This morning, William and I were heading home from our walk, on the west side of Second between Warren and Cherry Alley. This used to be the one of the filthiest blocks in Hudson--bottles, bones, discarded remnants of food of all kinds tossed onto the sidewalk and into the street. A couple years ago, after 11 South Second was purchased, emptied of tenants, renovated, and reopened offering market-rate apartments and 135 Warren Street was restored and opened as the Deffebach Gallery, things improved, but since Housing Resources took over as the owner and manager of the building on the east side of the street, known to many still as the "Shrimp Box," conditions seem to be deteriorating again on that little stretch of South Second.
So this morning, as I was contemplating the street litter and trying to steer William away from a chicken bone lying in the gutter, a brown dog with a studded collar--the kind worn by mean dogs in cartoons--came bolting across the street from the storefront apartment in the Shrimp Box. Every dog walker's nightmare. As he circled William, I noticed that his face was the face of a Staffordshire terrier mix--a dreaded pit bull. The dog's human had exited the building with him, and I yelled to him, "Get your dog!" By the time he made his way across the street, the dogs were jumping at each other and barking. Unfortunately, as the vulnerable leashed dog in these kinds of encounters, the very gentle and now geriatric William tends to overreact. No doubt it's the panic coming down the leash from me.
As I was struggling, trying in vain to keep William away from the other dog, its human just stood there. When I said "Get your dog!" for the third or fourth time, he told me he was afraid to because he thought my dog would bite him. I resisted the urge to tell him that if William bit him he deserved it, and he finally pulled his dog off. As human and dog went back across the street, I said, with great indignation, "Dogs belong on leashes," adding, when I noticed the intact testicles dangling between the legs of the retreating dog, "Especially unneutered male dogs!"
William emerged from the ordeal unscathed. He's now lying at my feet, sleeping off the excitement.