I was enjoying a peaceful walk in the park early this morning when the pleasant start to the day was shattered by a man with two Staffie types. My dog was on the lead and I had stopped to pass the time of day with the senior park warden.
Two men approached with two dogs, off lead. One, a small, fawn Staffie type approached my dog in a relaxed and happy manner but wasn’t confident enough to make contact with my dog or me when I stretched out the back of my hand to be sniffed. The dog glanced anxiously back at the owner. Meanwhile the other, larger dog was rigid with tension, the pilo erection extending throughout his hackles along his back. He looked very worried and had a tense face with a closed, tight mouth.
I was about to walk onwards to avoid potential problems when one man swung his leg out and kicked his dog squarely on the hip. Both dogs cowered and moved away.
I think that I was remarkably restrained under the circumstances, limiting myself to calling the man “a fool” for potentially setting off a fight, not to mention the injustice of kicking a dog. Boy did I unleash a mighty ego.
The man didn’t give a toss about what he was doing to his poor dog or what could have happened had he provoked re-directed aggression. He was incandescent at the thought that I had called him a “fool”.
Needless to say, the park warden was pretty astonished at his reaction too.
How sad that these poor dogs have to put up with this behaviour when what they need is some guidance and reassurance. No wonder the small dog is too nervous to approach and the larger one too frightened when seeing another dog is associated with a hefty kick.