Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer's Last Hurrah

An exchange today in the park..

The setting: a wooded park, next to a stream where Marge is dipping her feet and sniffing for stinky things.

The characters: myself, my sister and Marge, and a man and woman with a large Yellow Lab.

*woman begins to approach with her dog, who is pulling on the leash to come over to Marge* Woman: "Is your dog friendly?"
*with her approach, I begin to gather up Marge's 20' leash and move farther down*
Me (not wanting to go into the whole fearful dog spiel, nor thinking that I need to): "No, I'm sorry, she's not friendly."
*Marge, at this point, looks up at the Lab*
Woman (obviously mistaking Marge's apparent curiosity for wanting to come over): "Are you sure?"
*I now begin moving away more quickly as she is obviously not getting the hint*
Me: No. She is not friendly.
Woman: Well.. you could at least say it nicely!!!
Me (puzzled): Well.. you could ask before you start approaching!
Woman: I DID ask!
Me (not wanting to argue with this horrible example of dog ownership): Okay then. You have a nice day. *walks away*

I was appalled at this woman's pushiness.. yet, I was wrong for not allowing her dog to approach mine. People are so quick to question what a dog's owner says about it's behavior, yet if anything were to happen, who would be blamed? There are plenty of times where I do let Marge approach other dogs, but I know her triggers (large bumbly Labs are one of them) and I do not need a total stranger commenting to me in this manner. I was not rude, either.. I was moving away because she was moving towards my dog.

This was not our only problem today at the park.. before arriving, Marge had the displeasure of seeing our dreaded, scary neighbor from inside my car, and that set the mood for the subsequent trip to be tension-filled. She actually full-out reacted towards a man she saw in the park.. he wasn't paying her any mind at all, either. I believe this is a trickle-down effect, so to speak.. because any time she sees (and reacts toward) this particular neighbor, she is usually edgy for some time afterward.

Hopefully, with the colder weather coming, we can regroup, avoid these unwanted encounters and start off on the right foot into next year's Spring.

Now, I'd like to acknowledge a couple of my blog friends.

First, a very overdue thank-you to Rufus and Indie, who sent us a gift when we placed in their Summer Photo Contest. Marge finally got to try the biscuits they sent over to us for the first time the other day, and she certainly enjoyed them. Thanks again, guys! (And we're glad to see you blogging again after a long hiatus!)

We've also been tagged by Bijou to play in this game.

I don't do these all the time, but this one is just irresistible. We have to blog about a time where Marge stole human food that she wasn't supposed to get.

It's probably happened a couple of times.. reaching up to lick something on the table, pre-washing the dishes before they go into the dishwasher. But the most memorable time was when she stole my mom's bagel. My mom left her bagel on the counter and went to use the bathroom. I was going out the door for college, and didn't think anything of it. Well.. as soon as I left, Marge reached up and took a piece of the bagel. My mom came out of the bathroom to find her chowing down. So, yes.. Marge is a convicted countersurfer, and probably knows she shouldn't be doing it based on the fact that she always waits until everyone's gone to do it.

Fotunately, she pays no mind to the vegetables or bread (wrapped up, of course) that are often left on the counter.. it is only prepared foods, left completely out in the open, that catch her interest.

And so our summer ends. It was a roller coaster ride for Marge, thanks largely in part to the incessant fireworks and construction that continued all througout July and August and spoiled our walks. With the cooler mornings and nights setting in, I'm starting to see glimpses of my beloved "Winter Marge," who is much more carefree and happy than the summer version, who is bogged down by heat, humidity, and the constant threat of a loud noise or scary person to come our way. So, even though I hate watching the sun go down those few dreaded minutes earlier every single day, and I'm not thrilled with the prospect of returning to another 16 credits of college work tomorrow, I know I'll have my girl back soon, away from the demons that seem to haunt her the most when the sun is shining the brightest.


Dexter August 31, 2009 at 7:44 AM  

Sheesh! We used to have the same problem. Is your dog friendly? Uh, let's see, he is a 230 pound mastiff who is now stiff with his hair up giving your dog a glassy eyed stare, what do you think? Then sometimes they would actually stop and start yelling across the at my mom (dumb stuff like, "how much does he weigh?" "how much does he eat?") with their dog going all cracker dog at the end of the leash. How is a guy supposed to react to that?


BRUTUS August 31, 2009 at 7:47 AM  

We are really looking forward to fall too. Looking forward to being able to do things outside, but yes - the other dog-people of the world await us (things like what you recounted always amaze me... stupid humans!). As the temperatures cool, I can already see Brutus' energy level raising! I love my little cuddly, couch pototoe warm-weather Frenchie, but complained all summer that I wished he had more gusto. No he is starting to have it & I don't know what to do with it!! Two walkies yesterday, and still he is crazy dog!! Melatonin, anyone???

bordergirlsmom Kathy August 31, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

That is my personal pet peeve. Ya know I can not believe how some people just do not seem to be able to get it. The worse offenders that seem to not want to listen or control their dogs it seems are the ones with dogs that are the most likely to jump on my dogs. Perhaps I should run up and jump onto those peoples backs next time I see them and then if they are upset about my ruddness I will just tell them that I am just trying to be friendly, and if they are nice people,....they should enjoy that because we all know all people enjoy all other people playing with them, LOL.

Anna the GSD August 31, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

I'm wary of meeting new peoples but they think they have to reach out and pat my head and whistle and make noises at me. I don't like this. Mom tries to explain and it's like they just can't comprehend that I may not be that into them, so they try harder making me more pissy.

Good thing your mom warned that person. Kudos to her! I hate people who when asked if their dog is friendly says yes then they turn out not to be and snap at me...not cool!

Cool weather is coming! You don't have much longer!

Sue August 31, 2009 at 11:57 AM  

Tsar is so glad the mornings are cooler. He can't wait for cold weather and snow.

Cinnamon and Mint August 31, 2009 at 5:02 PM  

Thank goodness, food on the kitchen counter is out of reach of my Beagles unless it is close to the edge!

Astrid Keel September 1, 2009 at 6:09 PM  

My pet peeve is people who consistently let their aggressive dogs OFF LEASH! (There are accidents of course when a dog gets loose, but these dogs are always off leash). And predictably, these people have no voice control over their dogs. It drives me NUTS. I have problems controlling Brownie. That's why she's on a leash. How am I supposed to control her and the aggressive dog that is charging us when we're on a walk? And then the person takes his jolly good time getting to his dog that is jumping all over Brownie, jumping all over me, and getting her even more riled up. And then, he has the gall to tell me "oh my dog NEVER does that... sorry..." Yeah right... Urghhh...

Hope you don't run into that woman again!

Scout and Freyja September 2, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

Our dogs rely on us to protect them. We keep them warm, fed, we take them to the vet when they don't feel good. We are also responsible for their behavior because a bad call by us could lead to our dogs being taken from us by the authorities. You did the right thing and you made the right call.

The only thing I would have done differently would be to have told the lady right away that my dog wasn't all that fond of making new friends 100% of the time.

Bijou September 2, 2009 at 1:49 PM  

Hi Marge,

Some hoomans are totally clueless. We are surprised the woman even asked if you were nice. That doesn't happen much around here.

The other day we were out walking and a Boxer that was tied up in front of a house across the street, bolted to the end of its chain, broke his collar and then came charging across the street at me and Banjo. Mom immediately got between us and the big dog and started yelling at the woman in the yard to come get her dog, NOW! The woman takes her sweet time walking over to where we were, all the while explaining that her dog is nice and only gets in fights with other big dogs. Yeah right. Then why was he looking at us like we were two little doggy snacks for him to gobble up. The woman finally got ahold of her dog, only cause mom told her to, and we quickly made our way down the sidewalk.

Clueless I tell ya!

Wags & wiggles,

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart September 2, 2009 at 6:36 PM  

We run into this all the time. Now, I typically say something like, "She's afriad of other dogs," which often creates empathy rather than angst, but then some people will say, "My dog is friendly."


It doesn't matter how friendly. In fact, the SUPER friendly dogs really freak Lilly out.

Martha September 3, 2009 at 3:45 AM  

We really do wonder about humans sometimes! We had a lady the other day who stopped our mum and said she couldn't remember what we were but she remembers when we were in fashion!!!!!!!
We are also looking forward to Autumn in the UK it is our favourite time of year - if only the rain would stop!
Martha & Bailey xxx

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