upbeat as possible, but I just had to take a moment to vent. Anyone else out there have a retractable leash horror story? And please, if you use a retractable... don't take offense to my story. Just make sure you have good leash manners and we'll get along just fine :)

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Hi, I volunteer with Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue and found your blog that way. I have to agree with you on the retractable leashes, or people who just leave their dogs off leash and assume it's ok for their dog to run up to yours. With foster dogs of unknown background, and my own sometimes finnicky dogs, that is not okay! Also, Sullivan is such a handsome guy. I'm sorry he is sick, but it looks like you guys got to have a nice time out at Sullivan's Island. I also have 2 labs, so I'm a sucker for his sweet face.