Not again!

Not again! Unbelievable!

Where do these people keep coming from?

We’ve had more encounters with off-leash dogs than I care to remember. In a town where local laws dictate that all dogs be leashed, it is really surprising just how many people seem to believe that it simply does not apply to their dog!

We’ve met a couple of “all dogs love me” characters (both men) who were really lucky to still have a full set of fingers on both hands (despite the obvious less than a full set of active brain cells). The logic here baffles me. Are they really so much in love with themselves that they cannot comprehend a dog not also falling in love with them? Are they that naïve that they cannot consider that some dogs, for whatever reason, may get upset at a total stranger touching them?

Then there are the children (many of them) that dash up with the clear intention of wrapping their arms around Ray! I can accept that people not may not necessarily understand the “trials and tribulations” of a rescued dog, but why wouldn’t they instill into their children that they do not touch any dog they do not know until they have the permission of the owner?

We cannot forget the people (more so men than women) who will pass by and suddenly reach out and stroke him as they pass!

It is always sad to hear about a dog who has reacted to a perceived threatening situation by biting and has paid dearly for that intuitive reaction when, in fact, the cause was a thoughtless  person.

The latest winner of the “shake my head in total disbelief” award goes to a man (what is it with men?) whose path crossed ours a few days ago He was walking, with his dog, towards us and, a few moments earlier, had passed another dog. The two dogs were quite vocal but as he approached us he muttered something about all dogs want to do is play and seemed intent on his dog meeting Ray. However, before we could set up Ray for the “meeting”, the man bent over him and started to very roughly rub the side of his head. He then moved his hand and roughed up the top of Ray’s head. As fast as we realized what he was doing, he had stopped and we were moving away from him. Unfortunately, it all happened so fast which is the scary part of these idiotic moves. If Ray had reacted defensively, It would have all been over before we would have had a chance to intervene.

Walking Ray around here is often quite simply stressful, and that is entirely due to unthinking people! It is such a shame that we always have to be on the alert for human stupidity, rather than being able to totally indulge in the pleasure of Ray’s company!

35 thoughts on “Not again!

  1. I recently saw a little blurb about wearing a yellow leash if the dog was temperamental or not particularly friendly. Maggie is a Staffie, and while she’s never met a human she didn’t like, she’s VERY selective on dogs. I wish people wouldn’t let theirs off leash. We have a dog or two on our block that the owners just let loose. I am really apprehensive of walking Maggie with them about. Woof!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Maggie: A yellow leash, or a yellow ribbon tied somewhere conspicuous, would work however, the whole yellow ribbon concept has not been very well promoted so it is to be expected that it will not mean anything to many people. The yellow ribbon is simply for dogs who need their “space” (our Ray was a classic example). As for the off-leash crowd? They simply do not seem to be able to grasp the concept that some dogs have a background that dictates high stress when an “off leash” comes running up to them. Sadly, dogs grasp concepts quicker than some humans! 🙂

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  2. Yikes! This is so annoying isn’t it? I once had a man lunge at my GSD with a rolled up newspaper thinking it was play. Then he started screaming at me when my dog barked at him to back off. It happened so quickly it never occurred to me he would do that with his newspaper or I would have crossed the street. People are clueless. Dogs are smart.

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    • I guess we just have to remember the many responsible people that we meet so as not to lose total faith in human nature. The “idiot factor” is certainly a minority, but that doesn’t help the dog who is feeling threatened.

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  3. I am thinking a t-shirt that says keep your dog and hand away from us may be the two do not “do” other dogs..i saw a child the other day go up to a parent in sight…dog on a lead tied up..and patted it..head first face to face..child was lucky the dog did not mind..children are erratic and scary to some dogs..we taught our kids never to approach a strange animal and ask first..i always ask may i say hello and then gently allow the dog to sniff my hand ..i never touch their head i never rough them up..because people have not shown the same courtesy to me and their dogs have rough housed mine as pups (oh look how cute they are playing?????) my dogs are not dog people..we walk them her on 11 acres..we take them where the least amount of idiot dog owners are and we hope they are left alone..i totally get you..there is a man here who is making bandanas for dogs that say please do not let your dog approach..sadly most just let them run at you..the height of dog rudeness actually not play….urghhhh

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  4. I have a rescue who is dog reactive. It seems like more and more people have their dogs off leash. i have had to resort to walking around my neighborhood on the street instead of our greenbelt. This seems to work well as long as I do not walk down a culdesac in case a dog decides to lung out from his garage. I also have my dog wear a vest that says “in training” at all times when he is outside in public. This seems to detract people from walking up to him and just petting. They ask permission first.

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    • Hi Maria: I guess the “In Training” vest misleads people into thinking that he/she is a service dog in training? That could be complicated for us because we have the Canadian Guide Dogs training facility just around the corner! Wearing a muzzle tends to give a dog lots of space by most people. However, obviously neither of those ideas can do anything for an over friendly off-leash dog.


  5. Poor Ray and you! Stateside there is a growing and sadly dual phenomena of (a) clueless people approached dogs and (b) a project known as yellow ribbon campaign. Give Ray a nice big treat from us for being such a good boy. BTW, it’s perfectly ok for you to growl. 😉
    Check out: or this story: for details.

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  6. I follow a blog by Rumpy, an Alaskan Malamute and she blogs about this issue often. Her dog is friendly but unpredictable and strong and also a rescue. She often talks about crossing the street when she sees dogs off leash because it’s just easier.

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    • What the “off leash” owners don’t seem to want to acknowledge is that when two dogs meet and they clearly have an issue, they typically have the “flight or fight” options. They also don’t seem to grasp the concept that because their dog is friendly, every other dog will not necessarily love it! Putting those two aspects together and imagine an off leash dog rushing over to greet a leashed dog ….. and things are not very congenial (perhaps the leashed dog was rescued from a dog fighting facility), the leashed dog knows very well that he/she is leashed. That takes away his/her flight option! All he/she can do is fight as the other option does not exist. Nobody benefits from the end result.

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  7. Hi Colin, I truly understand how necessary it is for strangers to ask for permission from the owner or the dog before approaching them. Not every dog appreciates strangers. I too love dogs and when I am outdoors and I see a dog, I politely ask permission from the owner who then lovingly looks at his dog so as to introduce the stranger girl and then I pet him. 🙂

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  8. I hold my hand up to walking Maggie off leash wherever possible, BUT I am always wary of other dogs (and their owners), whether she knows them or not. I’m a sucker for dogs as you know, but I’m not daft, and will always ask the owner if I can say Hi. Most say yes, though a couple have suggested caution due to blind sides, and one has said No. That was because his was a rescue dog and he hadn’t had him very long, so was identifying his habits and didn’t want to take any chances. I understand and respect that.
    Years ago I saw a beautiful dog tied up outside a supermarket waiting patiently (and quietly) for its owner. I said hello, but didn’t make any attempt to touch it. When I came out, the dog was agitated, angry and barking at everyone within so much as a foot of it.
    We’ve had dogs on leads straining in our direction and yes, I agree a lot just want to play. As owners, we know our dog, but other people don’t and are wrong to assume that all dogs are sociable and will want to play with theirs.
    At the festival, all dogs were supposed to be kept on leads, but most weren’t, our included unless we were walking her in the town. We had the usual checking out of the sniffing equipment, tail ends and plumbing, but there was no trouble between any of them. It was as if they had their own set of rules for the event.

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