Tuesday 15 March 2022

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - LXIII

Sights and sounds very natural

On my exercise walks in Manchester, there are things that I see that sometimes would be considered insignificant and yet together creates an experience. I can be attentive with a lot of spatial awareness, and I am not distracted by looking on my mobile phone or listening to music through headphones as many people I see are, that there are times we almost bump into each other because of their careless use of public spaces totally not considering the fact that personal and public safety is a function of everyone acting with respect to others around them.

That a man would pull up that early in the morning at the Sikh Gurdwara in his Bentley coupe without the accoutrements of Sikhism but in a suit and tie seemed quite strange even as there was no one at the gate to let him in. I did not wait to see what he would do next; I had my pace and cadence to keep.

Abandoned to canine distress

We are however dogged by different levels of irresponsibility when it comes to dogs being taken for walks. There are a few kept on a leash and even one menacing one I have met a few times that is muzzled. Many dog owners do not seem to be aware that other people they meet in public spaces might be terrified of dogs and so, they should have better control of their animals.

One was pretending to throw a stick for the dog to fetch, the dog deceived ran forward and then realised it had been tricked and few times. Just as I noted that was rather bad behaviour on the part of the dog dad, the dog appeared to race up towards me gnarling with rage and then backed off.

Somewhere else, a couple let their dog run up ahead and it fouled up a garden, but as the dog was out of their sight, they would not have known to clean up after their dog. It is likely, they do not bother to do that in any case. I do see many instances of this irresponsible behaviour and lest the owners set their dogs on you, you find that you just move on disconcerted by that observation.

A dog amuck

However, it was this that was most terrifying, I was on my home straight from the park, a dog digging around in the grass but off the leash some 20 metres away, saw me coming and immediately ran up to me, jumping and clawing at my leg. I have no idea why; I was not a threat in any way. Obviously, the owner called it off and apologised. But if she had been paying any attention to her dog, this would never have happened, and I am sure it is not the first time.

Then I remember the more responsible dog owners, such that I know the names of the dogs but not that of their owners, like Tilly that has quite an independent and individualistic personality, she is never on a leash and quite well behaved. Her housemate has never been let go of, for all the time that I have seen him in the park. George is a fluffy St Bernard, friendly and likeable, you just want to pat him anytime you see him.

I probably should wear shinpads in anticipation of canine aggression, it could be managed, if the owners were a little more responsible.

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