Pets

If You Love Your Dog, You Should Leash It

Don’t make me tell you this to your face

Stacey Curran
4 min readJun 23, 2021

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I hope that you love your dog. You should.

Your dog is part of your household. You live, eat and sleep under the same roof. You spend countless hours together. You are family.

I get how adored a pet can be.

I had a rabbit who we adopted from someone who didn’t have enough time to care for it. I am forever grateful to him, for giving the bunny up. That rabbit lived for a decade, delighting us with his leaps, and his love. We sobbed when he died.

We had many fish. Some lived for several years. We cared for them deeply despite their indifference to us.

I had a few dogs as a young child, but I had one dog in my early teenage years through my young adulthood, who was the best dog ever. No other dog before, or since, will ever be as good as him.

You should feel the same way about your dog.

But I don’t know your dog, so I don’t feel that way about yours. And critically, your dog does not know me. And I love that you love your dog, but I especially love your dog when it is on a leash of reasonable length, not taking up the whole sidewalk.

But I’ll settle for not loose. And since many times your dog is, even in front of prominent signs threatening fines, the canine is able to chase, charge or otherwise attempt to intercept me.

Your dog may well think it has to protect you from me. Even when I am running at an astonishingly slow speed that can barely be called running, your dog may misinterpret my intent toward you. I cannot telepath to your beloved family pet that I am simply attempting to pass peacefully. Your doggie is out with you, its favorite thing on planet Earth, and I am an approaching stranger of some magnitude.

As your dog runs at me, I cannot tell if it is to defend you, by trying to take a chunk out of me, or if it is just playfully chasing me. Neither option is enjoyable. All I know is that I am being pursued.

I do not want to see your dog’s teeth, even though I have been told more than once that a snarling dog is friendly and smiling. I don’t believe that. I am no dog…

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Stacey Curran

Former journalist; few N.E. Press Assoc. Awards, few Boston Globe Magazine essays, @TheBelladonnaComedy @Slackjaw @BostonAccent, @WBUR, grocery lists.