barking mad

driving mostly sucks
too many people do it
and get in my way

I was driving home from puppy class last night and I realized that I exhibit old dog behavior everyday. The puppy class is a six week socialization "course" for Tucker. He learns how to be around things like other dogs and skateboards and fireworks without totally losing his mind. It’s a cool class. And now that I’ve realized it’s helping me socialize myself, too, I really feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.

In class last night, a big 14-year-old dog was brought in to help correct the puppies as they played with each other. The pups would chase each other around and if their play got out of control, the big dog would run over to them and give a gruff growl as he separated them. Sometimes he would engage in play and when the pup got too rough he’d bark or show his teeth and the pup would run off all, "sorry, dude. see you later!"

It was amazing to watch. After about 20 minutes of play time, some of the more excitable pups had learned to control themselves not just around the grouchy old dog, but around the other puppies, too. Not only that, the puppies, including mine, were mimicking his behavior. When Tucker had had enough of one dog coming after him, Tuck showed his teeth, gave a bark, and the other dog trotted off.

"Look at that!" the teacher exclaimed proudly. "Tucker is correcting the other dogs now!" It was really cool.

So I was thinking about all of this as I drove home. This teenage-driven Mustang came right up on my ass even though I was already speeding more than I should have been. There was no way I could get over to let the Mustang pass, because traffic was pretty heavy. But the Mustang was insistent, coming closer and closer, then barely slowing, then coming closer again – classic aggressive asshole behavior.

Without even thinking, I slammed on my brakes, just totally stopped short. The Mustang had to swerve into the emergency lane to keep from hitting me. Then I calmly got into the next lane. As the Mustang recovered, it ultimately passed me, but the driver was not going 50 mph over the speed limit like he’d wanted to.

My limited, naive mind would like to think I corrected him, just like the grouchy old dog. But I realize what I did was stupid, could have resulted in an accident, and bordered dangerously close to road rage. And yet… there’s a glimmer of hope that my "correction" rather than just pissing off an asshole, might have shown him to pay more attention while driving.

I know I shouldn’t apply puppy class to driving, but I’m a grouchy old dog and I can’t help it.

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4 thoughts on “barking mad

  1. Hmmmm, I DO understand the feeling, but I stopped doing just that (hitting brakes to slow THEM down) after I read about the person who did that and the driver behind that driver (who didn’t have very good reaction skills apparently) trying to dodge, created a wreck in which someone was hurt badly or killed. The person who hit their brakes to get the fool to stop tail-gating was the one who ended up in trouble and was convicted of manslaughter or something just as bad. In other words, tapping brakes, or hitting them just to get someone off your tail is apparently illegal. Who would have thunk, trying to save your own life would be illegal……

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  2. Hmmmm, I DO understand the feeling, but I stopped doing just that (hitting brakes to slow THEM down) after I read about the person who did that and the driver behind that driver (who didn’t have very good reaction skills apparently) trying to dodge, created a wreck in which someone was hurt badly or killed. The person who hit their brakes to get the fool to stop tail-gating was the one who ended up in trouble and was convicted of manslaughter or something just as bad. In other words, tapping brakes, or hitting them just to get someone off your tail is apparently illegal. Who would have thunk, trying to save your own life would be illegal……

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  3. teens can be crazy
    needing canine correction
    careful where you bite
    Is that a haiku? I’m trying to be clever, but sometimes my cleverness translates to massive dorkiness (is that a word? It is now.) I had the same thoughts you simultaneously.

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  4. Meant to say, I had the same thoughts you HAD simultaneously (you were correcting the teenager but oops that could have been dicey).
    p.s. I always get freaked out when I have to type in the “code” after leaving a message. The dark letters are on a dark marbled background and sometimes it’s hard to make out the letter or number. When I make my attempt and press OK, I feel like I am trying to put in the code so a nuclear holocause will NOT occur and it all rests on my shoulders.
    It makes me uptight, but since it took two tries and the world did not spontaneously explode, I’m assuming it’s all okay.

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