I hadn't seen my friend, The Curmudgeon, for a few months, so I offered to treat him to a cup of java at the local latte lot.
"You really don't expect me not to grumble about the prices for coffee here, do you?" he greeted me as I sat down.
"Good to catch up again, Cur," I chuckled. "So, what's your beef?"
"Have I got a list," he started. "For one--" He nodded at the customer at the next table, accompanied by a diapered dog.
"Yeah, I think diapers on dogs are stupid, too."
"No, yes. But, I mean we're at an eatery, not a dog park. A dog has no business here."
"Maybe it's a therapy dog?" I suggested. "People feel better bringing their animals when they go out into the cold, cruel world."
"Sorry, but that animal has fur, dander, germs, and teeth. And I don't want it anywhere near my food--or me." He moved his chair away a few inches. "Look, I understand if someone is blind, they need a trained and leashed guide dog. Or a cop who has a trained and leashed K-9 partner. But, every snowflake with a pet, some of which are twice my size, wants to take their dogs everywhere they go."
"Well, maybe they have agoraphobia?"
"I have no problem if they want to take their therapist, their human therapist, with them to help them desensitize and go outside. But a potentially dangerous animal? In the restaurant, in the grocery store, at the mall?!"
"Well, the dog might be friendly."
"Hah. Did you see what that 'friendly' dog did to that 4 year old in Carlsbad?," Cur scoffed. "And klast summer, my 18 year old nephew was riding his bike, minding his own business on a bike trail, when an unleashed dog ran alongside his bike and bit him on the leg."
"That's terrible. I hope the owner apologized."
"Are you kidding? The owner raced up to comfort the dog, which had no collar. She refused to identify herself or the dog, and wouldn't even tell my nephew if the dog was up to date on vaccinations. She told my nephew "not to be a baby, it was just a little nip", before leashing the dog and running off. My nephew gave chase on his bike, but she cut through some bushes and ran into a locked apartment close by. Even after my nephew called the cops, all they could do was take a report, and knock on her door. She refused to open, and the dog was barking inside."
"What about animal control?"
"My nephew called, and there was nothing they could do. They didn't have a record of the owner or the dog. So my nephew had to go to the ER, pay for the visit and rabies shots, and the antibiotics. And the pain. Over a thousand dollars--for the 'nip'. The cops told my nephew he could file a civil suit. Yeah, right, another 5 thousand to the lawyers? So, that 'lady' and her mutt got off free."