I’ve always wondered what I would do if someone started smack about my dog. We live in a city where so many people from so many places come together and share the same space. The same streets, stores, public transit. A place where those with large dogs can be perceived as dangerous.
I’ll be the first to admit that my Doberman, Vegas, can look pretty terrifying. But when you get to know him he’s more like a large baby then a menacing dog. That does not stop people from judging and I still see people jump out-of-the-way or pull away from him. I even had one guy hold his breath once and let out a huge sigh of relief after we passed by.
Today was different though, today I unfortunately had to take Vegas to the vet on the bus. This is always challenging and this time was no different. Vegas is never comfortably riding the bus, but he does it just to appease me. I always hope for one that’s a little emptier and fortunately I got one. When I got on the bus the driver started chatting me up, big fan of Dobies so I thought the ride was going to be good. It started getting busier so I took a seat near the back doors. When I sat down a little old Jamaican lady turned to me and asked me where his muzzle was.
I wanted to ask her where her muzzle was and how she was allowed out without it. But something inside me decided to humor her for a bit. I ended up having a really nice conversation with her and it turns out that she lost a thumb because of a dog. Now it wasn’t actually the dog that took her thumb but the owner ended up pulling on the leash, catching her thumb in the prong collar, ripping off her thumb. After talking a bit about it I realized that she just needed to talk to someone about why she was scared to make it realize that it wasn’t the dog she was terrified was, but of the memory of the lost digit.
When I got off the bus, she pet Vegas and said goodbye with a smile. I guess the lesson for me here was that even when we may be prepared to take someone’s head off for a misconceived comment, we shouldn’t always react so brutally. You may find that there is something more than just what we perceive and getting to understand others may in fact be the key to not overreacting.
But believe me, I’m still overly protective of my dog – I dare you to say something bad about him.