Friday, September 23, 2011

Walking Cooper

I moved a few months ago and the difference of 6 blocks is quite amazing. I live in what feels like suburbia as there are 500 other people walking their dogs at the same time I'm walking mine. All of them have their dogs on flexi-leads or no leash at all which I think is dangerous as there are several busy roads every block. Not to mention a leash law but whatever...

Cooper usually does a fantastic job of ignoring every dog he encounters. After talking to the vet about why every dog hates Cooper, I make an effort to make eye contact with a dog's owner so I can say, "My dog doesn't like other dogs in his space." Not saying he doesn't like other dogs, he sometimes does, but I don't want to stress him out when it's pretty obvious that he doesn't want to make friends.

He used to like other dogs. I made the mistake of taking him to a dog park a few times and he ended up getting mobbed by every dog in there. They started chasing him, which he liked, but then he got his head stuck in the fence because he wasn't paying attention and that's when all the dogs swarmed him and attacking his hind end while he screamed and tried to get away.

The most frustrating part of that experience was that the other dog's owners stood around not doing a damn thing while I tried to pull off the mutts without getting bit. Luckily, all that happened was they pulled some loose fur out but Cooper was traumatized for life.

I know, I could make him relax and be more comfortable but I'm not going to. He isn't aggressive towards other dogs and I just don't want to stress him out or put him in a situation where the other dog could turn agressive and attack him. Maybe that makes me a bad dog owner, but I'm really putting Cooper's feelings of safety and his well being first.

As it is, when we have to walk on the same sidewalk with another dog that is straining on its leash trying to get to Cooper, I walk between them. Mostly because it's easier to sue someone when their dog bites you rather than your dog, but also because I'm willing to get hurt for my dog. And that's how much I love him. And it actually happened last week, a dog took a pretty good nip at my thigh trying to get to Coop and gave me blood blisters and broke the skin. Oh, I didn't sue the owner or anything, I just gave her a dirty look and made sure I wasn't bleeding too much. She didn't even apologize and in hindsight, I wish I at least told her off.

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