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February 21, 2008

Last week, while walking Lilly in town, a poodle crossed our path in a bad way. We came through the encounter just fine, but it made me worry about how many people truly have no clue what’s at the end of their leash.

On our approach, I moved Lilly to my right side away from the oncoming dog. I rewarded her for looking at the dog, then at me. But, when the other dog stopped and dropped into a crouch, I kept Lilly focused on me. Now, I’m used to seeing herding dogs crouch, but a poodle? That’s a little weird. It looked aggressive to me. So, I swung a little wider and kept Lilly focused on me.

As usual, everything about my body language said, “Go away!”, but this woman let her dog lunge right at us as we passed. I think she might have been trying to practice a stay right in the middle of the path, but she seemed surprised that her dog lunged. I wasn’t, however. So, I blocked it with my body and kept moving.

Once we passed, Lilly began jumping straight up in the air. She often does that after a tense moment to blow off steam. So, I repeated over and over, “Who’s my brave girl?”

Lilly was totally fine. She worked her program, stayed focused on me. She didn’t give the other dog a second though. Excellent job.

But, as I hinted at last week, I had a series of crises come at once. My patience was worn thin. So, I finally turned to look at the woman and said, “My dog is terrified of other dogs. Especially when they jump in her face.”

The woman apologized. Fine. She’s clueless.

But, I’m beginning to think I should go back and buy a leash I saw during our class at that shopping district a couple weeks ago.

It was bubblegum pink, and in black script it read “One of us is a B*tch.”

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. Check back next Weds (2/27). I found a site with a whole bunch of leashes from that series, and some of the phrases are quite funny.

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