I think one of my favorite things to do in the summer time is walk my dog. Mainly because I know how much he LOVES it. It is very routine in our house, after the kids go to bed Juice will start giving me the “please mom” look. As soon as I grab his leash and give it a little jiggle, he is stuck to me like glue and follows me everywhere in the house till I am ready to go.
Unfortunately, this summer I have been getting annoyed with other people and their dogs, and one night a couple of weeks ago took the cake and I came home feeling deflated. More on that to come…
Juice and I have a standard walk that we do. We are fortunate to live by a lovely creek with an amazing walking path. I love it as most of our walk we don’t have to worry about crossing streets and driveways. However, for some reason people feel that they should let their dogs go off-leash in the creek. I wish people would realize how dangerous this could be. How do you know if my dog is friendly towards other dogs. Of course Juice is super friendly, well socialized with other dogs and has never got into a fight. However, my dog is one tough cookie. His toy of choice is a 40 pound rock. Have you ever seen those strong man competitions where they flip over the big tires. That is how Juice plays with his rock. And, he also has a 100 pound American bulldog for a girlfriend. I think he could hold his own if he needed to. So you get your little chihuahua off-leash that comes over to my dog and tries to bite Juice, I have no problem with my dog retaliating. However, then my dog gets the bad wrap because he is a bully breed.
Anyway, we have dog parks, take your dogs there if you want to go off-leash please. We have city bylaws that your dog needs to be on a leash in public – follow it people. I have had multiple encounters with walking Juice and dogs being off leash, but most dogs are friendly and socialized. However, I have had two scary situations now with other dogs. The first situation happened last year. I was walking Juice and we were in the residential part of our walk. I look over on the other side of the street, and there is a big, big Rottweiler. Did I mention that he was big? And then I notice he is off-leash and his owner is nowhere to be seen. Fantastic! Of course, it had to be a Rottweiler, couldn’t have be a sweet, innocent little shitzu. So this dog looks up at us and lets out this low, strong “woof”. And starts heading towards us. I was like OMG, this is a big dog, we might as well call him a bear because he was that big. I kept walking to not alarm Juice and he starts following, so I turn around and strongly say “stay” and put my hand out. And sure shit, the dog listened. Halleluiah! I really didn’t have a backup plan, so glad that worked. We got to the end of the street and the dogs owners had come out to get him.
After that night, Mark and I discussed what I should do in the future if we are approached by a dog. I am glad we talked this through as this helped with my encounter a couple weeks ago. So per usual, Juice and I were on the path. I always stay to the far right of the path, and Juice runs on my right in the grass. That way we aren’t taking up much of the path, and any leashed dogs we pass on the path are far enough away from Juice that we can carry on our run undistracted. So, we are jogging along and we approach a mom with two little dogs, and her daughter around 10-12 years old is walking with an English bulldog (on leash). We jog by them, but then the bulldog decides to lunge at Juice. Since I am in between them, I get tripped by the bulldog/ bulldogs leash and go flying into the grass. Luckily I still have the leash in my hand, but the girl lost control of her leash when I tripped on it. The bulldog lunges again at Juice, and not a nice, please let me smell your butt, but a teeth showing, biting growling encounter. I think I tried to kick the bulldog, he lunged at Juice again, then (the pg version) of what I yelled at the owner was “Control your dog or I am letting go of mine”! This is what Mark and I had decided on if we ever got into this type of situation, and also what they had taught us at obedience class. First, in this instance, me holding Juice back is actually causing him to be in an aggressive, defensive state. I wouldn’t care if the other dog was being controlled by his owner and couldn’t physically injure Juice. I would hold on for dear life to him. But that was not the case, he was in our faces. Also, I am not going to give the other dog the advantage and beat up my dog because I am restraining him. Luckily, the owner got ahold of the bulldogs leash and she apologized. I couldn’t even look at her, I just got up and continued jogging. I stopped a bit later and made sure Juice was ok. I actually didn’t start crying till I got home and saw Mark. Anyway, in this case, the dog was on leash, but really, bulldogs are strong, a 10 year old should not be walking it if they can’t control it.
It just sucks because I am now a bit paranoid to go out with Juice. I was lucky I wasn’t hurt when I fell down and lucky Juice wasn’t hurt. I will still continue on my adventures with Juice, but I will definitely be more cautious now.