All Bark, No Bite

, , , , | Friendly | August 10, 2018

(I’ve just taken my geriatric golden retriever to a groomer within a larger store and, like most dogs, she is not happy about it. Before we reach the register, a small girl — maybe four or five — and her mother come out of an aisle.)

Girl: “PUPPY!”

Dog: *growls and turns away*

Girl: “Pet the puppy!”

Me: *I put my arm out to stop the girl from approaching* “I’m sorry, but I’d rather you didn’t pet her.”

Girl: “Why?”

Me: “Well, she just got a bath and she didn’t like it.”

Mother: “Why?”

Me: “Because she doesn’t like baths. So she’s grumpy and I don’t want your daughter to get hurt.”

Mother: “Does she bite?”

Me: “No, but she’s not in a good mood, and I’d rather she wasn’t provoked.”

Mother: “Are you threatening my daughter?”

Me: “No, I’m trying to protect her. [Dog] is old and just got a bath, so she’s not in a very good mood.”

Mother: “She’s fine. She’s good with dogs.” *to her daughter* “Go pet the puppy, sweetheart.”

Me: “Do not pet the puppy.”

Mother: “You have no right to tell my daughter what to do!”

Me: “And what happens if [Dog] does decide to lash out?”

Mother: “Why would you bring an a**hole dog to a public place?”

Me: “She’s not an a**hole; she’s old. F*** off.”

(I move to pass the two, keeping myself between my dog and the child. Just as we pass them, I turn to look back and see the girl reaching out to pet my dog.)

Me: “STOP!”

(My dog, as predicted, turns and growls at the girl, who recoils and starts crying.)

Mother: “Do not yell at my daughter!”

Me: “How many times do I have to say, ‘Do not pet my dog,’ before it sinks in?”

Mother: “She’s just trying to say hello!”

Me: “And I’m saying it’s not a good idea.”

Mother: “Well, [Store Manager] is a good friend of mine. I’m going to have you and your g**d*** dog banned!”

Me: “Okay, you do that.”

(I paid for my dog’s grooming and left the store. We’ve been back multiple times since, so I guess the woman wasn’t as high and mighty as she thought she was.)

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