SHE'S NOT FRIENDLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay; give me a second............................pulling out my soapbox, okay good. Up we go. "SHE'S NOT FRIENDLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" My walk today was ridiculous; I frankly was a little astonished as I walked around the park with Miss Jessie. For some reason I guess Jessie looks as cute as a button in her little red jacket/harness. Everyone who was walking their dog came straight for us. Oh; and not in a controlled manner, no they were coming and their dog was coming a good 15-20 feet out ahead. Ah extension leashes, don't even get me started.
So; because these people were so far away I found myself yelling at them. Like I don't already have to yell enough with a little deaf Jack Russell and Tilley losing her hearing quickly, geeeesh. "SHE'S NOT FRIENDLY!!!!!!" I belted out as they smiled and slowly reeled in their dog causing me to pause my walk and wait. "Did they happen to see me rein in Jessie and keep her at my side?" No because they weren't paying attention. You have to always be paying attention; at least sort of. Scanning, watching, assessing every situation, it's our job. If someone walking towards you reins in their dog, then there is a really good chance that this dog is not dog friendly. Or for some reason the owner does not want your dog interacting with theirs. Pay attention.
One man that did this with his little Yorkie only stopped a mere foot or two in front of us, paused to take out his earphones and said "pardon dear?" Ummmm; your kidding right? I could have said "my dog has rabies," and he would have kept coming. There's the lack of the human's ability to read body language. My body was saying nothing like please come over here and visit us. No, not even close.
There are things in life when throwing caution to the wind is a great idea; not when meeting other dogs. Caution is smart and polite. Diving in muzzle first and hoping for the best is not the way to go. It could get your dog bit. So what should all of these folks done? Upon seeing another person and dog approaching, slowly reel in their extension leash way before getting to us. Then at least 10 feet away ask "friendly?" Which I would have replied ever so politely "NO."
With Jessie it really is a hit and miss situation, but mostly hit. So why bother, she is a very dominant little female, old, cranky and out to tell the world that she is still the Supreme ruler of all the land. So; as I said why bother? After trial and error on how best to deliver the message I have stuck on "she's not friendly." It seems to get the message across fairly clearly, to the point, no mixing words etc. etc. I would group today's events into the bad dog etiquette category.
You know the old saying "better to be safe than sorry?" Well it is alive and well in 2011.
There will be a "dog stuff" giveaway on Thursday, more specific info Wed on my Facebook group.