Not long ago, I entered an already quite crowded elevator: a guy with a Saint Bernard and a young woman who just obviously just coming back from the gym. I love dogs. Any kind: the mutts, the purebred, the senior ones, the crippled ones. I love them all. I can’t say the same for their humans though!
The Saint Bernard was sniffing the young woman’s crotch, and she was clearly very uncomfortable. The owner of the dog was smiling instead of pulling his dog away; that’s the kind of moment where I have to control my temper! Fortunately, the young woman got off the elevator fast, maybe on purpose. In my book, it’s called bullying.
I know, everyone, starting with myself, believes that their dogs are the cutest ones on this earth, and seriously, they are. But it doesn’t mean that everyone is seeing them with my or your eyes.
Some people are afraid of dogs, some are just “not dog people”, and some don’t want to be littered with dog’s hair. I never “force” my dogs on anyone! If one of them gets inappropriate with someone, I pull back on the leash, and I apologize, because yes – breaking news! – I am not perfect! And my crew is not either! I walk Maia and Max, two of my labs, by a lake. And every time I see a specific lady coming, I make the dogs sit to give her some space. That is after one day, she screamed bloody hell at me because one of my dogs was too close to her that she liked it. One day, out of the blue, she thanked me for keeping my labs at large, and I replied you know “No sweat, I got it that not everyone likes dogs!” She then told me that she did not like them or dislike them but in her country, cats were the only pets, dogs were food. And trying to convince me, she asked me “How would you feel if you were in a country where people walk with their pigs for instance?” My reply was that most likely I would go to pet the pigs, but that’s just me! But I have to say that now, each time, I see her when I walk the dogs, I feel like she is looking at them like she is seeing two dog roasts with parsley in their nostrils!
What is unfair is that PEOPLE WILL RESENT THE DOGS instead of resenting their humans! I know it’s something I said and said over and over, but there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.
There is a leash law in this country, if my memory is good, and there is a reason for that. If I hear one more time from an owner with an unleashed dog coming straight at me and my restrained ones: “He is sweet, je just wants to play” I am going to scream out of frustration!
I am not trying to preach, I am just trying to make some people realize that you have to respect another dog’s or another person’s boundaries.
A French philosopher said one time: “Your freedom stops where mine starts.” Maybe we should conjugate this at every tense! There are many places where you can have your dog run free: your backyard, dogs parks, dogs beaches. Dogs are amazing beings and they should never ever be seen as a nuisance. It’s too unfair to them!
A GREAT PUP IS A WELL BEHAVED ONE!
Don’t be lenient with your dog. A well trained dog is a happy one. They are like kids: they need to know the limits. An out of control dog becomes a nuisance.
Some time ago, one of my labs, Zoe, had knee surgery, and as part of her rehab, we had to talk walks, a bit longer every day. We were quietly walking in my neighborhood, when I saw some hundred feet away an unleashed Golden retriever with his Human. I nicely asked the guy to put his dog back on a leash. His reply was: “My dog is friendly. He just wants to play! And I don’t have a leash anyway!”
My answer was: “My dog just had surgery. She can’t play!”
He tried to grab his dog’s collar, lost control, fell down while his 100lbs. dog lunged at me and Zoe. Zoe was shaking with fear, and even peed on herself. The dog sensed it, and started to become aggressive. I would never have thought that I would ever meet an aggressive Golden! I literally had to kick the dog away until his owner finally made it! His first question was: “What’s wrong with you?”
Then, he got on his knees and started “consoling” his dog, telling him I did not mean to kick him, that he was a good boy, that he loved him…. Seriously? It did not happen once, but several times. And I just stopped walking Zoe there. I never managed to get into the owner’s brain. Too thick? No clue. He just doesn’t get that his out of control dog is a nuisance, and can also get hurt if he gets into traffic running after a squirrel, deer or something else. Yes, the dog is cute, but that’s besides the point. Not everyone want to have in their face a 100lbs. rambunctious dog!
Be in control of your dog at all time for his or her own safety!
If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon on the leash or collar: stay away. It means that the dog needs his or her space for whatever reasons.
Remember that there is no balance if one dog is on a leash and yours is unleashed. The leashed one can feel cornered.
When you are going to meet another dog, ask if it’s okay for them to smell each other’s butts. Hey that’s what dogs do!
Be the parent of your dog, not his best buddy!
Teach your children not to run to pet an unknown dog: what is true for the dogs is also true for the children! I always cringe when I see small children running and screaming toward dogs. The sweetest dog could be spooked by a child going straight at him or her.
Always ask permission to pet a dog.
Approach your hands slowly to allow the dog to smell them.
If the dog backs out, don’t force it.
Follow the directions of the owner. Some like I do will make their dogs sit in order for you not to have muddy paws all over you!
Good manners will always take you a long way no matter if you are a two or a four-legged one!