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The incident of the dog in Charlestown

Monday 5/13/24

Yesterday I went to Charlestown to run stairs at the Connecticut gate outside of the Bunker Hill Monument. Nothing new in that. As I got underway, there was a woman--let us say, thirty-four--not far back from the top of the stairs, talking on her cell phone. Two dogs were close enough that one would assume they were hers. They were off the leash, which is common at this spot, and it's common at almost all spots, I've found, despite it being against the rules. People don't care. They only care about what they want. Hardly anyone ever thinks about anyone else, and less so, I would argue, than at any other point in modern times. I'm not going to theorize on how it went in these matters during the age of primitive man, but people in 2024 are far less civil than people in 1824 or 1984.

I'm outside a lot. Plainly. In parks and fields. I'm always dropping to do more push-ups, and when I'm outside, I like to find grassy spaces for that. These aren't dog parks, but everyone's dog will be off the leash. People with dogs tend to erroneously believe a number of things. They think that their dog is so well-behaved, like it was the model scholar of obedience school. Never mind that the dog runs everywhere, makes a break for the street, barks at everything that moves, jumps up on people, answers to no call or instruction, etc. The dog's owner will be oblivious to this.

People also think that everyone in the world will love their dog like they do and would like nothing more than to be disturbed by the dog, have the dog jump up on them, be licked by the dog, etc.

Now, part of this speaks to the reality that people are so lonely and broken and alone and incapable of having human relationships of depth and consequence, and the necessary relationship with themselves, which involves honestly and self-awareness, which makes productive relationships with other people possible, that animals have replaced humans as the primary relationship partner for humans. It is now not uncommon for the animal-human relationship to be the main relationship of the human's life. Why do you think so many call themselves a cat or dog mom or dad? Which is creepy and disturbed as all hell, but that's how it works now. It's not a coincidence that no one did this fifteen years ago. The language people use will tell you where the world is at, if you pay attention to it and understand what it's really saying.

People additionally think their dogs are the friendliest beings to ever go about the earth. They are also routinely incorrect about this. I'd say that eight out of ten times when a dog owner says to another dog owner that their dog is friendly, and asks if can it "say hello" to the other person's dog, that the dog will then attempt to kill the other person's dog and the two dogs will fight. They're not playing. They have to be separated. People laugh this off, as the dogs are pulled away, snarling at each other, wanting to rip out a throat, if possible. Doesn't matter if the dog couldn't defeat an avocado in battle. I'm just saying what I see, and I see it all the time.

I figured that this woman, standing idly by, had let her dogs off the leash. One of the dogs was a Rottweiler. The other some smaller mutt, who was the Rottweiler's little sidekick. I thought, "Oh, that's nice, it's like Farkus and that ratty kid in A Christmas Story."

As I ran back down the stairs for the first time, the dogs descend the adjacent hill simultaneously. There's a wrought-iron fence on the edge of the stairs, so you can put your hand through it, but only a bird could pass from one side to the other. The dogs were on the other side of this fence, following me. Being friendly towards dogs, I said, "Hi, bud," to the Rottweiler, who was closer. As soon as I said this, he started barking like he wanted to attack. Not "ruff ruff ruff" but "I'm gonna fuck you up." As he did so, great strings of saliva were made to fly from his mouth. He starts kicking up the grass, and the blades are all in this green cloud behind him.

I hit the bottom, I turn around, the woman is still close to the top of the stairs on phone. She looked a little...less than bright, I guess you could say, but maybe she'd had a fight with her boyfriend. I don't know. What I did know was that she wasn't saying anything to me, so I carried on. I do one more circuit, and when I got to the top, the Rottweiler is standing there--sidekick next to him--showing teeth, growling, really looking like he's going to start biting. I say to the woman, "Is this yours?" She says, no. I look at her now, and she seems frightened. Still having her conversation on the phone. I hear her ask some question about how long it takes animal control to get there. So that's who she was on the phone with.

But maybe a heads up here, lady? Why would you not say anything to the person working out right where the ferocious dog is at? These dogs had gotten lose from somewhere. They weren't mangy dogs of the street.

Here's what I have learned about the people who live in what's called Monument Square: They are some of the worst, most entitled people in the Boston area. Along with people from Brookline. Like if you were going to go on a date with someone and they said they grew up in Brookline, I wouldn't fault you if you just said, yeah, sorry, won't be able to make it after all. It's funny, because when I'm going to Charlestown to run stairs inside the Monument, I have no intercourse with the people who live in that area. But outside the Monument, I've seen what the coffee and dogs crowd of rich people who gather there are all about. I see the same people, who have the same conversations, and they're obnoxious.

For instance: A couple weekends ago, there were a lot of people--call it 100--who were gathered on one of the lawns outside of the Monument for a yoga class led by a woman on a microphone. You probably know what the demographic for this kind of thing would be. There is a lot of room on the top of that hill. Grass abounds.

One of the Monument Square regulars shows up with her dog and says to some of the other regulars gathered in one of their little groups, "What are supposed to do about these people?" And she was answered by a woman saying, "We could just let our dogs run through them." This wasn't a joke. It was more like, "This is our public park, we're rich."

So, that kind of people. The kind of people who are so wrapped up in themselves that they also wouldn't notice their dogs departing the premises and one of them, maybe, I don't know, mauling a child.

I turned around to go back down the stairs, and now this snarling, waiting-to-attack Rottweiler is following me, sidekick in tow. He follows me down the street, because now I've broken off my workout in an attempt not to get bit. I had my back to him, because I'm thinking if I turn and make eye contact with this dog, he's going to attack. This man was down the street with a little boy on a bike. And the man says to me that the dog had been doing that to his son. Great fucking scene here.

Finally, the dog ran off, sidekick behind him. I went back to the stairs--though keeping a watchful eye out--and there's the woman still at the top, no longer on her phone. Not a comment from her. Why would you let someone think that nothing was amiss when they easily could have found themselves being attacked by a powerful dog? That dog could have whatever going on. Might have been rabid. Probably not, but who knows. She was there first, she knew more about the situation than I did--though I was quickly brought up to speed--and not so much as a "Watch yourself, that dog's owner isn't here and it seems highly agitated."

I blame people. They are almost always the worst. But I wasn't loving dogs the rest of the day either.


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