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Dog bites and human rights
by Ed Williams



What's the world comin' to?

I know that's not the typical opening to one of my columns, but this one is different because I'm having a real hard time writing it. I'm in pain. Real physical pain. There are two holes in the back left knee of my sweatpants, and I also have about a one inch scratch right on the back of that same knee that's really stinging. And guess why?

A &%*@ dog bit me!

That's right; a dog just took a little chunk out of me. And you might be wondering just how it happened - at least I hope you are.

I typically walk a couple of miles each day, and I do it on the roads that wind through our subdivision. It's a pretty hilly walk; there’s a nice view of some great houses and I typically enjoy it.

Today I was out walking and working my way through one of our side streets. I'd just walked past a house with an open garage when I heard barking. I didn't pay much attention to it at first, but that changed when it became obvious that the barking was getting closer and closer to me. I turned and found myself staring straight into the eyes of a chocolate brown lab.

This lab was a good-sized dog, and he was growling like he meant business. I figured the best thing to do was to slowly walk away, which is exactly what I tried to do. I took a couple of steps and then felt something nip up against the back of my left knee. When I turned around, the dog jumped back, tensed, and I thought he was going to try to bite me again. Note that I said “try to bite me again.” I'm not ashamed to admit that I was going to kick the living hell out of him had he gone for a second helping. Fortunately, he backed off, and I got out of there as quickly as I could.

Know what cheeses me off the most about this whole situation? There are leash laws in our community, and those laws are in place for a reason. Suppose this dog had been bigger and had inflicted more damage? Suppose he'd charged out into the road after a ball and had gotten struck by a car? Suppose he'd bitten a small child? That's why leash laws are on the books in the first place.

All that being said, let me be fair to this bloodthirsty pooch -- he was not the only dog running around loose and unsupervised today. And I'll bet my Elvis CDs that if you asked any of these dogs' owners why they didn't have them secured, they'd tell you one of the following:

1. My dog needs some freedom. We hate to chain him up in our backyard.

2. My dog is quite gentle and poses a threat to no one.

If a dog needs freedom, why is it being kept in a subdivision in the first place? Next, regarding the "dog who is quite gentle" baloney -- folks, the chocolate lab I encountered was the third one that growled and got fairly close to me during today's walk. So don't spit in the water and tell me it's tea because the truth is that no one likes to say that there are ugly babies, but there are lots of 'em. No one wants to admit that their dogs are potential menaces, but the streets are full of 'em. And that's me saying it level.

Folks, from here on out, here's how it goes with me. I just bought a nice little container of pepper spray, and I'll carry it with me whenever I take a walk in the future. If a dog leaves his yard and comes out into the street with me, I certainly won't spray it. But if a dog leaves his yard, comes out into the street, gets real close to me and starts barking threateningly, well, it is going to receive a snout full of pepper spray. That's a promise.

In closing, for any of you animal rights activists that I've offended out there, don't whine one tiny bit to me. I still believe that human rights come first, and that means the right to walk out on a public street that my taxes pay for without being threatened by some crazed animal. And if you still want to protest what I've said here today, e-mail me and I'll be glad to give you a street address where you can go stand and protest all you want.



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BIO: Ed Williams
Born in Forsyth, Georgia, Ed was raised in Juliette and is a proud product of the Monroe County public school system. His life took a decided turn in 1995 when he bought a home computer and began writing down wild old stories about his upbringing in Juliette. These stories, through an unusual series of events, were published in 1998 in hardback under the title, Sex, Dead Dogs, and Me: The Juliette Journals.

Ed’s book started out in four bookstores in Macon, Georgia. Through word of mouth and the internet, eight months later he was being stocked nationally in the Books-A-Million chain. In December of 2000, Southern Charm Press (Atlanta) purchased the rights, and published the book in paperback. Since then, Ed's second book, entitled Rough As A Cob: More From the Juliette Journals, has been released (March 2003) in both hardback and trade paperback formats by River City Publishing. His third book, tentatively titled, Honin' The Tulip: Yet More Juliette Journals, is currently being considered for future publication.

Recently, Ed appeared on the Georgia Public Radio program, "Cover to Cover," and has begun writing a weekly nationally syndicated newspaper column called Free Wheelin'. He is in demand as a speaker, and is already being compared to some of Georgia’s most noted humorists.

Ed’s new book, Rough As A Cob, can be ordered by calling River City Publishing toll-free at: 877-408-7078. You can contact him via email at: ed3@ed-williams.com, or through his web site address at: Ed-Williams.com.

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Read more of Ed's funny columns at USADEEPSOUTH!
Trade in the little woman
The South rules!
Getting naked
Experts say . . .
Don't give me no thick ankles



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