It is getting to be a bit of a problem for us…you see CJ is terrified of dogs.
It all started when a neighbour’s dog chased him round a friends house, just wanting to play…but he was petrified. He screamed and cried and has been afraid ever since.
We’ve tried really hard to reassure him that the dogs aren’t interested in him – they just want to play and are just excited – but to no real avail. We’ve even taken him to a close family friend who has a lovely little dog…but it just didn’t wash with him!
And it is getting hard…
You see, everywhere we seem to go for family walks there seems to be dogs. And the worst thing is that these dogs are not on leads - they are let, by their owners, to run off and explore excitedly. And this doesn’t help.
Some owners are conscious, holding their dogs back, putting them back on their leads…but some owners seem oblivious to other people around.
Just today we were by the river and had made a conscious effort to go to a spot where there was no-one else as at most of the other river side spots there were owners playing with their dogs in the water. All was great until a family came along with 2 dogs off leads who, without so much a second thought, encouraged the dogs to run onto the river bank and into the water where the boys were already splashing in their wellies.
CJ ran out to me, grasping my hand…but the family just didn’t notice.
Should they have noticed he was scared? Should they have considered that the children (my children) already enjoying the river may have been afraid of their dogs? Should they have encouraged their dogs, off their leads, to run into the river where my children were playing without checking they were ok with it?
I’ve nothing really against dogs (apart from the increasing amount of poo that is left on footpaths) – I’m not keen myself – but this situation is making me question dogs and owners.
Is it right of me to expect them to watch their dogs more carefully around my children? Should I expect that they should consider that my children are not ok with their dogs? Or am I in the wrong?
It’s a hard situation.