Jeter: One of my favorite daily activities is my long walk through the neighborhood. Daddy takes us down a bunch of different streets so that we can get different sights and smells. Yes, as dogs, we LOVE that! We’ll take any walk, but if you can occasionally get us down a street we rarely frequent, it makes it even that much better.
Alanis: I have grown to like walks. I didn’t like them at first. My first family even told Daddy that I was a very stubborn walker who didn’t want to walk more than a block before stopping. Through training and recognizing how much fun these adventures can be, I have grown to enjoy them more. I no longer resist, and I am less insistent on going down the streets that I instinctively know take me closer to home….
Jeter: That was a Josh trait. When Josh was done walking, he just knew what roads would get him back faster, and would start pulling Daddy towards them. He had a limit in his head, and when he was done, he let you know.
Alanis: We met a new yellow lab recently. She lives right next door to the older yellow lab that used to run along the fence when we would come into view. He doesn’t do that any more (though maybe he will when it gets warmer again?), but he does lay next to the front door and bark at us when we walk by. The new lab acts just like the older one did was he was younger – runs along the fence, barking at us when we walk by. We know exactly what house it is, because we get all excited walking by the house even when she is not outside.
Jeter: It is always fun to see new dogs in the neighborhood, and there are a lot of them. There is another new dog right down the street – we haven’t really met him or her yet, but she lives in the same house as another yellow lab once did years ago.
Alanis: How about the young kids we walk by every day?
Jeter: Daddy gets uncomfortable with them, because he doesn’t know their intentions! Rarely do kids ask to pet us nowadays, but when they do, he is very quick to point out that both of us WILL jump when we get excited. He won’t really let us go by kids he thinks we will knock over!
Alanis: How about that kid in the wagon the other day? YOU MADE HIM CRY!
Jeter: LOL…yeah, as the father was petting you, I went over to the wagon and licked the toddler. He was crying within five seconds. I was only trying to be friendly! 🙁
Alanis: He may have just been crying at the sight of Daddy.
Jeter: I think that definitely contributed.
Alanis: I hear I am a bit like Josh in that I want to greet everyone when we walk?
Jeter: Yes. The difference is that people actually are taken aback a bit by you because as you go towards them, you bark! Josh never did that. Plus, you are not as insistent as Josh was. He wouldn’t let Daddy (or the people walking!) take no for an answer. You are more willing to just keep on walking.
Alanis: Like with the woman reading the meters a few weeks ago?
Jeter: She WANTED to pet us, but we jumped all over her. We are so sorry. We didn’t mean to! We just get so excited, especially since we have so much adrenaline running through us because of the walk!
Alanis: Daddy hates loose dogs.
Jeter: Yeah, if you want to make Daddy mad, just leave your dog unleashed in your front yard. I hope he realizes that he isn’t always talking under his breath when he begins to curse….
Alanis: Most of the dogs don’t come at us, but when they do…..
Jeter: It isn’t pretty…..
Me: The dogs are correct – I hate it with a PASSION when I see an unleashed dog in someone’s front yard. Our two dogs are very sweet, but are also BONDED and will defend each other if they sense even a hint of danger. And, to a dog, a dog coming straight at them from a yard is certainly a hint of danger. We have had very few instances, and I do try to turn quickly before the other dog can recognize we are coming.
As for children and all of that, I let my dogs greet kids who I think are old enough to withstand a potential jump. My dogs do not run and jump…they get close to you, and start to jump when you begin to pet them. If the kid is too small, they can easily get knocked over. I remember a year ago or so, there was a group of 20-somethings hanging out by a car. One of the young women in the group shouted at me, asking if she could pet them. Of course, I let her – but the moment she got them excited, they jumped all over her. I assume she had to probably change her “night out on the town!” clothes after that.
As always, just keep your dog safe and keep the neighborhood safe. You know your dog better than anyone, but recognize there are things kids do that your dog just might not like. Our dogs have not been exposed to many young children, so I am naturally hesitant to let my dogs greet them. If my dogs are their first experience with a dog, it could scar them for life if they get knocked down! I wouldn’t want that.
Goldens are generally great with kids, though. My dogs are no exception to that rule generally. A bit of caution will keep everyone safe…..