Walking down a quiet neighbourhood, Shiva and I are startled by the boisterous barking of a German Shepherd to our right. I glance over to see the large dog tied up on a rope in a front yard. There is a man working in the garden. The dog strains at the end of his lead, barking only inches from my arm. I look away, praise Shiva for remaining calm, and keep walking.
As we depart, I overhear the man say to his dog:
“That wasn’t very polite, was it? They didn’t even stop to say hello to you. How rude!”
A large crowd has gathered to watch the Canada Day fireworks over the Halifax Harbour. Some people have brought lawn chairs and set them up at the top of a hill. Others are standing near the bottom, closest to the water. A man and his young dog hang back, deciding to watch the show from a little ways away.
The dog is very obviously over-stimulated. Pulling and whining and jumping, he is ready to run in twenty different directions. The man holding his leash appears inexperienced. It is all he can do to keep the dog in one place.
As the sky grows darker and the time for the display draws near, more and more people arrive, pushing closer. When the first lights appear, the people shove together even more in their excitement.
At this point the dog has lost it. Howling and crying he is trying to do anything he can to get loose. The man tries to pull him away from the rush of people but no matter where he turns more people seem to appear. These people step closer for a better view and the dog starts to bark. Members of the crowd shoot the man dirty looks. The dog barks more.
Instead of backing away, the people draw even nearer, forming a circle around the man and his dog.
There are children playing on the beach. Shiva and I have to pass this sandy area in order to get to the coolness of the forest. The kids are quite young; the oldest looks to be around four or five years old. A toddler spots my dog and screams, running directly towards us.
One of the adults stops the child from leaping on Shiva, instructing her that it is dangerous to run up to a strange dog. Relieved, I continue walking, Shiva sniffing at my side. I smile at the parent as we pass, glad she is aware not all dogs love to be mauled by little kids.
As we move beyond the beach, the woman says loudly to the child:
“How rude! Couldn’t she see you wanted to pet her dog? She must think she’s too good for us.”
I don’t understand…
Editor’s Note: Because I was remiss including one of my favourite Canadian dog blogs on my Canada Day post, I have to make sure to share the link now:
Kol’s Notes is a fun website with an adorable design. The blog stars Kolchak the Puggle, a dog who is always up for adventure. His stories are always filled with humour and if I’m ever in Vancouver again, I love a chance to say hello in person. My sincerest apologies for missing you on Friday. I blame the beer.