When I am walking my dog and I see people walking toward me, I automatically move to the side, usually on the grass, instead of trying to share the sidewalk with them. Some people are scared of dogs and my dog is big. Also, I don't like getting too close to people if I can help it. I don't want to walk shoulder to shoulder.
I was walking my dog and a couple approached me (a man and a woman). I moved to the grassy area and as I passed them, the woman looks at me and with a serious face says, "There is room for all of us you know", which I thought was weird. Most people would not object to having the sidewalk to themselves. Room for all of us? I don't want to go near her. I was walking in a secluded area too. Like I'm going to cozy up to a couple of strangers in a secluded area with trees everywhere and no place to run. I thought she was a bold weirdo. What do you think?
You did the right thing, and her comment just proves it. You may be able to trust your dog completely, but you can't trust random people in the street. You never know how they will behave, and if they do something bizarre and cause your dog to feel defensive, you might end up with your best friend shot or impounded and gassed to death. The woman's problem was clearly her own problem and not one you need to buy into.
Ignore her. You are being considerate and she is somehow making that into a bad thing? Weird.
perhaps you could have offered up that you are sensitive that some people are afraid of your large breed dog, especialy strangers,. "but hey, thanks for being groovy"...... on the other hand, people tend to be soo self absorbed that she probably took it as a slight against her, that you didnt want to share the sidewalk with her,.... or,.... she was trying to reasure you that you neednt worry, she thought you and your dog were awsome,... she just might have been trying to be nice?..... its rare,... but it happens
Thanks for your comment stclairjack. The woman did act like I slighted her, like I was moving away because she had cooties or something. I don't think she was being nice. She was being more of a power tripper, telling me where to walk. It made me suspicious too. I think if she wanted to reassure me she would have said, 'nice dog' and kept moving.
People are different, and do whatever they do because they think it's the right thing, or else because they don't think at all. Either way, then OTHER people tend to think they know why the other person did/said something, as if they are mind-readers. I just write off all those minor "misunderstanding type of things" as everyone's being different and some people's thinking they can read minds when they can't.
Since nobody has ever accurately read mind when I've run into dogs that someone has on a leash, I thought I'd use this thread to both vent and "enlighten the public" .
What I run into a lot when I walk are people walking their dog or dogs who do seem to make it a point to move off the sidewalk some with their dog. Some don't, and I generally don't want or expect someone with a dog to feel like he has to walk on lawns on in the street just because I'm there.
I'll never know if the ones who move off the sidewalk think I'm afraid of their dogs or not. I'm not. It's considerate of them, though, even though I'm not afraid of their dog.
Here's my "mini-complaint", though: The people who don't move off the sidewalk often take it upon themselves to let the leash out just enough so their dog can sniff whatever/whoever he runs into. The dog may not do anything all that objectionable, but the dog will get its nose on stuff like a pocketbook or clothing in general; and I don't want "dog-nose snook" on my belongings. And, I REALLY don't want "dog-nose snook" on my hand! So, I'll hold my pocketbook and hands away from where I think the dog can get his nose on them, and the dog's person - I don't like "owner" - will say, "He won't bite." Aggravated at having dog-nose snook on me somewhere, I'll think, "I KNOW he isn't likely to bite, you idiot. It's the dog-snook I don't want on me or my stuff!!!!"
I LOVE dogs - and cats. I really do. They're usually so happy to be with people, so innocent, so uncertain in this world, etc. etc. Nobody could care about or like dogs more than I. The people, though, who don't know enough to keep their dog's leash tight enough that the dog can't get his nose on me or my stuff are apparently clueless about the fact that not everyone wants dog snook all over them and their stuff, not even just a tiny amount of dog snook and/or saliva.
What irks me - but again, it's only a minor aggravation in the "scheme of aggravations of life" - is that when I'm as comfortable with, skilled with, and caring about dogs, or cats, as I am; first someone who has a dog may automatically assume I'm like a scared three-year-old child who is afraid of dogs if I try to keep away from their dog's nose, and they'll often seem condescending as if I'm the clueless and silly one who "must be afraid" of dogs. The real killer is that these people think it's OK for them to "deem" hows long or how much they allow their dog to sniff or "just get to know" someone/something - almost as if there's no difference between another human being and, say, a parked bicycle the dog stops to check out.
So my "thing" is that *I'm perfectly happy to have dog-walkers stay on the sidewalk, but far too few of them know that whether or not someone else wants to have their belongings or clothes sniffed and snooked on shouldn't be the call of the dog-walker/leash-holder.
Apparently, these are people who think that if someone likes/loves a dog/dogs then someone must also have no objection to dog snook/spit. This is not correct. Some people like dogs but not snook/spit. I've pretty much lived my whole life, letting these people go ahead and think I must be afraid of their dog, at least until they - loving their dog, proud of what a nice s/he is, etc., - reassure me in their friendly, kindly, condescending, way that their dog won't bite or attack. These people don't mean any harm or mean to be insulting. They mean well. Because of that, I've let them get away with believing that there's no problem with my getting their dog's snook/spit on my belongings. I'm not an unfriendly or mean person. I haven't wanted to come across as rude, nasty, or "otherwise horrible" toward these perfectly friendly, well-meaning, dog-walkers.
I've decided, however, that from now on I'm not going to let my concern about the feelings of these well-meaning but clueless folks result in my having to live with dog-snook/spit on my stuff. The next time it happens I am going to inform the dog-walker that I am not afraid of his dog but would appreciate if he'd keep the leash short enough that the dog can't get his snook on me or my stuff.
It has taken a few decades for me to decide to stop letting some of these minor things that can go on slide. I guess I'm just starting now to practice up on becoming an openly "grouchy old person" and feeling free to go ahead an "let people have it".
Good rant Lisa HW. You sound a bit like Lucy from Peanuts. Snoopy would have a field day with you But I can see your point; not everyone wants to be sniffed (who knows what the dog was just sniffing before they touched your hand with their wobbly nose? Dogs hunt for pee smells on trees for example to identify other dogs).
I always move aside and I don't necessarily assume the person is afraid of dogs. My main reason for moving is for me and my dog. It is convenient for me and I don't want a stranger touching my dog. A man reach down to pet my dog and he looked a bit psycho (his expression). I remember seeing this really cute dog in the back of a pick up truck and these people were approaching the truck to pet the dog (it was a big fluffy husky dog). Well the dog was having none of it and growled and then the people would look surprised and back off, "You mean the dog isn't a big stuffed toy?"
That woman was strange. It made me suspicious because it doesn't make sense for someone to object to you moving out of the way.
I can't really imagine someone objecting to someone's moving out of the way either.
By the way, I'm nothing like Lucy. I'm more like either Sally or Linus in a world full of Lucy's - at least that's how I'm feeling these days. It's just that if one adds, say, fifty years to the age of Sally or Linus, one can see how a person might become close to having his head explode if he doesn't start letting out some rants.
It sounds like you have an inner Lucy that is starting to emerge And Sally is pretty assertive too. I love the Linus character. He's the most intelligent. I think all of us have to find our inner Lucy that lets us be rude now and again.
My rant: About that woman (who had a big guy with her); she objected to me moving away from her. That's a red flag. Predatory people want you close because it is easier to attack you. If you move out of the way, that means they have to move toward you and they show their cards. It also makes their behaviour more visible to onlookers, "Hey, why are those people lunging at that woman?" But if you walk close to them, it is easier for them to nab you without drawing attention to themselves. I am always suspcious when someone wants me to move closer to them, "Hey, there's plenty of room for all of us", is not a typical thing to say when someone moves out of the way with their dog. It is also important not to be overconfident when you have a dog. Some people are not intimidated of dogs. They can recognize a dog that is not a threat. Who knows, maybe they've been watching and know that the dog isn't mean. It is always good to be watchful. Good intentioned strangers do not want you to move close to them. The world is crowded; who wouldn't want the sidewalk to themselves? Some one up to no good wouldn't because for some reason they want you in close proximity to them. A good book to read is, "The Gift Of Fear". The author talks about a predatory man who got into a woman's boundary by offering to help her carry up her groceries when she was walking up a flight of stairs. He even insisted on going into her apartment to help her with the grocery bags. Mr. Friendly turned out to be a rapist. It is important to never let anyone force their way into your space. If you have to, cross the street.
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