Dear dog-walking lady

Dear dog-walking lady, yes you, madam, you with the two large Labradors, one called Molly, and a female  friend. Yes, madam, you who parked your car on the road leading down to the beach as we were walking past with our pup. He’s not that small but he is very obviously a puppy, very fluffy, innocent eyes, not quite sure of where his feet are taking him. He was on a lead and we held him close by us as your two big dogs (not on leads) came ambling over. He sat down politely but they came right up to him – being friendly no doubt, but he was small and they were large. Your friend half-heatedly called ‘Molly! Molly!‘ but you were just saying what a cute little puppy we had, even as our cute little puppy was getting a bit over excited.

Don’t you think, looking back, you should have held onto your dogs? I called out to you that he was only a puppy but you didn’t call back your dogs. I am sure they are lovely beasts, giants though they are, and I’m sure they meant no harm but our puppy was getting agitated and barking and they began to bounce round him. We picked puppy up and held him as your Labradors danced around barking now, and all the time you were wittering on about how cute our puppy was.

Then, thinking about it, do you really imagine that coming up close to us and pushing your fingers into puppy’s face to stroke him (and into my face too) as he squirmed and barked and tried to get down, do you really think that was a brilliant idea? Well it wasn’t a brilliant idea.

You’re a dog owner, you should know about puppies and dogs and how to behave and how to control your own dogs – friendly though they were. You wandered off to the beach and we walked a little way back up the road trying to calm puppy. He wasn’t scared but he was very unsettled. Eventually when we could see you, friend and two dogs had gone, we went down on the beach and walked in the opposite direction.

Later, after a nice walk, we called into the pub and sat outside, letting puppy amble about (still on his lead) Three different people came out; each asked politely if they could stroke our little dog, and slowly and gently, allowing lots of sniffing (from him) they did just that. They were respectful to the little dog, and to us.

Yours sincerely,

a new dog owner

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