Thursday, January 19, 2012

Four Words I Hate To Hear

A little background.  We arrive and are settling in nicely.  I'm out walking the dog, along the road, within a few houses of home.  I'm at the corner when the neighbor pulls into his driveway and out jumps his passenger.  I can hear her telling Bob, the neighbor, "I have to go say "hi" to the dog."  "I can't wait to meet the dog."  She is literally jumping for joy as she heads toward Titan and me.  She doesn't ask if it's okay to say "hi" or meet the dog, she just comes bouncing along, all excited and talking like she has had way too much caffeine already.

Me:  "You can meet him but he has to be polite."  Fat chance of that, Titan is just as bouncy as she is.

Her:  "Oh, sure."  She doesn't, however, wait for him to calm down or sit down, she just comes running up talking rapidly in a high, excited voice and waving her hands all around.  "You're beautiful, what's his name, how old is he" blah, blah, blah.

Me:  "Titan, sit" (yeah, right)  "His name is Titan, he's 2."  "Titan, sit"  (still no luck)

Her:  as she kneels down to see him face to face  "He's very friendly" as he's trying to jump in her face. 

Me:  "Yes, he's very people friendly but he isn't great around other dogs."

Her:  Here they come, my least favorite words to hear coming from a stranger's mouth, especially one that just met me and my dog.  "I'm a dog trainer." 

Me:  (thinking to myself)..."Great" with much sarcasm  "He's usually better behaved."

Her:  "Well, that thing on his face is clearly cutting off the circulation."

Me:  (to myself)..."You're a dog trainer and don't know what a gentle leader is???"

 Her:  "Do you take him to the dog park?"

Me:  (again, to myself)..."Didn't I just tell you he isn't great around other dogs?"  "No, we don't take him to the dog park."  

The dog park generally has several dogs running around off leash.

Her:  "What about the dog beach in Venice, do you take him there?"

Me:  (to myself)..."What part of the "I'm a dog trainer" in you doesn't understand the part about "he's not great around other dogs?"  "No, we don't take him to the dog beach, either, he isn't great with other dogs."

The dog beach, which has dozens of dogs running around off leash, is reached by going through the dog park, which also has dozens of dogs running around off leash.

Her:  "My dog helps me train dogs." 

Me:  (to myself yet again)..."Perfect, that's just perfect!"  "Oh, that's nice."

Her:  "You know, it's really important to socialize your dog." 

Me:  "Yeah, I know.  We work on it when we're home."

The entire time we are talking, she's very animated, talking a mile a minute and Titan never once settled down, just kept acting like an overexcited dog trainer on crack.

In my limited experience, the dog trainers I know and have worked with always teach the importance of asking permission to meet a dog.  They teach that if the dog is not calm and relaxed, it doesn't get any attention.  Two strikes for you "I'm a dog trainer" lady.  

The property she is occupying was vacant last year, which was perfect as it backs up to our property.  I'm convinced that she is being passive, aggressive about allowing her dog to "help" Titan.  We go outside and shortly after that, she comes out with her dog (a very calm, uninterested in us dog, I will give it credit).  She lets her dog out off leash and I see her chasing/following it through our yard and around the neighborhood.  Bill saw her walking her dog, on a leash, through our yard just past the flags for the invisible fence.  I figure she is putting her dog's scent in our yard so Titan can pick up on it and get used to it.  

It's going to be an interesting three months.  

Thanks for stopping by...

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