|Barked: Sun Oct 14, '12 9:02pm PST |
Not much irks me more, than people that intrude upon my personal space.. But there's one that does get to me every single time.
Approach-First-Ask-Later People and Kids.
These people can appear out of nowhere, or can be seen, goggling at your fuzzy pet, harassing their company about that cute 'puppy wuppy' over by you, or making a beeline straight for you without one word to you to ask if they can approach or if your pet is friendly. What's worse, is those who approach without asking permission AND try to take over training with your dog. Yes. I have had someone do the infamous CM 'hand bite' and "Tscht" to my dog because he was pulling and I was working on his leash manners 'wrong'. Luckily, it was Charlie and not one of the dogs I've rehabilitated, or he would have likely gotten bit. Instead, my dog shook it off and took it with a grain of salt. I, however, did not appreciate this man touching my dog.
Anyway... Am I a b&^*$ when it comes to my dogs? If anyone(adult or child) does not ask first before approaching my dogs to pet them, I immediately position myself between my dogs and said person, and ask them politely to "Please leave my dog alone." If asked, I will almost always say "Yes" assuming my dogs are okay to say hello(if Charlie has just had a seizure, I'll likely ask them to give him space instead as excitement and/or stress can trigger it for him). No matter the age of the person, extremely young, old or in between, I am like this.
I've had HOARDS of children(6+ group of girls) approach Ria at eight weeks old and frighten and overwhelm her when they surrounded me on my own doorstep and didn't ask. I did not allow them to touch my cowering puppy, but instead told them, "Next time, please ask if you're going to approach a strange dog. You never know if they're friendly or not" and while yes, it was obvious Ria was a tiny baby and likely wouldn't harm anyone, Charlie was with me as well. The girls got a polite education, and next time, got to pet my dogs when they asked.
I've had it up to my ears with people who do this. And the ages never change - although the majority is children, of course.
What happened to our parents teaching us, "Ask first?" I was taught, diligently, as a child, that not only was it RUDE, but also DANGEROUS to approach a strange dog without asking permission of the owner first. I have had ONE child in the past several YEARS, ask to pet my dogs, out of hundreds. I've had more adults ask, and that was when I took my dog on city transit. Why are people more polite on city transit, I'll never know - I wouldn't take an unfriendly dog on city transit!
Anyway.... Anybody else have issues with these kinds of people?
I no longer allow anyone to pet my dogs unless they ask permission first and make a point of educating children to do so before approaching.
I've done the same with people and their dogs. They make a beeline for my cute Beagle, or my adorable Lab puppy with their dog, or they drop their dogs leash and it's irritating because I've done everything I can to ensure controlled, safe interactions between my leash reactive dog, and my puppy who is learning that there's nothing to be afraid of.
When will people understand that just like people, some dogs like having their space respected too? I admit, part of it is that I prefer my personal space too... But who else will advocate for my dogs?
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