If dog is man’s best friend then I definitely don’t have a best friend, I am not a dog person in fact the older I get, I really am not a pet person. But it’s not for lack of trying…really. One of my earliest posts on this blog back in 2008 was about dogs; you want to get some hits on your blog, blog about dogs. Americans love their pets but they really love their dogs, shit some might even like dogs more than humans and frankly that’s okay with me.

Let’s take a trip back in the way way machine and explain how I came to this point. At some point in 2nd grade, I was chased and almost attacked by a German Shepherd, that fateful event pretty much sealed the deal that I would never become a lover of dogs. I spent many years living in fear of dogs to the point that if I saw a 7 lb. dog on a leash I would cross the street. Basically being in close proximity to dogs would bring on a panic attack, as the Spousal Unit says my dislike of dogs was uncomfortable and frankly worse than my anxiety about driving and that is saying a lot.

Of course I ended up with kids who love dogs. Not long after we settled into Maine, my son’s dad got him a dog, Buddy. Buddy was the love of the then boy child’s life, so much so that he hated leaving Buddy at his Dad’s house when he was at my house. In fact one summer I went against my own comfort and allowed boy child to bring Buddy to our house provided Buddy was not in the main part of the house. Luckily boy child’s room abuts the 1000+ sq. foot barn that Buddy lived in that summer so Buddy got to stay with boy child. Even though Buddy was separated by multiple doors and locks from my part of the house, just his presence made me nervous. Buddy would bark when anyone went near the barn that meant every time I needed to go to the back of the house, Buddy would yap his head off. A strange thing happened though, while I never got too close to Buddy, he started to recognize my voice and when I would ask him to knock it off, he did it. I admit that impressed me.

Over time, I was no longer as scared of dogs, going so far as to befriend an English Bulldog and actually toying with the idea of getting one. Seems I have reached the point I can tolerate smaller breeds and won’t flee from dogs on leashes whose owners look like they have control of their dogs. For an avowed dis-liker of dogs, this is a huge step and probably about as good as it’s going to get for me and dogs.

That said, while I better understand why people love their dogs (look if I were to get a pet, a dog would probably win out over a cat, at least if someone is trying to harm me I feel confident Fido would give a damn, not so sure about a cat) I need dog owners to understand that not everyone loves or likes their dog and please be mindful of it.

Late last summer, our neighbors moved and a young couple moved in, the first thing I noticed was their rather large dog they let run on our shared yard sans leash. Granted it seemed most of the time when big dog was out so was one of his owners. So rather than go into anxiety mode I tried to tell myself I had nothing to worry about…until the day big dog ran around my house, onto my driveway and nearly lunged at me and the girl child. Thankfully the Spousal Unit was outside and got between me and big dog…of course big dog’s owner came running after him declaring he was a friendly pooch. Um….no sir, he is a nuisance officially on my property scaring the bejeebus out of me and my dog loving little girl. Needless to say new neighbor and I did not get off to a good start.

I was reminded yesterday of how dog owners don’t always see others views when I saw another neighbor from around the corner walking his dog sans a leash and the dog was several paces behind or ahead of him.

Look, dog lovers, I am trying… really I am. I have made huge strides in learning not to fear dogs but walking your dog without a leash unless you are in a designated dog area is just rude as fuck. I can’t imagine it’s all that great for your dog either, I need you to remember that just because the dog is your best friend doesn’t make him my best friend.