I am ticked off. Strike that, I am double ticked off. A run in with a leash aggressive dog, followed immediately by a run in with an ignorant dog owner resulted in one unhappy dog owner (me).
Keeping your dog out of another dog’s face is simple common sense. So, why are there so many ignorant and/or rude dog owners out and about? Sorry folks. Dogs are not 100% predictable because you can’t predict or control the actions of others.
We brought Phoebe along on our road trip, and made arrangements for her to stay at a dog hotel. We housed her there twice before and it was a good experience. I am hoping this stay turns out to be positive, despite a very rocky start.
When we entered the dog hotel, one owner was checking his dog in and another owner was standing off to the left side – about 15 feet away – waiting her turn. Seeing two dogs as I walked in the door, I veered off to the right and stayed a decent distance away from the others. Without pre-planning, we had a happy little triangle of dogs minding their own business.
After the other dogs were whisked away, it was our turn to check in. I was standing at the check in desk and Phoebe was standing off to the side. She wasn’t able to wander off, because I used a short lead in preparation of walking into lobby full of dogs. I heard the lobby door open and in the blink of an eye a medium sized brown dog was barking and snarling in our face.
Phoebe reacted in kind – except the snarling. Being held on a short lead, she certainly was at a disadvantage. It took me a second to wrap my mind around what was going on. I had a dog growling, barking and trying to get a piece of Phoebe; I had Phoebe lunging and barking in return and I was seriously stressing out.
I have read that stressing out and trying to pull your dog back can make matters worse. Well, I was pulling Phoebe back and I was stressed. Oh shame on me! (I say with the utmost sarcasm). I had no choice. I would pull Phoebe back and the other dog would move forward. I’d move back again and the other dog would move forward again. What was this dog’s owner doing? Nothing! When the other dog lunged, the owner would give it more leeway. What the hell? Mr. Dog Owner was seemingly too self-absorbed to even care what his dog was doing. Even if he did care, it was very obvious that his dog controlled him not the other way around.
One of the staff arrived and took the instigator in the back while Mr. Dog Owner stood at the front desk whining about being in hurry. Oh. I see. He was in a hurry so that makes it OK to barge in with an out of control dog and then rush out?
I had some choice words to say about Mr. Dog Owner and his dog’s behavior. The guy at the front desk told us that “Milo” was one of the nicest dogs they had in doggie daycare. Then he went on to give a mini lesson in leash aggression, assuring us that it is not unusual and happens all the time. Great. Thanks for the lesson in dog dynamics. I am also glad to hear that this is normal behavior for Milo. Well…if that is normal behavior then why the F*** doesn’t Mr. Dog Owner take some precaution when entering the building? I can’t blame the dog when the owner is an irresponsible ass.
With Milo and Mr. Dog Owner gone, Phoebe calmed down a bit, but was still amped out. I was calming down and we resumed checking in. Again, I heard the lobby door open and turned to see who (or what) was coming in. There was a sweet looking, docile dog waiting for its owner to open the door (I call this owner Mr. Ignorant). Mr. Ignorant opened the door and lets his sweet little dog enter before him. It’s too bad that Mr. Ignorant had his dog on a retractable leash. The nice little pup trotted straight towards Phoebe. It’s just too bad that Phoebe was not in the mood for it.
Game on! This time Phoebe got the ball rolling. Her hackles were up, I saw the dog headed our way and tried to get Phoebe to move on the other side of me, but it was too late. Phoebe was up, barking and lunging. The other dog reacted to Phoebe’s not-so-pleasant welcome. Once again, I was stressed and pulling Phoebe away, just making matters worse. Again, I really did not have much choice. Keep in mind I had Phoebe on a short lead (one foot to be exact). If I had to move back, the other dogs were too damn close. Thanks to Mr. Ignorant’s retractable long leash, the more his dog lunged, the longer the leash became. I kept pulling back, and back, and back until I backed into a set of standing chalkboards and nearly toppled them owner. At that point, one of the employees came around and took Phoebe into the back. I was embarrassed by Phoebe’s behavior, but understood it.
This story is a classic case of crap rolling downhill.
Mr. Dog Owner shows us how NOT to manage a leash aggressive dog. He also offers us a fine example of how to be an irresponsible leash-aggressive dog owner
Mr. Ignorant further proves that using a retractable leash is a really bad idea. He also represents dog owners who think it is OK for their dog to run up to another dog to say, “Hi!” Granted, he didn’t consciously let his dog run up; he just didn’t have enough common sense to enter the room BEFORE his dog.
Whatever the reason, don’t let your dog run up to another dog – especially one on a leash. You just never know if the other dog is having a bad day.
Thank goodness none of the dogs (or people) were injured. It ticks me off that all the drama and stress could have been avoided if Mr. Dog Owner and Mr. Ignorant used some courtesy and common sense. Is that really too much to ask?