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The dog phobia days of apartment living.

I’m a huge dog person. Always have been. I grew up with and around them, raised and trained one of my own from 6 weeks, and now am raising a second with May–who also happens to be a huge dog person. So this apartment building was, in that respect, a perfect fit for us. Very relaxed pet policy, and no shortage of places to take the pups for walks or other reasons. The people? Could use some relaxing.

I took Lacey on one of those afore mentioned walks for other reasons yesterday, and both leaving and coming into the building, I must have ran into at least 6 people who have a decidedly very large issue with my admittedly a little hyper, but ultimately harmless, dog. There’s a family with a rather large dog issue on this floor–actually, pretty much across from the elevators. Which, escentially, means especially in the mornings, we try and time our taking the pups out to avoid them. Because not doing so produces a reaction not entirely dissimilar to one you’d see on, say, Nightmare On Elm Street. If the dog even looks in their direction, they wig out. Backing away, occasionally screaming, and generally proving that not every grown adult is physically capable of actually acting like a grown adult. Also somewhat amusing in that even if I make the dog sit, the very act of whichever dog I’m walking doing exactly that prompts them to hit the cieling. If they and we are destined for the same elevator, I’m expected to hold the dog back until they get on the elevator, and–if they can get away with it–to wait for the next one. I’ve decidedly been doing a significant amount less of that, however, simply because–hey, pet friendly building. Dog who’s most deadly weapon is occasionally her morning breath. Chill.

While that’s the most consistent example, it’s not the most recent–or the most amusing. As I said earlier, I ran into a few while taking Lacey on one of our little walks yesterday. One of them was already on the elevator when it got to my floor, and it was heading for ground level already. We got on, as we normally do, and this lady backs herself into the corner of the elevator opposite where we are. She stands there, sounding like she’s about to burst into tears right there on the spot, while I make sure this particular elevator is, actually, going to drop me off where I need to be dropped off. It was, which only confirmed she was going my way. So logic would dictate since we’re only another 5 floors up that she just stay put, right? Of course if she did that, there wouldn’t be a need for mockery–so we’ll just leave our logic at the door, kay? Kay.

No sooner am I away from the door and getting Lacey into a don’t you dare move because I’m not extracting your nose from the door position, then does this ladey make a run for it. Out the door and across the hall just before the door’s about to close. Pretty sure she didn’t actually go into the apartment across the hall with the rest of the phobia clan, as we were just heading downwards when the elevator next to us opened. So she very likely ended up on the main floor at the same time as me and the dog for about 5 seconds anyway. Objective, failed.

Now, I get that people have their reasons for being afraid of dogs. Even to the point of going out of their way to avoid them. I don’t question that–hell, to each their own, I say. But here’s the thing. You live in a building with over a hundred other people. Quite a few of them, if our occasional nosing around the building is any indication, are dog owners. Said dogs, unless they can fit in the palm of your hand, will likely need to be making regular trips outside. That, unfortunately, means you’re likely going to be sharing some common ground, at least temporarily, with something that goes woof. Knowing this as you likely, hopefully, do, why would you 1: act all surprised/shocked/horified/traumatised every single time a dog gets within 20 feet of you, and 2: put yourself in a situation, in this case a building, that pretty much guarantees 1 is going to happen with some degree of regularity? And why would you, having put yourself in that situation and knowing precisely what that situation is, expect the people with the dogs to go out of their way to make sure you’re not put in that situation?

I can be accomodating. I can, out of respect, minimise the dog’s interaction with you–yes, even if the said interaction would usually be limited to trying to lick you to death anyway. what I cannot do, or rather will not do, is shift my entire routine–and the dog’s with it–so as to avoid you even having to tolerate that minimal or nonexistent interaction between you and dog. I have a problem with 10-year-olds that think it’s funny to send random elevators to just about every floor in the building–especially if one of those elevators happens to be requested to take me somewhere, like to ground level with a dog that needs out–but I’m not going to insist you keep your kid on a short leash until I’m safely on the main floor. to do that would be absolutely ridiculous, and I’d expect no less than half a dozen people to call me on it for that very reason. People’s reactions, in this building at least, to having to breathe the same air as a dog for as long as it takes to drop a few floors are equally ridiculous. You are in a pet friendly building. That means there are pets. Probably lots of them. If you don’t approve of this, then pick a less pet friendly building. Your right not to be traumatised does not trump my right to do as I please freely, with or without something firry attached to my wrist. You do have the right not to be offended, but please, don’t be offended somewhere else. There are things that need doing and you’re kind of in the way.

2 Responses to “The dog phobia days of apartment living.”

  1. I find dog-phobic people to be extremely entertaining. Cessna, my 9 year old little female black lab who is currently my guide, also finds dog-phobic people entertaining. When we’re walking around, we often have people run and scream, and instead of just going on our merry way, Cessna thinks it is more fun to pretend she’s going to also chase them. Of course, I tell her no and she stops, but the look on her face (according to my sighted husband) is priceless. She is just so proud of herself lol!

    • James says:

      The entertaining part is the people with that reaction don’t quite get that, hey moron? Now it’s play time. So of course, dog reacts, which means they react more. I honestly wish I could video some of the stuff.

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