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It Costs Nothing To Be Nice, Dude

, , , , , | Friendly | May 8, 2022

I live in an apartment building. I call the elevator to go up to my floor. Heading in before me is a girl around seven years old, and coming in right behind me is a rough-looking dude with a rottweiler dog. The moment the man enters the elevator, the little girl screams and frantically grabs my arm.

Me: “Hey. What’s wrong?”

Girl: *Stammering and near panic* “D-dog!”

The dog is well-behaved and just sits there patiently, so there is no real danger, but I have an irrational fear of spiders, so I get it. I place myself between the man with the dog and the girl and give her a reassuring smile

Me: “No dog here is going to hurt you. I’m right in between.”

Suddenly, the man speaks up rather aggressively.

Man: “Don’t do that! My dog ain’t bit anyone, ever, and you’re just encouraging her to be afraid of dogs!”

Me: “I’m just trying to not scare a little girl and to keep her comfortable, sir.” 

He mumbles something about bratty kids and exits the elevator on the third floor. I have to go up to the fifth and the girl on the seventh, so I’m left behind with her for a second.

Me: “Are you all right now?”

The girl nodded shyly but still seemed shaken. I got off and wished her a good day. I found out later that she was part of a refugee family that had just moved here from Syria. Her fear of dogs and aggressive men is now somewhat explained, and I hope she doesn’t run into the man again.

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