This Could Have Been Bad - but he doesn't care
(Hi friends, it's been a while. I wanted to get my thoughts out while it's fresh - and I thought for too long on a title so you get what you get). Oh shoot, post published and I thought of the title 'Off Leash Woes pt 2'. Darn.
I went for a walk tonight, just me Rey and Riley. Brave I am. I had Rey on a head harness, with her e-collar and a two-foot leash. Riley was on a four-foot leash with a traffic handle on a flat collar, his e-collar unfortunately was dead and I decided to go without. He has truly improved on his walking so I trusted him with that.
Our walk was a dream, they did so well. Riley needed a few simple leash corrections and some strong biceps at times, but he did truly well. It was such a nice evening, the air was lovely and we had a truly pleasant walk.
We were coming by a house that we know well. There is this lovely gentleman who clearly loves dogs, he always asks to say hi. He has once said hi to Reese back in 2018 and it was such a great time. He has since met Rey and Riley as well. I smile at him and see another man who was not so gentle. He then calls across the lawn "No 'insert dog name". I look to where he's talking to and see an elderly Boston Terrier like dog who is off-leash staring down Rey and Riley. We are across the road.
Again he yells "no" as his dog darts across the street at us. I was right in my assumption that he would not be aggressive (I simply hoped since he was of leash) but Riley is so excitable and Rey can be protective of Riley. As the dog comes towards us I try to put myself between the three dogs. Neither Rey or Riley can get more than two-feet away, but this dog was circling.
I circled four times before yelling "Can you please get your dog!" I check my shoulder to find the non-gentleman walking towards us casually and laughing. It's been a week and I was not in the mood. I said "sir this is not funny!" and he grabs his dog. He still laughs. Rey and Riley are getting twisted. I said "This could have been really bad!" and he replied.... "then control your dogs."
I tell him that his dog needs to be on a leash and shouldn't come running across the road at us! I said that his dog could have been bitten. He replies "Then bring them over and let them bite." (Why. Why is he like this).
His dog runs back. "NO 'insert dogs name". I yell "Sir, control YOUR dog." He grabs him and walks back to the porch to sit. I have Rey and Ri now in a sit beside me. I tell this man that he needs to have control of his dog because not every dog likes other dogs. He throws his hands in the air and says he is done with this conversation and he does not want to talk to me anymore.
I tell the dogs 'heel' and we are on our way. On our nice 'controlled' walk.
I'm an emotional person, I can't help it. And like I said, it's been a week. A young man pulls up beside me as I'm walking home and asks if everything is ok. Now if you're like me, that question does ya right in. HEAR COME THE WATER WORKS. I just nod as I feel my eyes start to burn, and say 'thank you'.
Great. Now I'm crying the whole walk home. I'm wearing glasses. They're fogged up. I can't see. What a mess lolol.
I decided as I got home to get in my car and drive back. I wanted to have a 'civil' conversation. I wanted my voice to be heard. I wanted him to know why I was upset. Some people just don't know. I also thought of the nice gentleman and I wanted to still be able to say hi to him when we walk by.
I pull up in front of the house and I get out of my car and say "Can we try to have a polite conversation, please?" This man looks at me with such disgust and says "Sure." I explained briefly to him about Reese, how we trained for two years, so hard, and it's scenarios like this that makes it impossible. Also, now I'm crying again (I'm mad at myself for that). I said how unfair it is that I can't go for a nice walk in my own neighbourhood without worrying about off leash dogs. He said "Call the cops then."
I made sure to keep my cool, as angry as I felt. I told him that wasn't necessary, I just wanted to explain my side. He said "Well I'm not sure what you want me to do about it." I said "Leash your dog. Control your dog." He said. "My dog just ran over to say hi, he never tried to bite your dogs." I told him that he wasn't getting it, his dog can't run across the street like that.
He's laughing at me and shaking his said. He says. "I don't care, call the police if you want."
I just stared at him, completely at a loss for words, and said "You are just so unkind." And walked back to my car, and drove home.
Why are some people like this. Why do some people just not care. The issue with training your dogs and especially dog reactive/ fear aggressive dogs, is that some people just. don't. care.
I wish I could have done that walk differently. Now I'm beating myself up. I should have only taken one dog. They both need work when it comes to excitement and being calm in those scenarios. But we're not there yet. We would've avoided other dogs on leash, this was going to be a controlled walk. It should have been fine. But I need to expect these scenarios because this is the fourth time a different dog has run across the street at us on a walk. I was not in a position to tell my dogs what to do, they did not know how to act, they were just excited. I messed up.
I didn't even get an apology, aside from his sarcastic 'sorry'. These streets are busy, his dog could have gotten hit. I too trust my dogs not to run off in the front yard, they are also friendly. But I check up and down the street and if a dog comes I leash them, it's not worth it and it'll give peace of mind to myself the other owner.
It could have been bad. It wasn't. But it could have and he was just so rude.
There is no point to this post except to vent truthfully, and to say please hear me. Please here us. There are so many dogs and owners who just want to walk peacefully without the worry of off-leash dogs. But there is only so much we can do when other people just don't care.
P.s I wrote this and am posting without reading over it. If there are errors, especially embarrassing ones, please ignore them and instead look at this photo. Yes that is drool.