Ask before you pet someone's dog!
So, as every follower of this blog knows that I have a dog named, Bucky. And he’s a sweetheart, often reminds me and my friends of actual Bucky Barnes with his emotions and mannerisms.
And he’s also adorable. So, I completely understand why people want to pet him or touch him, and just coddle him. I get it. But my dog suffers with anxiety when outside! He stays beside me, literally walking under my feet because he hates crowds and loud noises. He’s skittish outside, but I got to walk him because he’s a dog and needs exercise. I love waking him, don’t get me wrong, some of my best moments with Bucky is outside at his favourite places. I just don’t like that people, strangers, feel like they have some kind of authority to touch my dog… without my permission!
I get it. I’m young, and people think they exceed some kind of authority over me anyway. But he’s my dog, I know him and I’d just prefer if people asked to touch my dog before they do it. A simple, “hey can I pet him?- is he okay to pet?”. Instead people, I don’t even know, come up and just pet him.
He’s a small dog, I feel like that’s another tipping point. He’s small so he can’t hurt me, a lap dog. I’m not saying Bucky is vicious or will bite, he isn’t like that but put into a position, a situation where HE feels like he can’t get out of; well, I can’t say he won’t bite. He wouldn’t but he’s a dog, if he feels threatened or scared, his reaction, basic reaction is fight or flight. And honestly, most of the time it’s a quick walk around my neighbourhood with him, he doesn’t get let off the lead because he usually doesn’t even want to leave my side anyway.
I’m writing this rant because some woman, who o don’t even know, decided it was a good idea to come up behind me… didn’t make herself known to me at all… and pet my dog. Bucky was sat beside my leg, I was busy reading the menu to the smoothie stand near my house. And she scared my Bucky so much that he yelped (he’s a dog where if he doesn’t like something, he’ll let you know about it!). Instantly I knelt down, noting the woman, who was laughing as if it was funny. I picked him up, only Bucky was scared and just in panic mode that he didn’t recognise me at first, he scratched up my arm and chest, plus neck. I am so sore but I’m not even worried about me.
The woman then said “Oh what a little whiner!” And I like to think I’m a nice person, I don’t like conflict and I rarely let people know they’re idiots directly. But my inner protectiveness came out and I said something I really shouldn’t have and walked off, didn’t even get my smoothie btw, I just walked off not caring that I had hurt the woman’s feelings because my dog was curled in my arms, whimpering! Bucky was whimpering.
I know the woman meant no harm, I really do. But this happens a lot, more than it should. And this is just me, a simple dog owner of a loving, beautiful dog that gets anxious in the outside world.
Please, please ask before you pet someone’s dog!
If she asked, I would have picked Bucky up and made him as comfortable as he could for a simple pet. Once he gets a little familiar, he’s okay. Like any small dog, they’re anxious of *new* people in the outside world. They aren’t in their home, where they’re comfortable and safe. So, please, take a second and ask if it’s okay. You’ll be making my dog, millions of other dogs, plus the owner who loves them dearly a lot less anxious when walking. Thank you. - Rosalee