Taking “Dog-Friendly” A Step Too Far

, , , , | Friendly | December 15, 2018

(My husband and I go to a local downtown festival with another couple we’re friends with. The festival is dog-friendly, so our friends bring their golden retriever and we bring our Rottweiler. Everyone has a good time, and most of the people are polite and actually ask us if they can pet our dogs as we’re walking around. Later on, we’re having dinner on a cafe patio that is also dog-friendly. Both dogs are pretty tired at this point, and after a drink of water and a couple treats they’re both happily laying down under our table while the four of us eat. People continue to walk by, occasionally commenting on the dogs but leaving them alone. All of a sudden, I hear a high-pitched squeal from directly behind me.)

Strange Woman: “Oh, my God! Look at them! “

(A woman who appears to be around 30 years old LUNGES around my chair from behind and tries to reach under the table where the dogs are.)

Strange Woman: “They are so cute! SO cute! I want to pet them!”

(We are all so shocked that it takes a few seconds for one of us to speak up. I will also point out that she does not seem intoxicated or anything, just ridiculously excited and invasive.)

My Husband: “Ma’am, please back up. We’re eating dinner and the dogs are resting, as you can see. They’ve had a long day.”

Strange Woman: “Aww!” *sticks her lip out in an exaggerated pout, like a toddler* “Please?”

Friend’s Husband: *sigh* “Look. You can pet ours for a minute, but then we’d like to finish eating.”

(He calls their retriever out from under the table and she sits while the woman pets her. I’m trying to shield our Rottie with my legs. He’s a friendly dog, but he also has no problem letting people know when he’s had enough attention and I don’t even want to deal with it. But, of course, as soon as she finishes petting the retriever, she turns her sights on our dog.)

Strange Woman: “And now I want to pet you!

Me: *keeping my legs in front of him* “No, thank you. He. Is. Tired. He doesn’t want attention right now.”

Strange Woman: “Oh, of course, he does!”

(She reaches her hands out, and as soon she gets near my legs our Rottie raises his head and, without growling, shows her his teeth.)

My Husband: “Okay, that’s it. Please leave us alone now.”

Strange Woman: *clapping her hands like she thinks she’s going to coax him out from under the table* “He’s not mad! That’s a submissive grin!”

Me: “Excuse me?!”

My Husband: *stands up* “Back off, now!”

Strange Woman: “Well, fine, then! But I’m telling you, it’s a submissive grin!”

(She huffs and walks away. Only then do we realize that a guy who’s been standing five feet away on the sidewalk is with her and has just stood there watching her the whole time! She grabs his arm and continues ranting about “submissive grins” until we can’t hear her anymore. I’m able to calm our Rottie down and we start eating again.)

Friend: “A submissive grin? Where the f*** did she get that?”

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