Thursday, February 03, 2011

I just had an odd interaction with a stranger at 1:30 in the morning. I was taking my dog out for his Before Bed Bathroom Break. Now, psnuggs can be unpredictable. He'll ignore some people and go after others, so I never know what mood he'll be in. But I do know that if people get too close, he gets nervous and on the defensive. I have a new leash and let him wander farther than the old one let him. I saw a guy getting out of his car, so I started to reign The Professor back in. He'd gotten ahead of me and tangled on the railings of the walk way. I wanted to tell the guy to wait until I'd gotten my dog away, but I didn't. I should have. Although my dog was on the outside of the walk way, it was an odd angle because the leash was wrapped around a pole. The guy passed by closely, and Professor lunged at him. I held him off and the guy continued on. We went about our business. A few minutes later, and in a different part of the complex, this guy approaches me. He asks my dog's name and then lets me know that Professor bit him. No skin was broken because he was wearing 2 layers of clothes (it's currently snowing in a part of the country that rarely sees snow), but he wanted to let me know that "that's not cool" and "some people could be litigious."

What does that mean? What was the purpose of him tracking me down? Why didn't he say anything right away? I was truly sorry my dog went after him. Going forward, when we're in a situation like that (close quarters) I will ask the person to stop until I have secured my dog. I do not want anyone hurt. I was completely mortified that this guy was bitten, but I was curious as to his approach. It seemed he wanted more than an apology. But he wasn't really asking for anything. Maybe he just wanted me to know? I'm not sure. He specifically said the word "litigious" twice. And he made sure he knew the name of my dog. I totally understand and don't begrudge him if he reports the incident to the apartment complex. But I wanted to ask him what he wanted to get out of his approach. There was no way to do this without him thinking I was being defensive. What would I have even said? "Can I help you with anything else?" I apologized, but that's really all I could do at the moment. No clothes were ripped. He wasn't hurt. It was just weird that he didn't say anything in the moment, and that he waited a few minutes and walked to a different part of the complex to talk to me.

I don't know what it was like for the first year of my dog's life. I know he was born and raised in a humane society. I saw the conditions in which he lived. I'm sure there was no abuse, but I'm also fairly certain there was neglect. And most likely fighting with other dogs. He's ferociously protective of me.

In the future, I will definitely request that the approaching person wait until I have my dog a safe distance away. A voice in my head kept saying "Ask this guy to stop until you've untangled the leash" but I didn't. I can't go back and change that. I'm glad that guy wasn't hurt. And I'm still curious as to his reasoning for coming after me. It may have been just to make me aware of the situation. But there seemed to be something else he wanted either to say to me or for me to say to him.


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