Smile And The World… Gets Defensive?

, , , , | Friendly | December 18, 2020

When I’m walking somewhere with a lot of people, like a hallway, I tend to unintentionally make eye contact, smile, and then look away, whether or not I know the person. Most of the time, the only thing that happens is once in a while someone will tell me it’s cute that I smile at everyone. This is not one of those times.

I’m at a park, getting some family photos taken. While my mother and I make our way to a new photo site, I make accidental eye contact with a woman passing us on the path, so I smile, look away, and think that’s the end of it. Instead, the woman sees me smiling, stops, and doubles back to catch up with us.

Woman: “Do I know you?”

Me: “No?”

Woman: “But you smiled at me.”

Me: “I smile at everyone.”

Woman: “But you don’t know me.”

Me: “No.”

Woman: “But you smiled.”

She walked off, still muttering about how I’d smiled at her even though I didn’t know her. I’m still not sure whether to laugh at her confusion or feel sorry about whatever circumstances led her brain to short-circuit over something as simple as a stranger’s smile.

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You Can’t Just Ask People That!

, , , , , | Friendly | November 27, 2020

Due to a complicated series of events, I ended up with sole custody of my stepchildren. They are eight-year-old fraternal twins who look very similar to each other, despite being different genders. The only ways to tell them apart are their clothing choices, the length of their hair, and the color of their glasses. If you were to look closely you might notice the shapes of their noses and that my daughter has one blind eye.

It’s been a very warm week here, and since it’s probably the last warm weather of the year, we decide to enjoy it and go get ice cream.

After we buy the ice cream, we go to a nearby park to eat it. An old woman is walking her dog in the park. She waves to us; we wave back. Then, she stops, turns around, removes her mask to rub her eyes — she isn’t wearing glasses or anything, so I don’t understand why she had to remove her mask — and then stares at us for a second.

Woman: *Bluntly* “Did this man kidnap you?”

Twin #1: “No, this is our dad!”

She looks for a few more minutes, and then walks away saying something to the effect of, “Back in my day, women were a bit more subtle when they had an affair with the mailman.”

A few minutes later she came back, stared at us, and then walked away again.

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Some Pet OWNERS Shouldn’t Be Allowed Off-Leash

, , , , , | Friendly | November 22, 2020

I live near a park that is off-leash for dogs. However, several signs state that the dog must be well-behaved and owners are responsible for their dogs’ behavior.

I’m walking along this one path when I come across a woman with her dog (leashed) and another dog jumping around them. Getting closer, I realize she is trying to get her agitated dog away from the unleashed dog, and that said unleashed dog’s owner is standing about twenty feet away, laughing and egging the dog on.

Unleashed Dog Owner: “It’s okay! He just likes to be near the action! He’s a good boy!”

The other dog owner is asking him to please curb his dog, but of course, he isn’t listening.

Me: “Hey! You need to call off your dog! That’s not safe and he’s upsetting her dog!”

The man, who is significantly older than me — I’m thirty and a woman — stops laughing and glares at me, but he calls his dog back. The woman quickly leaves with her dog, obviously so it doesn’t get upset and act out, which is what the responsible owner should do. I continue on my walk, thinking nothing of it.

Another day, I’m walking the same path, and up ahead I see two women with a dog bouncing around them. Farther away, about thirty feet, is the same guy, and again he’s laughing and egging the dog on. It’s a small dog, so the two women aren’t in extreme danger, but they’re clearly uncomfortable and he’s not listening.

Me: “Oy! What’d I say last time?! If the dog ain’t behaving, you need to leash him!”

The guy sees me and makes a face, but he calls the dog off and walks away.

A third time, I’m out walking when I cross their paths again. There’s no one else, and the man is letting the dog wander away from him a bit, but as soon as he sees me, he calls him close and gives me a wide berth.

I’ve seen him several times since and he now keeps the dog close to him and doesn’t allow it to jump around, although every time he sees me, he glares daggers at me, though he doesn’t say anything.

I’d like to point out here that if the other patrons had complained, the dog would be the one who suffered, especially if injuries had occurred. In situations like this, the dog is the one who would be removed and possibly euthanized if deemed a danger. So please, if you own a dog, make sure your pet is well-behaved either on- or off-leash.

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A Pound, A Cookie, And A Lifetime Of Gratitude

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 8, 2020

I am taking a trip to London with a friend and we are hurrying back to our hostel through Hyde Park before we have to rush to the airport.

I have type one diabetes and have hypoglycemia on the way through. I want to buy anything to eat that can fare me over on the three-kilometre walk to the hostel. There is a food stand nearby, but since it is the last day of the trip, we are almost completely out of pounds. I do, however, have some euros with me.

I speak to the food stand worker.

Me: “Do you perchance take euros? I’d like to buy a cookie but I’m a pound short.”

Worker: *Laughing* “We would, but the queen is kind of against that.”

I assume she sees something is wrong, because she asks something along these lines:

Worker: “What’s wrong? Do you badly need it?”

Me: “I have hypoglycemia and I am feeling bad, but I have no time to rest.”

She started to say that it was okay and I could just take the cookie with the money I had, but then a stranger waiting behind us just came to the window and placed one pound on the counter, saying he hoped I’d feel better soon and that we would catch our flight okay.

I hope I will never forget the kindness two absolute strangers showed me that day. Thanks to them, I was able to get to the hostel and to the airport in time. Had I not eaten anything right then, I don’t know if I would have made it in time.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for November 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for November 2020!

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You’re Playing With The Big Boys Now

, , , , | Friendly | November 4, 2020

I adopt a spayed German Shepherd rescue dog. She is a little over a year old and bonds with my family right away but needs to socialize with other dogs. If large dogs approach her on walks, she’ll sniff cautiously but without hostility. Small yappy dogs, however, trigger her to bark angrily to warn them away. I have learned that this is a common reaction of large dogs to smaller ones.

A fellow dog owner recommends I take her to an off-lead park in town where she can interact with other canines. There are two clearly labelled enclosures — one for large dogs and one for small dogs under twenty pounds — so I feel things will be safe.

The first time I take her, everything goes beautifully. She has some dominance interactions with other dogs to learn her place in the pack and has no problems. On three occasions, she chases a whippet around the area until both get tired.

The second time is a different story.

We have been there for about forty-five minutes in the early evening when three women enter the sally port with a husky on lead. My dog wanders over and gingerly greets the new arrival. Then, I realize that one of the women is carrying a chihuahua. Before I can react, she places it down in front of my dog. It yaps once and my dog reacts, picking it up and shaking it until I grab her collar.

The other animal is badly hurt, bleeding, and in shock, but walking. I leash my dog and wait. I am prepared to offer something toward the vet bill, but the owner and her friend have other ideas. They start screaming at me.

Woman #1: You are responsible for our baby’s injuries!”

Woman #2: “You had better cover the entire vet bill!”

That pushes any charitable thoughts out of my mind. Yes, my dog bit hers, but she brought the mini mutt into an area specifically designated for large dogs when there was a separate and safe area for small dogs right next to this one.

Me: “Why didn’t you take your dog into the small dog area?”

Woman #1: *Pointing at the husky owner* “She has an injured arm and can’t handle her dog by herself. What else were we supposed to do?!”

Me: “That’s not my problem!”

Woman #3: “We’re going to call the police, and they’ll make you pay!”

Me: “Go ahead! Then there will be a police report proving your negligence. And for your information, in our state, amounts under $10,000 go to small claims court and neither party can have a lawyer. Also, as the defendant, I can and will appeal any decision against me, but as the plaintiff, you can’t do that. I think I’ll take my chances. Now, you’d better get to a vet.”

I was never served with a claim.

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