Monday, October 10, 2016

That's Why You Always Ask

On Friday, Barley and I went to the arboretum for my annual "birthday party" where we go look at the Scarecrow Row and other displays being set up for the Goblins in the Garden event. 

Usually, there aren't many people there, but with the new canopy walk, I guess we just have to get used to higher traffic on any nice fall day. 

For some reason, there were a lot of school groups, which is one of our worst nightmares. They are loud. They are unruly. They're never well supervised. 

As we made our way back towards the car, we stopped to take a picture of a cute pumpkin patch. I was getting ready to back away from Bar to get the photo when a couple moms started unclipping their toddlers from strollers and saying, "Let's take your picture here!" 

I decided to give up and leave, but as we made our way back to the trail, a large school group was heading our way. We pulled back off the trail and sat to wait for them to go by. Barley sat nicely and was taking treats and staying focused on me while the kids trickled by on the trail. Of course, one of the teachers or chaperones noticed the pumpkin patch near us and said, "Oh, well we obviously have to take a picture with this!" and started herding the kids right towards us. The toddlers and strollers were still to one side of us and there were shrubs behind us, so we were stuck. I had to step in front of Barley and say, "She doesn't like kids." The woman looked annoyed, but she changed their path slightly and Barley and I were able to sidestep over onto the trail.

We also passed a family with an energetic girl, probably about 4, walking in front of her dad. I switched the side Barley was on and got a handful of treats ready and we kept walking. As we got closer the dad stopped and said, "Excuse me, but can we pet your dog?" I told them that she was scared of kids but thanked them for asking. As we walked away, the little girl's mom said, "See, Mere, that's why you always ask before running up to a dog."

Barley and I are very thankful for parents like this little girl's who are teaching her to interact with dogs responsibly. Maybe when she gets to school she can help teach her classmates those lessons, too. 

Even if we didn't get a pumpkin patch picture, we still got some fun pictures.

12 comments:

  1. Click/treat for those parents!

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    1. I know! I wanted to hug them--but I figured Barley wouldn't handle that well, either, so I settled for just thanking them profusely for asking :)

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  2. It's so great to hear a story about parents that are actually teaching their children correctly!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  3. Those are great parents! Need more of them.

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  4. Now the first two you mentioned...irritate me. Do they not see that you are trying to avoid them? Why don't people pay attention to anyone other than themselves?

    I'm glad you were able to step in and manage it. I do my best, but I can all but guarantee one day, someone will get an earful from me. :-)

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    1. I was irritated, too. There were several other large school groups where it was obvious the adults weren't paying any attention to the kids--they were running around, hitting each other with sticks (which I think they may have pulled off of plants because there are very rarely any on the ground on the main trails), screaming--and we were able to see (and hear) them long before we got close and could change directions (you should see the map from my GPS watch; it definitely looks like we were drunk!). This time, though, we were pretty much trapped. It shocked me that people who are responsible for other people's children would be so careless around a strange dog.

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  5. Ugh! Nothing worse than going somewhere that is overrun with kids and families. We usually just leave. The kids are always everywhere and make it impossible for others to have fun.

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    1. When parents (or teachers) are observant, we don't mind them--it's really good practice to stay focused on me when there's a lot of noise and energy, and the arboretum has lots of different paths that usually make it easy to change direction if it's too much for Barley. But when the adults aren't keeping an eye on the kids, it's too stressful! I don't even tolerate that well when I don't have a dog with me!

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  6. Hooray for people who ask. I only wish people would ask (or wait) when they see you trying to take a photo. Why can't people just wait until you are done? Where is common courtesy?

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    1. Those were the questions I found myself asking, too. It really just seemed like their thought process was that their kids were more important than what anybody else was doing in the area at the time. We'd taken all kinds of cute pictures already, so I wasn't too bothered by not getting the chance to take another, but when they started herding a large group of kids towards my non-kid-friendly dog, that was a different story.

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