The time and place for assertiveness

7:30 AM. I am about to finish my fourth and last loop around our apartment community. It’s a beautiful morning, with a lovely cool breeze and bright warm sunshine. Add to it our community’s green lawns, twittering birds and gorgeous terrace gardens in every other apartment and I’m in seventh heaven. I feel fresh and chirpy, ready to take on the world. Except the canine variety, as I am about to find out.

Despite my cheery state of mind, I’ve been walking for a half hour now, at a fairly brisk pace I must add, and am somewhat tired and distracted as a result. So I fail to spot the friendly neighborhood puppy, unleashed as usual, still at a safe distance from me. And I walk on, without a care in the world, entering the puppy’s ‘territory’ with my next few steps I suppose.

Said puppy bounds over playfully to greet me. She’s a friendly sort I’m sure, her little yelps and barks meaning ‘Good morning! What a pleasant day!’ in doggie-speak no doubt. Unfortunately for me, I don’t understand doggie-speak. So I stop dead in my tracks. And look around helplessly for the puppy’s owner. Said owner, flirting with the next-door neighbor, takes her own sweet time to amble over. Still, she’s nice enough to throw a lazy ‘She doesn’t bite!’ my way, halfway through her stroll.

Notice how every dog-owner earnestly believes this about their dog? ‘Maybe not, but I don’t want to be the first to find out you’re wrong!’, I want to yell back. A thousand different retorts rush through my mind. One of which goes – ‘Isn’t it a community rule to have your dog on leash at all times? I stay here too. Can’t I take my morning walk in peace?’ Now don’t get me wrong. I love doggies! I’ll even take your word for it if you insist they are adorable creatures. All I ask for is they stay outside a 10 foot radius around me. Is that too much to wish for, tell me?

But the best time to argue with a dog-owner is not when their dog is itching to throw herself on you and is being held back only by the owner’s smartly barked commands, I ruefully realize. And go home to lick my wounds. There are better ways to practice my assertiveness skills, I tell myself. I can always call up the community manager to make an anonymous complaint in the evening. From the safety of my home preferably.


30 responses to “The time and place for assertiveness

  1. Hope you are fine. Hope the said puppy is regretting.
    On a serious note, yes you are right. It is for the owners to take care that their passion for the pets does not come in the way of the normal lives of the people. Guess they never understand that not everyone thinks and feels the same way.

    Me: I don’t know about the puppy but I hope the owner will regret this… when I make my anon complaint. πŸ˜‰ After a few days of course. Don’t want the owner to know it’s me making the complaint – or next time she’ll ask the dog to bite instead of stop!!!

  2. It happens to me all the time. All these dog owners talk as if their dog is the most friendly in earth..oh he doesn’t bite…WTH!
    Once when I told one owner I am scared of dogs she looked at me like I was an alien(well I am an alien…..hehe) and walked away!

    Me: Yeah, they look at you with such shock when you say you’re afraid!!!

  3. Me too!! I am not scared of dogs but I don’t like them jumping on me or licking me. But their owners never seem to think there is anything wrong with that. I wonder how would they feel if I foisted my baby (hypothetical) on them and asked her to lick them on the face?? πŸ™‚

    Me: Hahaha… that’s a good one! Let’s train our babies (again, when they come!) to do that!!!

    BTW, how do you manage to reply to comments without adding to the number of comments? Every time I write a reply to a specific comment on my blog, it appears as an additional comment, thereby artificially inflating the number of comments to a post (good for my ego, i agree.)

    Me: πŸ˜€ I agree. It was great for my ego too, but I wanted to have a realistic picture, so I stopped. It was tough to make the decision, believe me!!! How do I do it? I edit the comments, simple! πŸ™‚

  4. Sure i am dead scared of dogs. I love them the exact same way when they maintain a minimum radii/diameter from me. My kids are just too dog frenzy and i am the other way. Take care.

    Me: Oh my God! Do they bring them home? My husband is dog-crazy too. I hope the kids (when they come along) don’t follow his example!!!

  5. I am very uncomfortable with dogs jumping on me or licking me, too. It’s indeed the owner’s responsibility to have their dog on leash in public places.

    Me: Someone tell them that!!! 😦

  6. Me too! I dont get scared or freak out but simply cannot continue walking peacefully when you someone is possibly lurking around you and may hop over or bite. I get so annoyed with dog owners who let their pets run without leash. And yes they all think their dog doesn’t bite. After all its an animal. Who knows how it will react, hell we cant even predict humans sometimes.

    Once a dog owner told a friend who was too scared and letting out screams as the dog tried to hop over her, “why u scared, u are much bigger than him”.
    What was he (owner) thinking???

    Me: I know! I mean, I can understand how the owners might feel sure their dogs are perfectly harmless. But why can’t they extend the same understanding to us on the other side? 😦

    • Hehe. This reminds me of another thing. They say if you have an eagle’s line on your palm, snakes won’t bite you. Now, how would the snake know that unless you show it? But is it a wise idea to hold your palm infront of King Cobra when it is prepared to strike? πŸ˜›

      Me: 😦

  7. Sad that your cheerful bright morning walk ended with a bad note like that.
    Hope the rest of the day was great for you.

    Me: πŸ˜€ It was! The walk was pretty good too actually!

    May be I did not picture it right, but did the dog pounce or just come by?

    Me: Pounce? Thank heavens no!!!

    If it was only for a brief second before the owner realized and took him back, then I am guessing it could not be that bad.

    I don’t have a dog, but believe that the tamed ones are usually the way the owners describe them. Didn’t have any bad experiences so far, except for some friendly licking ( that I don’t mind)

    Me: Unfortunately I don’t like the licking!!! Or even the sniffing… that’s my problem. And that’s what the dog was doing while the owner took her own sweet time walking over! 😦

  8. My dogs DONT bite! That is unless they think you are edible, which I assure you they do not. However, they dont go out without a leash. Besides we walk them when the whole world is asleep or watching television.

    Me: You are a cool dog owner Ritu! I don’t grudge you your belief in your dogs… πŸ™‚ as long as they are on leash of course!

  9. Pingback: My pet peeves « Just Speaking My Mind

  10. “Isn’t it a community rule to have your dog on leash at all times.”

    JnM, It is a rule in US to keep Dogs on leash when outside. Only place where Dogs can go unleashed is in Dog park and inside the house.

    You must complain to your community manager.

    Me: Yes, yes, I must must must!!! And I will too. Just tell that to the husband though. As per him, all dogs are actually harmless and I’m making a big fuss for nothing.

  11. ha ha … you arent a dog lover,eh? i have been bitten by dogs twice or thrice.. i still like them!!pups are cute ya! they dnt even have sharp teeth to cause any real damage!;)

    Me: πŸ™‚ Actually, I find dogs (except the very big ones) cute too! And puppies are yummy! I just hate them getting near me and sniffing and jumping on me. That scares me!!! I love to observe them from far though…

  12. hello? hello? where are you?? new post please.

    Me: 😦 Kya karu re… running really low on both time and energy these days. Work is getting horribly hectic, plus tied up with couple of other things and my poor blog is suffering. Will try to make time, promise! How have you been?

  13. Devaki…got a link to your blog through Usha. Amazing posts!
    True…dogs are typically like babies to thier owners who think they know them very well!

    Me: Hey, welcome Mythri! Sorry for the late reply… I’ve been off blogging for a while now. Glad you liked the posts!

  14. Mam where are you? No new posts since along time. Hope everything is ok.

    Me: Oh yes, everything’s fine. Just been a little busy lately. Thanks for checking Sumana. I hope to be back very soon!

  15. Hi, i am a new reader to you blog..ur post are terrific..i see so many common home, BMW, kids..and the exact reaction my folks had after attending the Lonavala Art of living session…will link you up..

    Me: They reacted like my parents? Is this thing gender-specific??? πŸ™‚

  16. ..and you promised you’d be back soon here! Not fair 😦

    I hope things are fine on your side. A one-liner is fine too. Please update gurl.

    Me: Yes.. yes.. yes.. yes! This time I wrote the post first and the promise later! πŸ™‚

  17. Stumbled across your blog. Congrats on the baby! πŸ™‚

    As to this post, now imagine how much fun it is to be walking a dog who isn’t overly fond of strange dogs. People think as long as their dog is “friendly” (I’ve never met someone who DOESN’T think their dog is friendly) they should let it run up to and harass people and other dogs. No, your dog needs to be on a leash, just like mine is, just like the law demands! I don’t care if he is friendly, unless we both agree that I want to be bowled over by your lab or allow your hyperactive golden to bounce into my dog’s face, just keep them under control at your side. Ugh!

    Me: Wow, I never thought a dog-owner would agree with me! πŸ™‚ I understand your pain though…

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