Well, I feel like an jerk now cause a girl freaked out at the sight of Eevee (my totally calm 40lb Border Collie/ACD mix) when she got too close, and was jumping around, shrieking and trying to hit her away with her sandals. This has never happened to me and I didn't have time to think about what to say, so I was truthful, but a bit harsh and I think I offended her AND her mother. Sigh. But she was taking swings at my dog and I just kindof reacted. DX

This pre-teen girl and her mother were standing on the property talking to Blake and his dad, and I just happened to walk past because one of the kittens out here was too close to the road and I was getting her. Both my dogs were following me like they always do, and Eevee sniffed at the girl as we walked past, and the girl FREAKED OUT and started jumping around and waving her arms wildly and screaming "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM! MOOOOOMMMMM OMG GET IT AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

When she started swinging with her sandals and scaring the crap out of Eevee, who was already confused by her reaction, I got Eevee away from her and reacted in my own way by saying, "You know, if you react like that to a dog who IS mean, you will scare it and it might bite you. Just don't be afraid, they can sense that and it scares THEM." Both she and her mother looked at me like I had just slugged the little girl in the face or something, and then her mother said something along the lines of it being totally fine to react like that to a strange animal. >-.-/span>

I took the kitten and my dogs and walk away feeling defeated, and like a complete arse. Neither Blake nor his dad said anything to back me up. In fact, Blake told me how harsh I sounded, after I walked away.

I still feel like crap... I just reacted the only way I knew how and didn't have time to think about it because it happened so fast. I was trying to protect my dog. Sigh.

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I agree with the thought that you really should not let your dogs go up to strangers and sniff them; some people are terrified of dogs and it's not right to force people to interact with them. My husband is notorious for just letting the dogs drift in on people. That said, once the girl was screaming I probably would have said something too, but kept it gentle: "He's friendly but I'm sorry he scared you. It's not a good idea to scream and wave things at dogs though because it makes it more likely that the dog will get scared, and scared dogs sometimes snap."

I more than likely would have done the same...we all have had instances where we "wish" we had said this or that instead of what we did say, but honestly, with the silly girl reacting like the dog was attacking her, a calm quiet voice may not have even been heard!  I get sick of the moms and dads with their kids out and about and the kids are acting up and mom or dad say in a nice sing-song-y voice "now Johnny, we don't twist the dogs ears while kicking it, we pet nicely"....you know what I mean!  LOL  So don't feel like a jerk, they were on YOUR property and the dogs live there too!  Let it go and forget about it:)

To me the sad part is that the Mom, having a fearful child, did not see you and the dogs approaching, which could have allowed her to handle the situation before it escalated.  Fear is a hard thing to deal with even for an adult. I have had a fear of insects since I was a small child and no amount of reasoning has made a dent in it!  Understanding that fear can be an  overwhelming experience may help you deal with it differently should the occasion show up again. You cannot get your message across in the presence of fear.  First the fear needs to subside.  In the moment you did not have the luxury of thinking it through and your feeling that you acted like a jerk may just be your awareness that your reaction was not getting you the intended effect.  Don't be hard on yourself,  no one here was at fault, but the mother could have been more in tune with her daughter's needs.

Kudos for sticking up for your dog, and I know that in hindsight you would have been a little more tactful. But it's difficult to be diplomatic in the heat of the moment! It's unfortunate that the mother didn't take the opportunity to educate her child in how NOT to behave around dogs, but if she said it was fine, then I'm afraid there's little hope for them in general.

True.  If I ever encounter them again, I'll probably end up apologizing for coming off as such a jerk, and reassure the girl that my dogs are really very nice.

They are regular neighbors, have their own dog, and we walk past each others' properties with our dogs all the time. They know we have dogs here.  The whole thing just lacked any kind of sense to me lol.

The whole thing was just a misunderstanding. I would just stress to the mom and the kid that while Eevee just shrugged off the screaming and sandal-flinging, had she been a less trained/more reactive dog, things could have panned out worse. It's never too late to educate folks about good dog-human relations!

Your previous comment to them will be water under the bridge. :)

I think you reacted appropriately. You're 100% right and the girl and her mother are *coughcough*, mainly the mother. I'm being harsh but... come on...defending your kids stupid behavior like that? Common sense, unfortunately some people lack it.
Since it's your property, if they ever come on it again make it perfectly clear you will not tolerate that behavior, and they will be asked to leave if it happens again.
I've snapped at people before because they don't listen or think they know something when they know nothing. I don't feel bad about it. I'm protecting my dogs, myself and them.
I'm coming across as a jerk haha, but there's nothing I fear more then someone doing something stupid and my dogs paying the price for it.

There may be a few other people in this world who have acted before they thought.

In 20/20 hinsight, I'd have put my dog in a firm sitstay, and invited the kid to meet my fuzzy friendly doggie and had him give me a kiss to show how harmless he is. 

In Real Life, I'd propbably have done what you did.

I have encountered 2 kids with an obvious pathological fear of dogs.  One (a teenager) was oddly hostle. 

If you see the kid again, maybe you can do a makover.

Wow, I was reading some of the replies and I must say that some of them surprise me.  This was in no way your fault Cheetah...dont let anyone say it was.  If the girl was phobic its the responsibility of the her or her mother to say...excuse me, Im really afraid of dogs....can you stay away?  I must applaud you for being polite....you dont even wanna know what would have come out of my mouth....and the tone would have been a little more than harsh. 

Dont feel bad about any of it....just be thankful Eevee reacted in the way she did.  Some dogs get scared and lash out.  So I for one give you snaps for keeping yourself under control!

I do not often participate in discussions, but this time I had to speak up. Please stop kicking yourself, you have no reason at all to feel like a jerk. Because those people have a dog, and live in a neighborhood full of dogs, that little girl's reaction was probably more likely because a little princess drama queen decided mommy wasn't paying enough attention to her, and mommies reaction is the reason the little brat thinks swinging her shoes at any animal is acceptable behavior. You reacted to somebody threatening own your animals, in your own yard, if it was a little harsh in the heat of the moment that's just too bad. Many dog owners, myself included would reacted much differently, and not by trying to educate. If someone threatens my dogs,(in their own yard no less) with physical harm, and I don't really care how old you are, or why you think you need to be afraid of my animals, you will be told what huge mistake you are about to make.    

Don't feel like a butt head; the mother is the arse!  Next time a strange dog may go after the swinging arms and catch her in the face.  Her behavior is so unacceptable around a strange animal it is not funny.  I do not think you over reacted at all.   

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