When my column about dogs that run loose and bite (or appear in the mood to bite) people hit the copy desk, my colleagues warned, "You'd better hide under the bed until this one blows over. You'll have every dog lover in town after you."
My colleagues guessed wrong. Eleven dog letters have arrived, and they're all from people who agree with me that dogs are out of place in an urban community.
"You expressed my sentiments exactly," wrote Peg Sisson. "I, too, have been bitten. I have been bitten three times -- always by harmless Fidos that wouldn't harm a baby.
"Now I'm sorrounded by big dogs. My neighbors assure me their dogs will not harm me, but they leave me with fear in my heart and a reluctance to go out into my fenced yard.
"Those dogs can come over the fence quicker than I can write about it."
John W. Evans wrote, "Three woofs and a tail wag for your column of April 22. The fear that one is about to be chewed up is almost as bad as the real thing.
"It's too bad you didn't also mention that the bark can be as bad as the bite. My neighbor harbors a canine menace that rushes toward me when I am on my knees pulling weeds. That's no fun for a guy with a trick heart.
"The beast in question reacts instantaneously to being let outdoors. It barks furiously. Do you think it is too much to ask that its master not let the animal out under my bedroom window at 5:30 a.m.?"
Joan Selvin wrote, "You did not mention our plight: a dog left unattended in the yard from morning to night, never taken indoors, constantly barking, especially close to our property. We have complained, to no avail."
One letter was signed by nine Takoma Park residents: Mr. and Mrs. al Brady, Mr. and Mrs. George Weidman, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Rogers, Effie Collamore, Margaret Dailey and Barbara Dunwoody. It said, in part:
"There is another type of irresponsible dog owner, and society is growing more and more hostile toward this group. We refer to those who tie up their dogs or let them run in the yard and bark, any time, day or night, without assuming any responsibility toward neighbors who would like to live in peace and quiet -- some of them people who have to work at night and sleep in the daytime.
"This is what Takoma Park citizens have been enduring constantly --kennel."
There were other biting remarks about barking dogs, but I think these excerpts will suffice to get the message across. MEDICAL NEWS
The Minneapolis Tribune carried a fascinating report recently. It was about a woman who woke up with a stomachache and decided to do some yoga to get rid of it. After she had stood on her head for a while, sure enough, her stomachache was gone. But she had a headache. SMILE A WHILE
In the newsletter he edits for the Defense Mapping Federal Credit Union, Paul Sweeney notes that middle income people are "too rich for benefits, too poor for loopholes."
Here are some of Paul's other observations:
Most additives are used to extend the life of the food. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily hold true for the eater."
"Motion pictures have become our grossest national product."
"There is no longer a difference between first class and air mail. They both get lost in the same bag now."
"I bought my wife a mood ring. She thinks it's onyx." SEASONAL NEWS
Summer must be right around the corner. The Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the potholes are getting drier, and Bob Orben reports that Buffalo's snow has melted down to three feet.