I can tell it is time for vacation. I have the pre-vacation crankies. The ones that tell you that you are overdue for some time away. Good thing it is coming soon.
But before I go, permit me a short rant. (Or don’t…up to you.)
Why is it that some folks think they know your dog, or the dog you’re walking, better than you do?
I walk a small terrier most days. We actually call him a terriorist sometimes, because that’s how he behaves when he doesn’t get enough exercise. But he’s a cranky soul in general. He doesn’t like to be pet, and he really doesn’t like to be pet on the head. And he’s not too keen on other dogs either. Most of the folks in his neighborhood know these things about him, and respect that. A few folks seem to be clue-impaired about these aspects of the little guy, even when I tell them about him.
I was walking B one day, and there’s a house in the area with a reactive little dog who, thankfully, stays within his yard guarded by an underground fence. One day, however, his person thought it would be nice for Reactive Dog and B to meet. I crossed the street as the guy started to bring Reactive Dog forward and told him that B wasn’t good with other dogs, that he could be unpredictable. That didn’t stop Reactive Dog’s person… “Oh, my dog LOVES other dogs!” and they kept advancing. I had to be stern. “B does not like other dogs – we’re going to walk over here.”
We passed by the house, and what do I see but guy and Reactive Dog trying to follow me. What part of “my dog doesn’t like other dogs” did he not understand?
Today, walking B, another person, out walking sans dog, approaches us. As he reached out for B’s head I warned him: “B doesn’t really like to be pet much.” OK, the guy puts out his hand for B to sniff. B is good with that. But what does the guy do after B sniffs for a moment, but reach to pet B’s head. As B shirks the hand I remind him: “B doesn’t like to be pet, especially on the head.” But that doesn’t really deter the guy. What part of “my dog doesn’t like to be pet” did he not understand?
The guy who tried to pet B then proceeded to approach Reactive Dog, who was just ahead of us. Reactive Dog was barking like crazy, guarding his borders, and growling between barks. And the guy proceeding to go up the driveway and try to approach Reactive Dog anyway. Really…what part of growling did he not understand? Reactive Dog was being as clear as he knew how to be.
I get that people like dogs, want to interact with them, and sometimes that is well and good,. But forcing an interaction with a dog who doesn’t want it is rude, and more than that, it is asking to be bit. And not listening to the person who knows the dog, when they give clear information, is also rude, and at least right now, with my pre-vacation crankies, also an invitation to get bit, by me and not the dog. Luckily I’ve had my rabies vaccine.
There…I’m done. Pre-vacation rant complete. I’ll feel better soon…I promise.