Take your ball(s) and leave

Note: This post isn’t as happy-go-lucky as usual.  BUT, if you make it all the way to the end, you may win a prize!

I learned something about myself this weekend, friends. I’ve never considered myself a judgmental person, but I revealed myself to be Sally McJudge-a-lot on Saturday.

I spent the morning working in the yard and getting all of my vegetables planted in the garden. By 1 o’clock it was too hot for anymore yard work and I was ready for a treat. Ernie was ready for a walk (Dexter had already put in several long hours of intense hole digging [followed by equally intense lounging in aforementioned holes], so he was deep into an afternoon nap).

Whatever – digging holes is hard work .

Whatever - digging holes is hard work.

I leashed up Ernie and set out for a new bar that a co-worker had told me about, the Satellite Bar & Lounge. Merits of this bar included a) interesting architecture, b) the owners had used lots of found items to decorate and furnish the bar, c) excellent beer selection, and d) it was dog friendly. So off we went.

I had a vague idea of where this place was, but never having walked the route I didn’t realize that sidewalks were few and far between once I got about 5 blocks from my house.  I almost turned back a few times, but soldiered on.  Ernie and I finally made it to the Satellite Lounge, which, true to my coworker’s word, was a pretty interesting space.  Big garage doors made up one wall, and they were both open to take advantage of the beautiful weather.  I took the bartender’s suggestion and ordered a Bell’s Porter, and she directed Ernie to the bowl of water set out for dogs at the end of the bar.

**As a side note, I have to say this bartender knew her stuff.  When she asked me what I’d like to drink, I asked her if there was a delicious beer I needed to try.  She asked if I liked porters, then plunked a Bell’s in front of me – a $4 bottle of beer.  Way to upsell!

Business was pretty slow, and I struck up a conversation with a few  other bar patrons – fellow pit bull lovers.  Ernie made the rounds and it was only as I finished my beer and got ready to leave that I realized I had introduced Ernie to everyone, but not myself.  Oh well.

Manners – I have none.

With the goal of getting closer to home, we left and headed to the Barbary Coast.  I was hoping to get a mint julep and maybe even watch the Kentucky Derby, but alas, this was not to be.  I’m not really sure why I expected a dive bar to stock fresh mint and simple syrup, but a girl can dream, can’t she?  Instead I got a PBR and watched Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.  Still a good day.  A couple came in with their 6 month old puppy, Moses; I recognized some of the specific command words  she was giving him from the Puppy Pre-School Ernie and I had attended, and after a brief conversation discovered that they were currently enrolled in the same class.

A steady trickle of patrons entered the bar, with a few more dogs; one a cute little dachshund mix, and another couple with their two beagles.  After brief introductions and butt sniffs, the dachsund playfully chased Ernie around the bar before they both settled down.  Then, two young guys entered the bar, both with their dogs.  One, an intact male bull dog.  The other, an intact male pit bull.  I groaned inwardly.  I know that Ernie doesn’t do well with intact male dogs – invariably they try to mount him, so I don’t really blame him.  But I quickly put him into a down stay as they passed.  The pit bull got leashed to a bar stool, but the bull dog was left to wander around.  He kept approaching Ernie (still in a down stay) and trying to stand over him.  I kept shooing him away.  Finally, I stood over Ernie and blocked the bull dog from approaching Ernie anymore.

Anger was slowly burning in my chest – why were these two dogs still intact?  I know there could be any number of reasons why the dogs were, (see this entry from save the pitbull, save the world) but the attitude of the young owners made me think that it was all male ego.  The bull dog, with his runny eyes and turned-out front paws, didn’t seem like a prime breeding specimen to my (admittedly) untrained eyes.  And the intact pitbull was a “rare, blue” pit; I shuddered to think of all the puppies he has or could father, born outside to a skinny, over-bred bitch and sold for $300 a pop.

Moses’ owners were giving me sympathetic looks, and after the third time the bull dog ignored his owner and approached Ernie (his owner came over each time and lifted the dog up by his harness to physically removed him), the woman told me I should ask the bull dog’s owners to leash his dog, or ask the bartender to get him to leash him.

I knew I wouldn’t do that – lots of times Ernie and Dex are at the Barbary and not on leashes, and I didn’t want to make a scene.  I know that the bar isn’t a dog park, and I am aware that if the dogs become too much of an issue, it would be easy for the owner to say that they just aren’t welcome anymore.  The dogs in question didn’t seem to be bothering anyone or anyone else’s dog, so I just leashed up Ernie and left.

I hate that I hate seeing intact male dogs – I immediately judge the owner as irresponsible and uninformed.  I assume they want to breed their dogs for a quick buck – especially if the dog in question is a pit bull.  With so much backyard breeding going on, and so many advertisements for pit bull puppies stapled to telephone poles, it seems like a selfish act.  But I am also aware that if every male pit bull was neutered, there would be no more Ernies or Dexters.  And so I am torn.

I still judge, though.

On a lighter note – it’s contest time!

NobleWorksCards.com has contacted me about offering a give away to my readers.  Dingo ran a similar contest a while back, and the rules will be similar here.  Head on over to NobleWorks and check out their selection of cards and other stationary.  Let me know which product best encapsulates the Mutha Fudruckin’ way of life, or just which one you like best.  Leave your response as a comment (or you can email me @ badmuthafudrucker [at] gmail [dot] com).  The winner will get a $25 shopping spree at NobleWorks.  The winner will be chosen at random from all of the comments left (on any post) between now and midnight (eastern time) Thursday.  I’ll announce winners on Friday.  Every comment counts as one entry, and if you let me know that you’ve spread the word on your blog and/or Twitter, I’ll count each shout out as an entry.  So get on it!

This one cracked me up:

I kid, I kid, Hemo.  I don’t want you to run away (again).

13 thoughts on “Take your ball(s) and leave

  1. I feel that if your dog isn’t fixed, it stays on a leash. End of discussion. There are far too many risks and wildcards involved to really merit the brief taste of freedom that you as an owner receive by not having to worry about the leash. You want your dog to run free? Do what you need to do for that to happen safely.

    Hear, hear!

    Although most of the time a lot more is required to make a well-behaved dog than the mere removal of their no-nos.

  2. I’m so right there with you. I totally judge people by their dogs’ balls, and no, I don’t feel badly about it.

    I do have some friends who actively compete with their dogs in some form or another – Schutzhund, conformation showing, etc. To me, theirs are the dogs that SHOULD be continuing the breed (you know, so we don’t run out of Ernie’s and Dexter’s).

    I’m not anti-breeding. I’m anti-“backyard breeding,” those pet owners-turned-breeders looking for easy money or just relating too much to their dogs’ hormone levels. (I also like the ones who don’t take any precautions, and the dog wanders off down the road one day … oopsies). Le sigh.

    I’m so with you on the “anti-backyard breeding stance,” although both of my dogs are products of backyard breeding (Ernie was born in a ‘planned*’ litter to a co-worker’s pet; Dex was left on the steps of a veterinary practice where a friend worked).

    *’planned’ because she planned to have a litter, but didn’t have a plan for where all the puppies would go; quite a few people who ‘planned’ on taking a puppy home backed out when the pups were ready to go home.

  3. i kept reading thinking why don’t i live where i can take my dog to a bar?! other than that, i do judge people that haven’t spayed or neutered their dog. i also judge people who buy from breeders…i hate that i do, especially since Nani is a pure bred lab that i got from my uncle (who used to breed) but she was given back by the people who bought her and she needed a home and i wanted a dog. now that our family includes 2 rescues, i know i’d never be able to get a dog from a breeder or far worse, a pet store. there are so many homeless pets…

    I struggle with the breed vs. rescue thing, too. I want to encourage responsible breeders of my favorite bully breeds! I hate that the future of pit bulls as a breed might lay in the hands of the backyard breeders. I think that everyone deserves a well-bred, well-balanced dog. Have you ever read “The Story of Edgar Sawtell“? The family in the book runs a dog breeding kennel, raising and training a fictional “breed” of dogs they developed by utilizing dogs they observe with desirable character traits. Character traits – not big heads or red noses or a blue coat. It’s an amazing book that I’d recommend to any dog lover.

  4. I agree. Intact males stay at home or definitely on a leash.

    I love the idea of a dog friendly bar. Lorek the smelly Basset would love that. Just one more reason Oklahoma sucks.

    Um…let me know if you come to NC, ok? I’ll wear my nose plugs.

  5. We all have those sticking points, you know? Yours is intact dogs.

    And I want the Merry Christmas, you Big Homo.

    I first read that as, “Merry Christmas, you big HEMO,” and immediately thought – PERFECT!

  6. I’m just glad that Steve has fuzzy pants and nobody can see that he’s still intact and judge me for it 😉

    Steve will never be bred. He’s not breeding material. But at the same time, if it weren’t for the undescended testicle which makes neutering him necessary, he gives me no compelling reason to do so. He’s a good dog. He’s well-behaved. He is allowed off leash in appropriate scenarios (neither of my speutered dogs are, ever, because neither one of them is reliable enough in their recall). He’s not a menace to society.

    Dogs being intact is not the problem. Dogs being bred irresponsibly and for the wrong reasons is the problem. But that’s our society. I always find it interesting that dogs are not so routinely speutered in Europe, and yet they don’t have the huge shelter population that we do here.

    Thanks for your input. I immediately thought of you and Steve when I was wrestling with my anger this weekend. I know there are lots of other reasons for keeping your dog intact other than for breeding purposes – in fact, I didn’t neuter Ernie until he was a year old on the advice of our trainer. I hate that I immediately jump to the “no good, irresponsible owner” conclusion.

  7. Sadly for Buddy, getting him fixed made no difference in his retardation, I mean attitude. I got him from a certified breeder and he has nothing but health problems. Unfortunately the breeder was in it for the bucks and the end result is Buddy and his many, many problems. In this case though it sounds like a boy ego kinda thing and that’s just sad for the pups.

    Poor Buddy. No balls AND no brains. Good thing he’s so cute.

  8. This was a really good post. Kind of like we have to be extra responsible because we have bullies, I think intact dog owners need to be extra responsible and know how this can change dog dynamics and interactions. Mr. B used to be an intact dog running the streets of Kalamazoo, MI. In my nativity I convince myself he’s not a father.We also teach in the city schools and so many of my students, and their families, are backyard breeders. I’m spending my summer thinking of/developing a project to help my students understand more about choices of responsible dog ownership.

    Absolutely, we need to be aware of what our dogs are capable – not just pit bull owners but all dog owners. Kudos to you for helping your students become more informed about their pets!

  9. You’ve hit upon one of my pet peeves. Fix your dogs people!! Backyard breeders, people who don’t think they’re backyard breeders, and people who are too macho to get their dogs snipped, drive me freakin’ nuts (pardon the pun). I am very judgmental when it comes to dog owners.

    There are waaaaay too many pits in shelters that need homes. Most go to shelters and have little to no chance of getting adopted because dumb shits don’t understand the breed. Some shelters put pits down no matter what. Makes me so angry.

    The animal control in my county doesn’t officially adopt out pit bulls; many of the dogs that I would consider bullies are listed as boxer mixes or something else. On the one hand, I’m glad that the animal control officers are looking out for the animals; on the other hand, I want all pit bull owners to be fully informed and fully aware of what they are getting into.

  10. So the boys don’t mind if you don’t take them both out? It’s great that you can spend one on one time with them, I just assumed that if you grabbed a leash both would want to go.

    I usually do take both of them – the guilt of leaving one behind is pretty intense. But it was so hot on Saturday and I knew it was going to be a long walk, so I left Dex at home. It’s tough to only take one, because as soon as I grab one leash they both go crazy and start whining and circling me.

  11. I’ve had similar instances with judging owners of intact males. Not all of them, just the ones who do not watch them carefully in doggy-social situations. I have a female Dane who has not been spayed yet due to her age and recommendations from our vet. It’s hard taking her to dog parks where she can run freely (since she’s so big and gets more exercise there) because I have to do a ‘ball-check’ first.

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