Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I am, at heart, a peace-loving person. But sometimes, circumstances call for decisive action.

For example, yesterday, as I was doing some work near a sidewalk in Avondale, a man and his dog came walking by. The dog, startled by me, pulled out of his collar, and the man just started wailing on him. Totally involuntarily, I told the guy to stop what he was doing. He spun around and looked at me, dumbfounded, and then said, "It's called discipline". I said, "It is called animal cruelty and it is illegal, you fucking bastard!" He then told me to mind my own business, to which I responded, "The welfare of my canine bretheren IS my business!", at which point he threw a punch at me, which I deflected with ninja-like quickness, and then, in self-defense, I laid his sorry ass out on the pavement and took his dog which is now free to a good home.

Actually, that's what I wish had happened. What actually happened was after he said, "It's called discipline", I suggested he get a nice book on dog training (none of which would suggest ever hitting a dog), to which he responded, "I've raised several dogs", and turned to walk away. I meekly called after him, "I wish you would consider being kinder to your dog".

Hitting dogs is like hitting children: It is always wrong, and never helpful.

Since then, I can't help thinking about what an abysmal scumbag that guy was and how I could have handled the situation better. What I think is most important is that I did something. I didn't just stand there and countenance a blatant act of cruelty. But it occurs to me that I have. I can think of times in my life when I watched someone I knew mistreat a dog and didn't say anything. I have listened to racial jokes and gay jokes and laughed, though not in recent history. (Though I do still sometimes use the recently controversial phrase, "That's so gay", for which I am rightly admonished by a gay friend. But its just such a good phrase, and I don't use it to describe anything stereotypically homosexual. In fact, I often use it to describe things that are distinctly un-stereotypically homosexual, like auto racing or pro wrestling, for example. The best way I can describe my use of the phrase is to describe something that is actually pretty silly, but is taken way too seriously by a group of people. Isn't that how most people use the phrase? I'd gladly stop saying it if I could come up with a way to express an equivalent idea. Any ideas? My, but do I digress.)

I think we should all resolve to stand up a little more to address little things in our world that we want to change. I'm going to start by tracking down that guy and "disciplining" him a bit.


Anonymous said...

pro-wrestling isn't gay?

Trey said...

good point

jonathan said...

Yes, I have a suggestion. How about "That's so Trey"? You get the convenience of rhyming with "gay", but without offending your homosexual canine brethren.

Trey said...

nice try, but it doesn't fulfill the crucial criteria of conveying the intended sentiment.