"There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth." - Maya Angelou.
Often, I talk my dog, Sandy for a walk around the neighborhood at twilight. It's cooler and after we've eaten and it's a great way for me to unwind before going to bed. Rarely, do we run into anyone else. And certainly no other animals so while she has a lease clipped to her collar, I'm usually not holding it. She behaves.... for the most part.
I realize this is wrong and irresponsible.
Tonight, we were coming down the last stretch and she took off after something and got ahead of me. The street lights are not bright and I couldn't see into the shadows. But I heard dogs barking so I started to walk faster. Then I heard a man yelling and I could see Sandy approaching an older gentleman with two large white dogs (not certain of the breed) at full force. I'm not certain who growled first but at that point I started running and yelling for my dog which illicted no response. The man was able to make Sandy back down and she came to me when I was closer. He was fussing at his dogs when I got there and after I secured Sandy, I turned to apologize. My dog was off leash and I was at fault and I wanted to make sure all was okay.
He glared at me and then sniffed and then walked past me.
It was like a scene from the movies. I was sincerely apologizing and he didn't even stop to accept it. I wasn't certain what to do but I finished my apology, getting louder as he walked away and then continued on my walk, Sandy's lease tight in hand.
I don't know what this means for our future walks...
Do I need to change the way I walk Sandy? I've lived here since March and I haven't run into anyone at this time of night so there haven't been any problems.
Sandy is aggressive to other large dogs... if they are female... sometimes. They have her file marked at the vet's as an "aggressive dog" yet the workers love her. I've had her play well with others and I've had it go horribly wrong. She's a sweet and lovable dog who I trust completely with my innocent nephew but I have to be really careful around other dogs. But it's not predictable. And everything I've done as far as training her goes has had no affect upon her or her reactive behavior.
I know I shouldn't let her walk free if I can't rely upon her to obey me. I know that I'm responsible for anything my dog does to harm another person and/or their property. And I wouldn't shirk from that but I also don't want anything to happen.
I guess it's back to obediance training for us again. Oh joy.