In daily walks around the neighborhood, I've been impressed by the doggie-knowledge of some of the children who've stopped to talk. Anywhere we go, most children ask if they can pet the dog--or their mothers make them ask--before approaching. Twice I've encountered boys who have clearly done some training, as they knew how to gesture and command "sit" and "down," even as Miro tried to leap forward to greet them. One even put his hands down and turned away until Miro calmed, just as we're told in obedience class.
The adults are another story. I live near two parks, both of which have signs saying that dogs must be kept on leash. In both parks, people let their dogs off leash. Last week Miro and I were crossing the schoolyard attached to one park when a young pit bull came charging at us from the opposite side of the field. I had seen him running loose but the owner had leashed him as we entered the grounds. The pit bull was trailing a flexi-lead and I put my foot on the lead while extending the hand holding Miro's leash as far as possiblle from the other dog. So there I was trying to make my arms and legs as long as possible between two dancing dogs, the pit bull wrapping the flimsy flexi-lead around my leg and his owner toddling along toward us, calling her dog who was completely ignoring her. Wouldn't you be in a flat-out run if that were your dog? Did I mention that we were not far from a street?
When she finally got to us and I was trying to unwind myself, I said that a flexi-lead is not a secure leash. She said, "I know. It broke in just a couple of weeks. I'm going to take it back and get a new one." It says right on the packaging for those leashes that they're not meant for strong dogs who pull. Stupid! It that had been a hostile dog, I might not be here writing about it.
Yesterday in the other park, we encountered a hostile human on a trail. Since it was a sunny day, there were lots of people in the park and on the trails. Ahead of us was a large woman not paying much attention to her blue heeler mix that was some distance behind her. I put Miro in a sit when the dog turned around and came toward us and I called, "Will you please control your dog?" Like the other dog (and all the off-leash dogs I've encountered) this one ignored his owner when she called him. As she approached, I said, "This isn't an off-leash area."
She yelled at me, "Well, if you're going to have that kind of attitude, I'm not going to work with you at all."
I said, "I'm not asking you to work with me; I'm asking you to obey the rules."
She yelled, "F--- you, bitch!" and a few other choice words before turning and marching away, ignoring her dog who was ignoring her.