The Four Most Terrifying Words

June 26, 2013  

Not all dogs want to be BFFs with total strangers

By Kirstyn Northrop Cobb

I’m a beach person. I love the beach, I love the water, I love the sounds of the water, I love the gulls, I love almost everything about the beach. So, naturally, I live near a beach and frequently take my dogs down there for some time on the sand and maybe a dip in the water. But, every so often on our outings, I hear four words that terrify me: “It’s OK, he’s friendly.” Usually that means that someone has their dog off leash, despite leash laws, and the dog is no longer under the person’s control and is probably charging right at us.

Why is that terrifying, you ask? Well, because one of my dogs is not always friendly. He loves people, and he likes some dogs; however, he does not like all dogs. And I accept that. I get along with most people; however, I have met people that I don’t like, so, really, should I expect my dog to like everyone? Especially a total stranger dog who is barreling down on him? Usually, I can body block my dog and avoid an uncomfortable situation, however, it would be nice if people didn’t just assume that every dog was ready to be their dog’s best friend. I attempt to explain this; some people get it, some people get angry and stomp off in a huff. Either reaction is fine, as I hope that the people learned something.

So, next time that you go to speak those four terrifying words, please remember that, although your dog may want to be BFFs with everyone, not all dogs do.

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