Yesterday, I was walking my dog in my neighborhood. As we walked by his favorite field, he relieved himself in the exact same spot he does every day.
On this particular day there was a game going on in the field, so cars and people where coming and going around us. As I gathered my lavender-scented poop bag from my pocket to do my duty, this strange man came walking towards us.
Bloo is still learning leash manners and we’ve finally overcome him barking and lunging at people when they walk by so I wasn’t that alarmed at this point. But this man was making a b-line for Bloo with his hand out reaching toward his face. This is when I started to panic. I quickly, grabbed the leash with both hands and told the man, “my dog is not friendly, please back away.” The man continued to walk towards us with his hand outstretched reaching for him. As I backed us up a bit I said to him again. “He’s not friendly.”
Fortunately, Bloo was completely behaving himself and just sitting there watching this all unfold (most likely because I had cookies in my hand).
Finally, the man said “does your dog have a license.” I said “Yes, he has a license, ” and I proceeded to show him the haggard license on his collar. The man then walked away. I am assuming he is the dog catcher though he never identified himself and looking back I should have asked him to. The whole thing was a bit creepy and uncomfortable. And hindsight is always 20/20.
After thinking about this for the last 24 hours though, a few things come to mind:
- Do not EVER put your hand in a dog’s face without asking the owner if the dog is friendly. It’s scary for the dog and unsafe for the person. We got lucky yesterday only because I had cookies in my pocket. But otherwise it’s Bloo’s job to protect me and he takes that very seriously.
- Make sure your dog is licensed. It’s only $10 per year and it ensures your dog has all its necessary shots. Plus its a good way to help identify your dog if he/she ever gets lost in the neighborhood. Not to mention, in most towns and cities there is a dog ordinance requiring it.
- Read your town’s dog ordinance. Had Bloo not been licensed, according to our current dog ordinance, this creepy man could have taken my dog on the spot – but that’s another story for another time.
In order for dogs, dog owners and non-dog owners to live harmoniously, we need to respect each other’s space. A better scenario would have been if the dog catcher first introduced himself and then reminded me of the dog ordinance requiring a dog license and then asked me if my dog had one. It would have been a much safer and more pleasant interaction for everyone.