We’ve all done it. Scrolling through our timeline on Facebook, seeing all the pictures and news stories others have shared, and then you come across something which makes you stop, read and pay attention. Today, it happened to me. This is the infographic I saw:
This instantly flashed me back to when we’d just welcomed Jaina into our home, I’d collected one of my daughters from school and we were walking home through the park. I thought it would be a nice walk home but that wasn’t to be the case.
My Jaina Proudpaw is a lovely dog. Very friendly, calm and a real family dog. She is also very obediant and has excellent recall. However, even when I am out walking around the park, which is in a very urban and residential area, she remains on her lead for the duration. There are always other dogs and walkers in the park and, especially at the end of the school day.
On the day in question, there were lots of other dog walkers in the park, most of which were on their leads or were walking past people and other dogs, minding their own business. Suddenly, 2 chocolate labs came bounding along the path, off their leads, and started to harass Jaina. It was like a tag team! One dog sniffed her butt, the other one was sniffing her body and then they changed over. Jaina was very visably scared. She tried to sit down, was growling and was trying to move away (attemping to keep her butt on the floor). The owner, who was an old lady, took about 5 mins to get to her dogs, who were not responding to calls or anything. As she approached all I got was “oh, no need to worry, pet. They are really friendly and just want to say hello”.
On this occasion, it was painfully clear that Jaina did not appreciate the intrusion and was showing signs that she was not happy. Yes, she did end up reacting to one of the dogs (she only barked, hackles raised) but it could have been a lot worse. And I was the one who got a dirty look because my dog snapped at her dog. Please tell me why it was my fault?! School closing time, park full of people, kids and other dogs and I’m calmly walking my dog on her lead, not getting involved in anything.
To this day, I know that Jaina isn’t too keen on going in the park because she does slow down when approaching it. It’s a shame because its a nice park with loads of space.
Some dog owners need to realise that not all dogs are ok with others. Just like people, for whatever reason, a dog may need some space. There are some wonderful organisations out there whos aim it is to highlight this. One such organisation is Space Dogs and is UK based. Space Dogs uses the yellow ribbon idea, which originates from Australia. Basically a dog wearing yellow needs some space, whether it be a yellow ribbon or specifically designed “I need space” jackets. If anyone feels that they would benefit from something like this, please get in touch with them. If Jaina was a nervous dog, or a dog in training, this little incident could have been a lot worse but if she’d been wearing a yellow ribbon and the owner knew what it was about, it wouldn’t have happen.
Please spread the word and help others understand what it means to be a responsible owner.