OMG – I’m mortified. Worse. I feel ridiculously guilty.
You see, my dog nearly caused an elderly Asian lady to have a heart attack.
I’d just gone outside to bring in the rubbish bins and thought nothing of letting my little gal accompany me so she could sniff the grass and enjoy whatever odours other passers by had left. It was mid-afternoon, nobody around, benefit of working from home.
Then she barked. I heard a scream and looked up to see this poor lady drop her bag of shopping as my dog ran across the road and then in a move worthy of a kung-fu movie the lady raised her leg and started to kick out at her assailant.
In a heartbeat said assailant heard my call to ‘come’ and returned to me.
All 3.2kilos of white fluffy toy poodle.
Yes, I know for most of us, it’s a laughable situation. Teensy white dog wanting to say hello.
However, this poor lady didn’t know Chica would rather sit on a lap and snuggle more than anything in the world. All she saw was a ‘loose dog’ rushing towards her.
I don’t know if that lady had previously been attacked – but that’s not the point.
The whole incident reminded me that we really do need to know that we have a rock-solid control of our pet – regardless of its size or breed – so that misunderstandings don’t occur.
My fault. Totally. And, as I said I feel dreadfully guilty. I tried apologising to the lady – who it turns out was visiting my neighbours across the road.
I’m not sure of her nationality, but my apologies in English were probably not enough to convince her she had never been in any danger.
We’re all the product of our life experiences – and while ever there are people (alas like me) that wrongly assume no-one could ever find their dog threatening – regardless of size – then these misunderstandings will continue.
Even worse, I do know better, having trained to be a dog trainer. It’s a bit like the mechanic with the dodgy car or the electrician whose house is a maze of extension leads rather than safe electrical outlets.
So – the upshot is that I’m going to go back to basics and start the process of ensuring Chica never scares anyone ever again. She was an old girl when we got her but that’s no excuse for us not training her in the basics.
As of now, I’ll be treating her like a puppy who needs to learn that doing the right thing results in good things, cuddles, treats etc. and that unwanted behaviours, such as random runs across the road will be stopped before they can happen.
A long leash is my new best friend – and if you can’t be sure of your pet’s behaviour- you might like to consider making one of these your best friend too.