In favour of bringing back dog licences…
Now while my contempt for large swathes of humanity is well noted wherever I’m given a pint and a soap-box, Sunday evening reminded me of a favourite rant of mine that will never ever happen despite this government’s determination to regulate every other aspect of life.
Picture the scene, myself and a few friends heading for the pub after a hard afternoon of playing tennis (in my case, like a twat). Clapham Common is of course full of the dregs of humanity – and probably some other people too but show me a crowd and I’ll only see dregs… Now Clapham is a seriously middle-class area these days, and predominately white. Nothing wrong with that, could do with a bit more diversity if you ask me but generally it’s a very good and relaxed place to live, hence why I live there.
As we’re walking to claim a piece of grass along with the several thousand others who’ve had the same idea I notice that the demographic on the common has subtly shifted. There’s a marked increase in groups of young, usually black, men sauntering around in fours or fives, with eyes only for each other. Unfortunately, this isn’t some odd cottaging observation, I wouldn’t have found it so repellent in that case, but an indication of how a large portion of the younger half of this city seem to live – in some sort of perpetual and desperate competition to look the big man in front of the world, presumably so passers-by will stop and worship their macho prowess. That’s all fine I guess, I have major problems with various aspects of everything relating to the wannabe-gangster culture but sure, whatever. What really gets on my tits is that a huge number of these men know they can’t show off guns or knives to look cool and dangerous, so instead they bring along dogs.
Now it’s possible that none of these dogs have been trained specifically to fight, they all have access to gardens at home and are treated with all the care required, but somehow I doubt it. The vast majority are Staffordshire Bull Terriers, ones that just happen to make very good fighting dogs but aren’t on the banned list because they’re naturally very sweet and gentle animals. I have several friends whose families breed Staffies and they assure me they are only dangerous when in a large group and overexciting (as all dogs) or they’ve been taught to fight, something a Staffie will naturally put all its considerable strength and enthusiasm into to please its owner.
I was actually surprised I only witnessed two dog fights in the hour we spent there, but considering the number of wary-looking and puffed-up men cruising the scene, it wouldn’t surprise me if more had ‘accidentally’ broken out after we left and the crowds started to thin a bit. As it was, it really brings it home just how powerful they are and how moronic some dog owners can be.
To the woman who spent twenty seconds pounding hers with a water-bottle after it had been pulled off the jaw of another dog; it was your fault you stupid cow, your failure to have any clue what you’re doing that led to the fight and will probably lead to you having severe injuries next time you attack a dog that’s buzzing with adrenaline and still has the taste of blood in its mouth.