Author Topic: Please Don't Kick My Dog...  (Read 12115 times)

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AylaM

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #105 on: December 06, 2012, 04:34:25 PM »

All dogs are beasts, and the world "beast" is not derogatory; all children are not brats, but the word "brat" is always derogatory. 


Where I come from beast tends to have a derogatory connotation when used to refer to pets. Yes the dictionary definition fits dogs, but it is usually used when someone doesn't like your animal or the animal is brutish or violent. 

With that in mind, I think a more accurate description of the pet/kid thing would be someone calling your child an animal.  Humans are animals.  We're mammals.  But in most circumstances calling a person an animal is meant to be derogatory. 

I don't think kicking at the dog was at all helpful though.  And I think the OP did ok.  The woman was scared and acted out to protect herself I won't say she was terrible because she didn't actually kick the dog.  The OP was startled and acted out to protect her dog.  No one did anything too terrible and no lasting harm was done.

Wordgeek

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #106 on: December 06, 2012, 05:14:57 PM »
Enough with the side discussion on the word beast.  If you want to get into a semantics debate, go to a language board.


LilacGirl1983

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #107 on: December 06, 2012, 05:30:09 PM »
I guess my take is this:

Strange Women:

--saw big dog looking at her/trying to lead you to her
--did not know the dog was friendly
--did not know the owner
--did not know if it was under control
--did not know how long the leash was
--did or did not have a phobia
--in a public walk way that is meant for walking but dogs are there sometimes

--was 10 feet away
--backed up from the dog
--made kicking motions (strong or feeble doesn't matter)
--responded negatively to the OP's correction

Op I honestly think that the average non dog owner would know the "Friendly body language" to the "Aggresive body language to the dog" For a stranger to feel comfortable I believe she would need to know a lot of the above which would be impossible for a stranger to know. The lady would have had to make a lot of guesses in the short amount of time this incident happened. I do not believe she was aggressive since she did not approach your dog and try to kick it. She backed up when she did the motions. The intention I believe was in fear. What was her face expression showing? What was her body language telling you? Since human communication is more then just verbal communication.

I believe that a responsible dog owner should move the dog to the other side of him/her and rein the dog in even if they are friendly. When I owned a dog and saw someone coming towards me I would have moved our doggie (Alaskan malamute) to the grass area as long as it wasn't to hilly so that way I know we were a far enough distance away and makes for a better work out anyways. I know if a dog was approaching me I would back up as well and move around them. Was there any other space for her to safely backed up? I guess since there is so much we don't know ie body language its hard to say. If its a shared walk way I would have done my best to be respectful other other people since public walkways are meant for people and used. As for going to other places to walk. There might not be any other places to walk that don't allow dogs. In my town almost all side walks/walk ways besides indoor ones (if they are available) allow dogs..It is hard to find a place where you can completely avoid dogs..

TealDragon

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #108 on: December 06, 2012, 06:12:05 PM »
I am a longtime lurker, but I am a devoted pet parent and just had to respond. Basically, a threat against a furkid of mine is a direct threat to me.

I think the encounter has been over sensationalized by some. The dog did not lunge toward the woman or act aggressively in any way. They approached each other on a path. The dog wagged its tail and continued toward the woman, which was necessary so as to pass. It was not required or even necessary for the OP and her dog to veer off the path on the off chance that the approaching stranger is some psychotic dog-kicking nut or that this person is so terrified of dogs that she cannot possibly control her reaction.

Let me put it this way. I am certifiably, bat-poop crazy afraid of snakes to the extent that I cannot look at a picture of a snake. Any snake. Even one that is harmless. But that said, if a person out for a stroll with their pet rattlesnake was about to cross my path, my reaction would not be to threaten physical violence or yell at the snake owner. My reaction as a sensible adult would be to avoid the snake at all costs. I will grant you that my avoidance would consist of a world-record speed walk and a little hyperventilating. This past summer I was walking along a boardwalk and came across a man sitting on a bench while his 12 foot long python(?) was sunning itself in on the beach. I shuddered, quickened my step, and put the snake and its owner well behind me. The end. No need for theatrics or extraneous drama. No matter how great the urge to scream and run away, as an adult I am required to control my behavior.

The OP did not overreact and neither did she under-react. Part of being a responsible pet owner is protecting your pet from harm. If some nut started kicking at my dog, from ten feet away or not, I would defend my dog as necessary. The OP defended her dog appropriately. Kicking at a dog is a threat, fear is not an excuse. An unprovoked attack on a dog by a human is punishable by law. An owner defending their dog is also protected. If you cannot control your reactions to such an extent that you physically lash out at any perceived threat, imagined or not, than the onus is on you to deal with the consequences.

I did get a great laugh out of the posts that suggested that a woman in her 60ís is elderly and feeble. I canít wait to call my 61 year old, athletic mother with the news. Iíll call the Retirement Home and reserve my parents a room.  ;D

I pretty much agree with this. If you are so phobic of something that the only response you can muster is to let go of rational thought and let primal instincts take over that include an aggressive motion, it's totally on you to either find a better way to deal with your fear or avoid your fear. Being so terrified that you cannot manage a single word to explain what's going on to those around you (and really, to protect yourself) is an extreme reaction. If someone had this extreme of a reaction to my dog and started to kick at her/at the air 10ft away, I would be livid and I don't know that I'd manage to be as polite as the OP. Someone who has let go of rational thought to that degree is not capable of reliably evaluating the distance between herself and the dog. Even in our best states, most of us, when asked to say how far away 10ft is, would probably have to look twice and then give our best guess, which may or may not be accurate. In something that you feel is an emergency situation where your primary goal is to get the dangerous thing away from you, especially when it's due to a phobia, your mind isn't going to give the same level of concentration to evaluating distance that it would in a non-stressed situation. So this woman may have been aware that she was 10ft away, she may have thought she was 20ft away, or she may have thought she was 3ft away. We can't know exactly what was going on in her head. But knowing how people think and how phobias work, if I were walking my dog, I would know that she probably doesn't have an accurate idea of how far away she is and she might really intended to harm my dog.

So, I think you did great, OP. Calmly and politely stating that her actions were inappropriate and addressing her apparent concerns sounds like the perfect response. It's too bad that her response to that had to be further rudeness instead of anything that explained or apologized for her previous behavior.

lollylegs

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #109 on: December 06, 2012, 07:29:06 PM »
Like PPs have said, dog 'psychology' is second nature for some and a complete mystery to others.  As someone who's never owned a dog and honestly, just doesn't care for them, I probably wouldn't even notice the wagging tail and if I did, I wouldn't associate it with friendly playfulness.

I also think some of the dog-phobia conversation is getting a little blown out of proportion. I'm not dog-phobic, but I am a little afraid of dogs (I know how that sounds  :)  What I mean is that I'm afraid, but not deathly afraid).  If a dog lunged towards me, even if it was on a leash, even if it was friendly, even if the owner had it under control, I would freak out.  But I've never thought to avoid all places where I might possibly run into a dog and I'd be offended if anyone suggested that my fear wasn't real because I go to parks.

That said, my opinion is that both the OP and the lady are in the clear.  The OP seems to be a very responsible dog owner and the response is understandable.  Equally, I believe the lady's reaction was understandable.  Just one of those unpleasant encounters that happens sometimes.

peach2play

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #110 on: December 06, 2012, 07:39:46 PM »
OT but the snake on the beach thing would have had me walking on water away from it.  I can apparently levitate through the air when I see a snake as I am deathly afraid of them.  I have never, ever, in my life, tried to kick a snake. My flight instinct is very strong.  Perhaps this lady doesn't have a flight instinct, but a fight instinct and when she sees a dog she perceives as attacking she goes into fight mode and kicks.  Understandable...kinda. 

I see this as no different than a very sever (insert deathly) allergy.  If you are allergic to bees, you stay away from your local flower shops, large outdoor gardens and stick to more suburban areas where there is less chance of getting stung.  If you are allergic to peanuts, you stay away from Thai places, candy factories, peanut farms and bakeries.  Unless you are at work (which is a very different situation), if strong perfume triggers migraines, you avoid perfume counters, Bath and Body Works and any other really smelly place.  You do not throw rocks at a business simply because their products can hurt you.  It is the same with this lady.    There are plenty of places to walk where there is a smaller chance of encountering dogs.  No, walking to the grocery store and back isn't the same as walking around a wooded track but the exorcise is all the same.  She can't have her cake and eat it too.  She saw the dog coming down the path and only backed up a little, then acted aggressively and when called on her behavior acted like a small child about it.  If she is so scared that her first reaction is to hit/kick etc, then she needs to not put herself in that position.  I think the OP could have chosen her words differently and I would have said, "Did you just try and kick my dog?" but the lady bears 80% of the blame for not backing father away and kicking before seeing if the dog was out of control/aggressive.

I would also like to remind everyone that no where does it state that the dog was lunging.  At most, the dog turned towards the lady and took a step.  There is a very big difference between a lunge and a step.  A lunge would mean that dog had jumped at the lady, the OPs arms were extended pulling and the dog had reached the end of it's leash.  We see that no where in the description.  If the dog had lunged, then the lady's reaction would be far more understandable.   Excited walking (ie dancing or a small child hopping from one foot to another is vastly different than launching yourself at someone).

JoieGirl7

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #111 on: December 06, 2012, 07:46:47 PM »
I think the OP was very rude.

On one hand she says that she had no sharp tone when she spoke to the woman but on the other hand by her own admission she says that she was angry at her.
 
Obviously, the woman perceived a threat.  She was not a threat--not unless the dog was to come close to her.  She was certainly not trying to come to the dog.

It seems that the OP was insulted that the woman perceived her dog as a threat and responded by being rude to her.

On this thread it has been asserted that people should expect to come into contact with dogs on a walking trail.  Well, I think the same applies for dog-owners--you are going to come across people that feel that your dog poses a threat to them.

The OP also admits that her dog can be intimidating.

Whether or not this woman has a fear of dogs, certainly a 70 pound dog that is trying to get to her does pose a huge danger to her if he is able to.  The other way around--not so much.
 
Not only that, but how many times on this board do people talk about having hidden disabilities.  Maybe this woman was perfectly healthy, maybe not.  In any case, being older she has a greater danger of long range health problems if she knocked down by a large dog and injured.
 
Anyway, etiquette wise, I give the woman a pass because she obviously felt threatened by the dog and instead of being re-assured by the owner who should have known better, the owner became angry and lectured her.
 
The OP was in the wrong here.

wildkitty

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #112 on: December 06, 2012, 08:13:12 PM »
In what world can some jerk threaten a pet and be excused for their reprehensible behavior by, "Oh, it's okay. She was scared.". Really? Daring to blame the pet owner for protecting her pet? That sounds suspiciously like victim-blaming. Yes, the OP and her dog were threatened.

lollylegs

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #113 on: December 06, 2012, 08:20:40 PM »
I would also like to remind everyone that no where does it state that the dog was lunging. At most, the dog turned towards the lady and took a step.  There is a very big difference between a lunge and a step.  A lunge would mean that dog had jumped at the lady, the OPs arms were extended pulling and the dog had reached the end of it's leash.  We see that no where in the description.  If the dog had lunged, then the lady's reaction would be far more understandable.   Excited walking (ie dancing or a small child hopping from one foot to another is vastly different than launching yourself at someone).

I just went back and re-read the OP and you're right. I guess I pictured the dog lunging from the description the OP provided and kinda ran with it. My apologies for misquoting.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #114 on: December 06, 2012, 09:16:36 PM »
In what world can some jerk threaten a pet and be excused for their reprehensible behavior by, "Oh, it's okay. She was scared.". Really? Daring to blame the pet owner for protecting her pet? That sounds suspiciously like victim-blaming. Yes, the OP and her dog were threatened.

When people threaten to kick a dog or anyone or any thing for that matter, they usually move towards the object to kick it not away from.  The dog was nowhere near her.

But the dogs intent was to try and get closer to her.  Her actions were to try and get away from him.

The dog was the aggressor here.  Just because his intentions were friendly and hers were fearful doesn't make his aggression any less of a threat to her.

PeterM

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #115 on: December 07, 2012, 12:34:19 AM »
I think the OP was very rude.

On one hand she says that she had no sharp tone when she spoke to the woman but on the other hand by her own admission she says that she was angry at her.

So you believe the OP was lying when she said she had no sharp tone?

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #116 on: December 07, 2012, 12:43:03 AM »
I was angry, but I didn't yell.  If anything, my voice was pretty deadpan.  I didn't want the dog to take her actions as either a threat or an invitation to play, the latter being more likely.  The whole thing really came to nothing in the end; Daisy kind of sidled closer to me and looked confused/hurt, and we went our separate ways.  I probably should have put more space between us, but we had almost reached the part of the trail that was adjacent to the parking lot, and I was thinking about going home.

Isisnin

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #117 on: December 07, 2012, 01:11:06 AM »
I was angry, but I didn't yell.  If anything, my voice was pretty deadpan. I didn't want the dog to take her actions as either a threat or an invitation to play, the latter being more likely.  The whole thing really came to nothing in the end; Daisy kind of sidled closer to me and looked confused/hurt, and we went our separate ways.  I probably should have put more space between us, but we had almost reached the part of the trail that was adjacent to the parking lot, and I was thinking about going home.

I'm the same when I get angry, I speak levelly and dispassionately.   I say "Please don't..." instead of "PLEASE! Don't...". 

You handled the situation well.  You deescalated the situation by acknowledging and understanding her concern: "I understand you don't want to be jumped on or knocked down" and then by reassuring her that you had the dog under control, that you were leaving, and that she (the lady) was safe: "I've got her under control, and we're leaving.  She won't bother you.".  Well done.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #118 on: December 07, 2012, 01:33:24 AM »
As a dog owner, the onus is always on you to control your animal completely when you are out around other people.  And when people react in whatever way they do, it is up to you to keep both them and your dog, safe.

It doesn't matter how your dog would have interpreted the woman's actions because it doesn't absolve you of your responsibility to control your dog at all times.
 
Some people are more sensitive than others and some people are just nuts.  Either way, if your dog is under control you should simply ignore them and get on with your business.  The woman was afraid of your dog.  She posed no threat to your dog whatsoever and the only way she would have kicked your dog would have been if you had let your dog approach her further.
 
The only part of what you did that I don't agree with is taking her to task.  I think its a good thing to say "I've got him under control, he won't come near you."  Or something similar.
 
And I don't think you should avoid the track or anywhere else you would take a dog.
 
But, in light of a lot of the responses of this thread, some of which have gone so far as to suggest that a person who is afraid of dogs should not be in places where dogs might be, I think its necessary to point out that a dog owner is the one who needs to be more aware of people like this woman who are afraid of their pets.

Too many dog owners let their pets drag them over to people who do not want to engage.  Or, they don't act decisively enough to where the people around them are confident that they have their pets under control.

When you see that someone is backing away and is afraid, you should find a way to limit exposure. Some suggestions are really good like making the dog go to the other side of you.  I think one could also talk to the dog and direct him away from his intent.  Or even just stop and have your dog sit so while the other person gets some distance.

Ultimately, I think we all know that if something bad happens between a stranger and a dog and the human is hurt in any way, the dog is going to get the worst of it in the end.  So, it makes even more important to protect your dog by not engaging with strangers in this way unless it is absolutely necessary.  And when you do engage it should be all about you having control over the dog, not trying to control the human's behavior.

hobish

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Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #119 on: December 07, 2012, 01:56:36 AM »

No harm, no foul.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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