“Don’t Worry. He’s Friendly” Says the small woman barely controlling the labrador-sized black dog, straining on the leash to get to Kimber. The lead’s got lots of knots in it, and whisper-thin ineffective-looking poop bags are tied to it.

I’ve been visibly backing away with Kimber since I saw them starting to cross the road. Trying to gauge which direction they’ll head in when they get over here. Kimber’s scared of big black dogs, and he’s on the alert. I’ve been praising and rewarding the fact that he was just watching and not aroo-ing at them (beagle howling).

It’s not helped by the fact that he has a poorly paw – still not sure right now if this is caused by the previous allergies, or maybe like last week a sore that got infected. These could be linked. He’s also a bit freaked as he just saw a balloon blowing down the street, and that kind of shit is super scary!

The woman continues to advance, as we continue to back-up. I suddenly realise she crossed the road with the intention of letting her dog ‘say hello’ to Kimber.

“Don’t Worry. He’s Friendly”

“He’s Not.” I reply forcefully, gesturing to Kimber, who has now started to advance, rather than trying to retreat as before. He’s on a lead, he knows he can’t get away to anywhere, so now instead of being on the defensive, he’s moving to an offensive position. So my statement that he’s not friendly, is now not actually a lie. He’ll be ready to defend himself from this rude intruder who’s entering his personal space head-on.

The woman looks confused. But then starts to drag her dog away.

Thankfully.

I’m sure she’s glaring at me.

I scatter some treats on the floor for Kimber, I’ll know that he’s back with me when he starts to look for them. Holding his lead tightly in my hand, I kneel down next to him and start to stroke him, giving him words of encouragement. Meaningless words, but letting him know I’m here.

He starts to snuffle up the treats, keeping a wary eye on the direction they went in.

I sigh, because now I have to cut our walk short and head home. He’s far too wired now, anything will set him off. I’ll put on his Pet Remedy Bandana and get out a licky mat to help calm him.

Our walk has been ruined.

But it’s ok. Cos he’s friendly…

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