When I was young my siblings and I used to care for lab puppies, destined to become seeing eye dogs. We only had each one for a short time, our job was to socialize them and make them calm and comfortable in public and social situations before they went into formal training. Part of this involved taking them out in public and teaching them to not engage with other people who tried to get their attention; they needed to concentrate on keeping their owners safe in traffic and stuff, so they could.not.get.distracted. This is not easy, because as Prudence and her LW says, people LOVE to coo over dogs, especially puppies.
We would politely tell people to please not pet or distract the puppies, as they were in training. We got used to people getting grievously offended that they couldn't coo over the dog. We got used to grown
people getting in our faces (we were children!) and screaming at us because how DARE we take dogs out in public and not let people pet them. We got used to people yelling at our Mother about what brats we were for being 'selfish' with our puppies. We even had a woman try to call the humane society on us once because she felt we were abusing the dogs by 'depriving' them of affection.
Seriously, a lot of people think that if you take a dog out in public, then it is fair game for them to lavish attention on it. Prudence sounds like one of these people.
She often misses the points in the letters she gets. I remember reading a letter once she got from a woman who was clearly southern; she didn't say it, but her letter was sprinkled with clues that indicated she was southern, had married a man who was not southern and had moved out of the American south. She wanted to teach her young son one particular southern habit---saying yes Ma'am and no Sir to adults, and was being undermined by other adults who insisted that he didn't have to say that to them. If you've ever lived in the south, this is something all southern children learn. If your parents don't teach it to you, other adults will, and no one will object. Southern children who don't use these terms are considered extremely ill-mannered, and this woman wanted her son to learn this habit.
The woman was basically asking for a nice way to state 'please don't undermine my parenting decision'---a question that would have been great for this board, actually. Prudence basically told her to lighten up and quit trying to turn her son into little Lord Fauntleroy, betraying the fact that she had no understanding of southern culture. After that I stopped reading Prudence.