We were walking in a public park near dusk. As always, I had the girls on their leashes for the safety of the public. We had just made a loop around the basketball courts and were heading home, when up ahead we saw a man with a large yellow lab. Neither one of them were on a leash. Seeing us, the dog ran toward us, tail wagging furiously.
I began to back away and grabbed Biggie’s collar to get some added control, but it was too late. She started snarling and lunging as the strange dog approached. The yellow lab seemed perfectly friendly but too dumb to read Biggie’s signals.
Then they were in each other’s faces, the lab sniffing and Biggie snarling. The man finally broke into a run, but he was still 20 yards away. By that point, Josey was growling anxiously and Bigs lost her mind. She leapt at the lab with both feet. I could see how it would happen if she bit the dog. She would be the aggressor and this big dumb lab would be a hapless victim. There were no witnesses to vouch for the fact that we had been minding our own business when an unleashed dog approached us.
I shouted at the dog, at his owner, and finally reached in to push the lab away. That’s when I got this:
Of course, in the aftermath, the man ran up and apologized. “I’m so sorry! But my dog is really nice,” he said.
“My dog isn’t,” I said. “And this is a public park. Your dog needs to be on a leash.”
“But my dog really is nice.” That was his only reasoning behind bringing his dog to a public park without a leash. Because it’s nice.
Even then, he was standing there stupidly, not pulling his dog away, while Biggie continued to bark and lunge, and I struggled to contain her.
“But my dog is really nice,” he said plaintively.
“Get your stupid nice dog away from my mean dog before something bad happens!” I shouted.
By then we had witnesses from the basketball court, and the guy took ahold of his dog’s collar and led it away. Over his shoulder, he tried one last time, “I’m sorry! But my dog is really nice.”
What is it with nice people and their apologies? All the time I have to deal with nice unleashed dogs and their owners’ apologies. If they were really sorry, I don’t think they’d let their dog out in their front yard to run down to the street and set off my dogs’ anxieties repeatedly. From now on I’m just going to assume that “I’m sorry” means “Hahaha! I don’t give a shit!”