Monday, May 13, 2013

But He's Super Friendly.

The neighbors across the street have a dog that looks just like Mac.  Except he's got long, fluffy fur.  He is not yard trained (aka stays in his own yard), and his people do not put him on a lead or even a collar.  I have thoughts on this, allow me to share them.

The weather has been nice enough lately that I've been able to be outside soaking up some sun while getting the yard back under control.  Raking leaves, tilling the garden; you know the spring-time drill.  While working on these projects, obviously Mac sits outside with me to enjoy the breeze.

The other day while raking, Mac gets up and goes to stand next to the fence, wagging his tail furiously. On the other side of the fence stood what appeared to be a mirror sponsored by Rogaine - a big, fluffy black and tan Mac-dog wagging his tail right back.

We've met Bear (the aforementioned fluffy-pup) before, once or twice when walking past his house.  So I knew where he lived, and since he wasn't wearing a collar for me to hold in order to take him home, I let him into the backyard to play with Mac for a few moments while I got out an old lead and collar to borrow.

I estimate Bear had been away from his house for around 30 minutes by the time we rang the doorbell.  His person hadn't noticed he was gone.  "But don't worry, he's friendly!"  Bear's person assured me.

I tried not to immediately judge.  Not everyone's as keyed into their dog as I am with Mac.  Not everyone would notice within a minute or two that their dog had left the yard. Back to raking.

I had moved a few yard bags to the front yard for collection, so I had the big front garage door and the garage's back doorway to the yard both open.  Usually when I do this, I just prop a broom in the back doorway, and Mac understands this is his "puppy gate" to keep him in the back.  Apparently it is not a puppy gate to keep Bears in their own yard though, because maybe 10 minutes later, the fluffy Mac impersonator was back to bounding around the backyard.

"I'll be back," he barks in a heavy Austrian accent.

This time, Bear's person was sitting on the front stoop of their house.  How did he not notice his dog crossing the street?  I waved him down and he came over to get his dog.  "Don't worry, he's friendly!"  He chimed at me.

Listen.  Stuff happens, and I'm not saying I've never had to say the exact same thing to someone as I walked over to retrieve my own puppy.  But I am saying that it's never happened to the same person twice in the same day.  Because it's kind of humiliating to have to admit your dog was disobedient to you.  And also because a dog that big needs to look like it is somewhat under control or it is likely police will be showing up at your house rather lickety-split.   Regardless of how friendly your dog is, it's probably scaring the bejesus out of someone running around like that.

But not judging.  Nope.  KpMcD, you need to chill out.

So Bear's person came and gathered his pup again.  And I went back to raking.  For about a half an hour. At which point Bear, once more, bounded across the street and into the front yard, as I dragged a bag of leaves to the curb.

"Hi Bear."  I said, as loudly and as exasperated as I could, because Bear's person was still outside and thankfully he heard me and stood up to come and once again retrieve his dog.  As he started walking over, I started on the small speech I had formed in my mind since Bear's last visit, about how I don't mind Bear playing with Mac, because yes, he is a friendly dog, but I worry about him coming over without his person's knowledge, and I worry about him getting hit by a car while crossing the street.

Bear apparently didn't care for this speech, and instead of bounding up to Mac and playing this time, he marched straight up to me, lifted a leg, and whizzed on my left shin.

This is not the first time I've been peed on.  I work as a dog trainer, it's happened.  But I wasn't working.  I was wearing nice comfy yoga-type pants, not my work pants which are thick enough that a little pee doesn't immediately soak through to my skin.  I could feel dog pee trickling into my shoe.  All of this context ran through my head as Bear's person came up and grabbed for his dog*.  And thus, the first thing I said once this gentleman came up to me was thus:

"I'm not working today.  I should NOT be getting peed on!"

Because I was [rightfully, justifiably] upset, and because I had the context in my head to be making that statement, I gave my neighbor across the street NO further information about why I SHOULD be getting peed on while I am working. We don't know each other, he has no idea what I do for a living.  So he hastily apologized, grabbed his dog, and headed back across the street with a VERY puzzled look on his face.

We haven't seen Bear at our house since.  And I haven't stopped wondering, since then, what profession our neighbor now thinks I hold.

In what profession besides a dog trainer would one 
possibly expect to be peed upon while working?  
Let's keep it PG, folks.  
But if you can think of a good one, tell me in the comments!

*You know the drill:  the thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and mine alone.  They do not represent the thoughts or opinions of the company I train dogs for. 

That said - have you ever had someone viciously, angrily, snatch their hand out to grab at you?  What's  going to be your immediate reaction?  To pull away!  It's not any different for a dog.  If you want them to come to you, don't make them feel like they're going to be punished for doing what you're asking.  And don't make it a game of tag by chasing after them either.  They'll come if you're happy and fun enough.  The more you know.


Jamie said...

I think nurses, medical assistants and other people in the medical/health field get peed on a lot. As do people who work in day care or work with very young children.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jamie... anyone working with babies has been peed on. Babies or old people.

I imagine farmers have also had this experience.


Queen Holly the Magnificent said...

I was thinking nursing. Although when I see stray dogs my first thought is IT'S GONNA EAT THE CHICKENS! So yeah.

Kate Y said...

I clearly thought of day care providers first as I am certain my son has peed on the ladies that care for him.

And, though never directly peed ON, I have dealt with a surprising amount of urine in my day as a Student Activities Director for college students!

Kp said...

of course health care! It never even dawned on me. Though judging by the look on his face, it did not dawn on neighbor-man either.

Jen Anderson said...

Yeah, my mind went straight to the non-PG answers too.

But since you insist on keeping it clean, Kindergarten teacher does come to mind. And maybe dog groomer?

Jen Anderson said...

OK, I couldn't help myself. You've inspired a decidedly non-PG (and yet not that dirty) post on my blog. My thanks and apologies.

Kp said...

Jen I can't even tell you how much that made my day!