Sunday, December 3, 2023

The Mop-Head

Olga and I went to Kilburn Grange Park yesterday, and the weather being what it was (cold and misty) there weren't many people out. We had the park pretty much to ourselves, which was fantastic until a little white mop-head of a dog ran up and started yapping and running in circles around us. It would charge toward me, bark and retreat, charge, bark and retreat, over and over.

The owner, meanwhile, was standing on a sidewalk about 30 feet away, looking down at her phone.

I tried to walk away from the mop-head, but it followed us. This went on for about five minutes, and seemingly an eternity. Olga finally stood stock-still, her ball in her mouth, looking at me as if to say, "Get this thing away from me."

So I called over to the owner, "Would you control your dog, please?"

She trudged over and grudgingly leashed up the mop-head, grumbling about how its behavior was "normal in a park." I said nothing, but I disagree. Allowing a dog to charge people and follow them around while barking is not normal, especially when the owner can't be troubled to look up from her phone.

It occurred to me that the last time we went to this park, we also had an uncomfortable experience. Maybe we should stick to the cemetery.

I found this button while walking on the high street. It appears to show an egg tobogganing on a strip of bacon. I wondered if it was a "piece of flair" from some waiter's apron, but I reverse-Googled the image and apparently these buttons are for sale on Threadless. In fact, you can also buy it on a t-shirt, a mug or a skateboard. Just FYI.

I called our broadband provider yesterday and got them to drop part of our package that gave us television content, because we never used it. In fact, we never even unpacked the receiver. We stream all our TV these days, but we don't need a dedicated receiver, and getting rid of that and our landline (which we apparently no longer need to maintain internet service) will save us about £150 a year. Not too shabby.

This broadband account has a ridiculous history. It used to belong to our former landlord in Notting Hill, and when we moved into his flat in 2011 we simply started paying the bills. When we left that apartment in 2014, we took the account with us (with his permission), and I tried to put it in my name, but bills continued to arrive addressed to "Tong Xia." (Which isn't quite our former landlord's name, but it's close.) It became kind of a joke -- Tong Xia, our phantom roommate -- but yesterday I finally managed to get Tong taken off the account.

Of course I expect that all these changes will somehow result in our internet being disconnected. Stay tuned.


Moving with Mitchell said...

My first thought when I saw the first photo was that you had removed those back trees and opened up the view in your garden.

I had those final words of wisdom on my desk in my office at work a long, long time ago... before I met SG.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Oh - that ignorant and ungracious young woman! All she needed to say was, "I'm terribly sorry sir! I was distracted by my phone which, as I am sure you will agree, is the curse of the modern world!"

gz said...

People who phone when they are supposed to be with a dog!! (Pirate's son and elder daughter are culprits in that)..the second you get your phone out the dog is off! And no, unleashed dogs where others are about is not a good idea when they behave like that!
Olga is a very sensible dog.

Bob said...

I think for that rude woman letting her dog run loose and loud and yappy IS normal because then someone else is watching her dog while she checks her phone!

Jeanie said...

Spot on about tending the dog. Having an animal is a responsibility and minding it is also a responsibility -- to the community.

I dropped my cable and started streaming -- I can see most of the channels I would watch anyway (many now off the air with my antenna) and can stream the rest. Saving a lot!

Ms. Moon said...

Maybe this is why I do not like to go out into public places- the off chance that I'm going to have to deal with some unpleasant person. That's not much of an excuse, is it?
I love the image of Olga standing there with the ball in her mouth, totally baffled at what that creature is doing.

Ellen D. said...

You were right and that woman looking at her phone was wrong.
I'm still testing positive for Covid altho I am feeling pretty good. Taking care of my son who caught it from me. Stuck at home...

Boud said...

I think Olga's attitude fits in with her family! Polite wondering, firm request, good result. She's definitely your dog.

One of the things I didn't like about walking with a dog was meeting other dogs and coping with them and their owners.

ellen abbott said...

I wonder how that woman would react if someone else's dog was charging and barking at her? I probably would have started yelling a firm 'no' everytime that little dogs charged and barked at me. perhaps that would have gotten her attention.

I'd like to get rid of the cable for TV we have. I don't watch anything on it that I can't stream. but Marc has it on all day, not really watching but just for the background noise.

Marty said...

I would love to ditch our cable company, but the other member of the household swears he still needs it for one or two channels he watches. I keep trying to find something on cable worth watching, but it's as barren as the moon.
You're lucky Olga is such a good, good girl and didn't eliminate the other dog in one bite.

Susan said...

Some dog owners need to be confronted as you did. The park is for everybody to enjoy and not only obnoxious owners with like-dogs. Our Vets are talking about a lung infection that is impacting dogs. We are advised to avoid places where there are lots of dogs. Massachusetts vets say a dog starts with a cough and it gets worse from there. The cause of this is presently unknown. Broadband services are challenging. I finally got my service pared down to a reasonable set up. Internet and ability to stream what I want is working well.

Sharon said...

As most of your readers above have said, allowing the dog you run at strangers and bark and bark is NOT normal. I wonder how she would like being charged by a strange and noisy dog.
Why on earth would anyone want one of those pins? Apparently my "flair" is all gone.

Kelly said...

Olga is a good girl. That dog might someday run up on one who isn't that nice.

I LOVE that button!! I think it would be really cute on a t-shirt. 😃

Margaret said...

I'm fuming over that owner's behavior. No wonder her dog is so unrestrained.

Debby said...

We have gotten rid of our satellite TV. Leash laws exist because of absent minded souls like phone lady. Her dog is a problem dog because she's a problem dog owner.

The Bug said...

I wish we could at least ditch our land line, but it's the number Mike's dad knows to call so we'll have it at least until he's no longer able to make calls. We have to keep the regular cable though for our hockey & baseball. Ha!

Ed said...

I have felt for a long time that one should take a test, written and demonstrative, showing they could properly own a dog before they were allowed to get one. So many owners just have no understanding of the world beyond them and their dog. Last week, we cut down our Christmas tree and the property owner's dog followed us a couple miles down the road before giving up. It also kept jumping up on us constantly. Both of these things can easily be taught to a dog so that they don't do either.

I need to do something about our cable bill too because it is getting way out of hand price wise for the utility it provides us.

Allison said...

Ill behaved dogs need training, and so do their owners.

Red said...

Some dogs give all dogs a bad name.

Catalyst said...

In America, the land of the free, park walkers carry guns and when confronted with nasty dogs they just shoot them. Not recommending that, though.

Pixie said...

I took the dogs to the off leash park today, horribly busy, and Charlie and another dog got into, three feet from the entrance. I put him back on his leash and we left. I don't want or need that kind of crap and it's not good for him. And just because that woman's dog was little, doesn't mean it shouldn't be well behaved at a park.
Charlie did end up with a walk, but on a leash, in the neighborhood.

sparklingmerlot said...

Uncontrolled dogs give us responsible dog owners a bad name and it really peeves me.
I am starting to learn that the light at the end of the tunnel is not necessarily a train. It has taken a while.

River said...

Perhaps there should be a new rule: no phones allowed in the park.

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: Ha! That would be a hell of a view.

YP: Phones wouldn't be a problem if people could learn how and where to use them.

GZ: She is sensible, but she's also older, so she doesn't have the mischievous energy she once did.

Bob: Ha! Maybe so. One person's normal is another person's nightmare, I guess.

Jeanie: It's just ironic that I managed to have a conflict with someone in an essentially empty park!

Ms Moon: I may be wrong, or maybe I'm just getting old, but I really do think people are becoming more and more unpleasant in public situations like that.

Ellen D: Well, I'm glad you're feeling better, but sorry you're stuck at home! Hope your son is doing OK.

Boud: I'm the same way -- I hate that sense of trepidation I feel whenever another dog and owner are coming toward us on the sidewalk.

Ellen: Well, I tried to laugh about it at first, but when it went on and on, my tolerance quickly waned!

Marty: I just don't see the point of paying for that kind of service now. What's he watching that he can't get online?

Susan: Yeah, I've read about that infection! It's like dog Covid. I haven't heard much about it here but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Sharon: Exactly -- if my dog had been charging hers and barking you can bet she'd have been annoyed.

Kelly: Well, now you know where to get one! :)

Margaret: She was just so oblivious. That was the main problem.

Debby: We still have something called Freeview, which is essentially broadcast TV, but we haven't watched it in years. I don't even know if the dish still works. We don't pay anything for it.

Bug: Yeah, I'm glad I never got into televised sports. I know that's a whole thing when it comes to cable TV subscriptions.

Ed: This is also true for people who want to become parents!

Allison: I'm not sure this dog could be very effectively trained. It looks like it has a tiny brain. (Then again, even rats can be trained.)

Red: Kind of like some Republicans!

Catalyst: Ha! That would have been a rather extreme reaction in this case, but by the end of our exchange I'd have been tempted.

Pixie: I mean, dogs are going to have conflicts -- it's just the nature of being a dog. But owners have to be prepared to step in (as you did) and not be on their phone, distracted.

Caro: No, it doesn't HAVE to be a train. But it could be. :)

River: I'd go for that! Except for taking pictures, of course. :)