That Guy: The Dogcatcher

I might have to nominate myself after penning this piece. I have an admittedly minority and I suppose you could say extreme opinion on this issue. It’s not born of impenetrable logic, or even much logic at all. It’s just one of those beliefs I came into with little objective reasoning and fully committed myself to once I arrived on it.

I don’t leash my dog. I don’t think I should have to. I think other owners probably need to, but my dog knows how to behave. I also don’t pick up after my dog. It’s not that I think I’m too good to handle dog shit (though that’s at least a good chunk of it), it’s that I can’t rationalize why my dog’s turds must, simply must, be picked up while squirrels, rats, pigeons, birds, stray cats, possums, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, bats, and the homeless enjoy carte blanche when it comes to where they drop one off.

As you can imagine this line of thinking doesn’t align with too many people. It especially blasphemies all the values and gospels of gentrified, suburban America. Even in my current city of Austin, a metropolis that prides itself on its welcoming attitude toward our candid companions, I’ve encountered neighborly hostility the likes of which I thought were only reserved for newly resided minorities. I’ve been yelled at and name called and that’s why I’m nominating that guy who won’t leave you and your dog alone, the dogcatcher.

The dogcatcher fancies himself a simultaneous domestic Jack Hanna and neighborhood Julius Caesar. Confidently omniscient ignorant in what is best for you, your dog, and the neighborhood, he combines it with self perceived omnipotence to dispense wisdom ass plumbed opinions and justice tongue lashings to any and all transgressors. Does your dog bark too early and too loudly when your neighbor’s landscaping crew was working? First offense is a warning, second offense he gets serious. Are you and your dog the type to let strangers know you want nothing to do with their time? Probably not a good idea to walk your dog then, better keep him in your dog. Last, did you get a wild hair and decide to leave the leash at home when you and the pup headed out for that 6AM jog? Buddy, this ain’t the Wild West but if you and your dog are going to keep treating this neighborhood like Dodge City then you’re going to get punished like it too.

Maybe it’s because I really abhor unnecessary and/or unsolicited human interaction, but I just cannot for the life of me imagine what the hell goes through a person’s head to convince them to confront a complete stranger over something about that individual’s dog. I understand stepping in when a house is burning down or someone’s having a heart attack, but I’d hardly put Cooper the lab leaving butt brownies by the sidewalk on the same level as intervening a break in. That’s a level of combined nosiness and free time I just do not have in my life.

It’s not like anything the dogcatcher says ever works either. I’ve never seen someone, nor have I myself, ever been scolded into humiliated rehabilitation. I have however, been part and witness to immediate retaliation in the form of any one of a preferred profanity or lewd gesture. Not that the dogcatcher cares. They’re not in it to actually fix the behavior they’re taking such offense to, they just need someone to know they see it and it pisses them off. Like a dog biting their own tail, it’s nothing more than a self inflicted cry for attention. Pay no mind to these dogcatchers, they’re just blowing hot air.

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