This morning I continued my search for the ever elusive bicycle pump in my garage of horrors. My little guy ventured out onto the driveway to ride his scooter and within seconds he was running at me with the fear of God in his face and not far behind him was the neighbor’s dog going twice as fast. Just then the neighbor yelled at the dog to get back to him and the dog obeyed.
I couldn’t help but give a look of disappointment that must have spoke volumes because the neighbor said defiantly “It’s just a damn dog!”. I wanted to remind him of the village leash laws but, whatever, I quickly move to the back of the house with my terrified little guy and choose to ignore the neighbor and his opinion for today and try to comfort my kid instead.
I know, dear neighbor, it IS just a dog. But this dog and my child are just about the same height and he was not expecting his approach. Imagine if an animal that was 6 feet tall was suddenly running at record speed toward you, bearing its teeth and drooling. Would you wait for it to approach you with a smile on your face and pet it or run like the wind in the opposite direction? I know I would hightail it out of there as fast as I could.
So, before you scold my kid for being afraid of the dog, take a moment to see it from his perspective and maybe you would be a bit more understanding.
Oh, and I hope that at some point in your life a 6 foot tall ferocious animal does charge at you and I hope I am there to see it.
I know what you mean- glad you said it! I hate when I’m running and a dog runs out at me, barking feociously. How am I supposed to know that they have an invisible fence – the sign isn’t visible until way after my fight or flight system kicks in!
I completely agree, Tina. It is a natural response. Invisible fence or not, I’m crossing the street and playing it safe.
would it have made a difference if the dog didn’t look or act mean? just wondering….
Oh, yes! If that dog had trotted happily up to him, it would have ended much differently. My point was not that the dog was “bad” for scaring my kid, but that from my son’s perspective, the dog was terrifying at the moment as it charged toward him. Have you ever flinched as a bug, like a butterfly, startled you by suddenly appearing next to your face? Is the butterfly dangerous? No, but its sudden appearance was scary for a split second. Again, it is all a matter of perspective.
Not disagreeing, just wondering. Yes, it’s always scary when an unleashed dog approaches-kid or adult!! I also agree it’s not a case of the “bad dog”, it’s the owner’s attitude -“bad owner” -after that I think made the biggest imact.