This is a RANT
The socialization we do with the dogs should be required of all dog owners.
Tonight I was walking Waffle around our local park thinking about writing a post about how much I love our park in the summer and spring. There is year round softball which means the park is lit until 11pm, but in the spring and summer it is filled with tons of interesting people doing interesting things.
Well one of those interesting things attacked Waffle. We were walking our usual route when we came across this man walking his chocolate lab, I asked if they could meet and he said yes, there was another couple there with their little fluffy yappy dog (this couple ALWAYS picks up their dog when they see us walking by) down on the ground talking to the man and his dogs, so I figured the dogs where safe. The chocolate approached Waffle and then lunges and starts barking and snapping. Waffle, who was at my side backed up behind me, the dog jumps forward. I am trying to avoid his teeth, I back up trip over Waffle and fall into the street on top of Waffle.
Lucky for us neither one of us was hurt and this jerk is apologizing and I say 'hey if your dog is violent - don't take him in public' he says 'he's not' - which stops me cold, I wanna say 'what the bleep was that! Instead I just walk away until we are far enough away and check Waffle out. She was fine, in fact she was a little peeved that I wouldn't let her do her usual sniff of the park. I just finished the lap we were on and took her home - none worse for the experience.
After I had imagined all the evil things I would like to do to that fool, it occurred to me just how vital all the socialization we do with the dogs is. Waffle walks well around the park, not pulling and responding when I call her. I can let her meet kids, and she walks calmly when they ride their bikes, skateboards and scooters around her. She meets and greets other dogs appropriately, but I can not tell you how many of the other dogs at the park will lunge and bark as we go by. I don't blame the dog, but I should have known something was up, the dog had on a harness. I find that at this park most of the dogs who are out of control have harnesses on, their owners are digging in while their dogs are on their hind legs desperate to make our acquaintance. I think their owners think it will give them better control of their animals. We greet very few dogs at the park because I'm afraid of a fight, and actually this is the third time we've had some dog come up attack Waffle. I used to wonder why this guy in my neighborhood takes his walks with a piece of water hose, but after I had a lose dog come up and jump Waffle it made a lot of sense.
Had either of us been hurt, I would have sued to have his animals taken from him, people like that shouldn't be allowed to have animals.