So, I think everyone who has a dog has dealt with this, but for those of us with dogs that are so-called “reactive”, this is the nightmare scenario that we seem to be unable to escape. Case in point:
I am walking up from the beach with the monsters a few mornings ago. As we walk towards the stairs that lead up to the street, I see a big Aussie come down with some guys running up and down said stairs.
(SIDE NOTE aka Complete Tangent: we have like 5 sets of fairly steep stairs right near where we live. The OC housewives and man types are all out there every morning, frantically stair-ing it up in an effort to be more… something. Nine times out of ten there is also a “Boot Camp Instructor” somewhere in the vicinity. Instructor always has a SUV with their name and their witty business name emblazoned on the side; ie. “Boot Camp Babes by Bonnie!” We find it endlessly amusing.)
So, the Aussie sees them first and starts laser-tractor-beaming them into his scope from at least 100 yards away. We keep walking towards them, and I’m thinking to myself, “This guy HAS to notice his dog fixating on us. He’ll surely call him off, or maybe even PUT HIM ON A LEASH.”
But alas, not the case. Dude is so enamored with himself and his workout buddy, he does not notice. Aussie is tractor-beaming like a mad man and finally Forest and Diego notice. They are not happy. I am trying hard not to freak them out, but finally I yell at workout man, “Is this your dog?!?!” WOM glances over his shoulder, “Uh yeah, but he’s friendly!” and darts back up the stairs. I think he calls Tractor Beam a few times, which is mostly ignored. I instantly start to grate my teeth at his statement. Maybe he is, but his “I am going to herd these little mofos like nobody’s business” stare is not helping me to believe.
So we forge on, and I am wishing I was a good enough trainer to deal with my two leashes and clickers and treats and growling dogs and Tractor Beam, but I am not. I make a silent prayer that Tractor Beam actually is friendly, and march towards the stairs. He has bounded up after WOM out of sight, but then pops back around towards us towards the top. Forest and Diego go nuts, they are trying to go up the stairs and TB–all 100 pounds of him–has inserted himself in between their two snarling snapping 15lb bodies. Effing awesome. Meanwhile WOM is yelling, “Its okay, he’s friendly!”
I finally lost my shit and yelled back at him, “Well in case you havent noticed, MINE AREN’T!!!” I dragged F & D off of Tractor, fuming, and stomped off up the street.
Thank god my dogs only posture and snap, they have yet to make any actual contact. But still. WTF. Put your freaking dog on a leash, and have some respect for other people. I am sure he’s the kind of guy who would say I shouldn’t have my dogs out in public if they “aren’t friendly!”, but…. Gah.
Maybe my dogs should wear little scarlett letter “R”s around their necks so “friendly dogs” off leash know to keep their distance… Sheesh.