Real Life Confession #478: MDIF

This morning I uttered a phrase I never thought I’d ever hear come out of my mouth. My shame is so deep I think my forehead is now permanently attached to the ground. It isn’t easy typing with one’s head stuck to the floor.

Shiva and I were walking in a nearby park. Most of this space is marked as off-leash, which is amazing. However, some parts of the trail are only off-leash from October to June. This is most likely due to the public beach also within the park zone. Since we do our morning walking before the sun comes up, I’ve been known to slide a little on these rules at that time of day.

When we got to the gravel path the gate was still closed, meaning no cars could get in. I figured this meant we were safe. I unclipped the leash and let Shiva do her usual running and sniffing and munching routine.

I have a pretty strict rule for off-leash activities in technically on-leash areas. The moment I see a dog or a person or a rabbit or a big foot I recall Shiva and get the leash back on. No matter how approachable the person or animal appears. It’s common courtesy as well as being the law. Therefore, I have no excuse for what happened this morning.

As we walked along a glittery puff of smoke appeared on the road in front of us. Before I could register anything the magical dust took the form of a man with a dog on a leash.*

Shiva’s recall is around 95% in instances such as these. She’d already gotten her zoomies out and scarfed all the mud in our general vicinity; I should have been able to get her back. I didn’t even try.

Don’t worry. It gets worse.

Because Shiva is a Shiva, she sees the dog and kicks up a shower of gravel in her urgency to get to him. Finally I emerge from my stupor** and realize what is about to happen.

“Sorry!” I call out, jumping up and down like a cheerleader. “She’s friendly!”


As soon as the words were spoken I felt a vortex swirl around me and suck me into the earth. At least, I wish one had. Instead I had to stand there and face my idiocy like the moron I am. It didn’t help that the man was amiable.

“No problem!” he said with a smile. “He would love to play!” He unleashed his dog and we watched the two of them run around together, wrestling and growling and having a good time.

Even the sight of the two dogs rough-housing couldn’t make me smile. I had violated something I held very dear. I had become an MDIF.

Even Shiva is stunned.

There is no going back from here. Now that I’ve said it, I will forever be one of them, kicked out of every dog-owning club I’ve ever joined, banished from all good company.

That’s not even the worst of it. Truly, what bugs me the most, is that by becoming what I most mock, I have lost my right to complain.

Oh, the humiliation of it all!

Will you forgive me if I promise to never let it happen again?

*I swear. It really happened just like that. Maybe they were actually aliens sent down to study our planet. Maybe the dog was the high commander. Or maybe they were time travellers from a different dimension. Alls I know is they weren’t there and then they were.

**I bet the aliens drugged me so I wouldn’t tell anyone. Ha! Too bad for them I built up a tolerance to such things during my experimental phase. Er, I probably shouldn’t be talking about that.

29 thoughts on “Real Life Confession #478: MDIF

  1. Early morning stupidity can be forgiven. Few people are higher functioning than a sheep at early morning walks. I’m glad to hear that you guys lucked out with another friendly dog, and I’m sure your first offence will be a final one!


  2. The fact that “sorry” came out of your mouth before “my dog is friendly” puts you leaps and bounds in front of most MDIF handlers.

    You live, and you learn… i’m sure you’ll be extra careful to scan your environment like a reactive border collie LOL to make sure you don’t see anyone else there. At least everyone WAS friendly and they got to have a good ol’ time.


  3. LOL – speaking for those of us with DINOS, you are officially forgiven. Everyone makes mistakes, experiences accidents, gets lost in thought occasionally. It’s the MDIFs that don’t even know or care what they’re doing is bad who incite my ire.

    I also wonder if Shiva wouldn’t have reacted differently herself had the dog at the other end of the park been expressing their concern over a meeting? She strikes me as pretty savvy and might have responded better than you think had it been a dog like Bella in her path.


  4. Welcome to the ranks of those of us with similar experiences. We are kind and understanding of each other, have no dues or bake sales. We all suspect that aliens from Pluto are responsible for our momentary lapse.


  5. Hi Kristine, okay let’s face it, you were lucky. The man was “friendly” and was unperturbed that Shiva was off-leash in a leashed area and running towards him and his dog. Another good point was his dog was friendly. Depending upon which one of us my mom and dad have on leash, this sort of encounter could go badly. My dad’s kind of protective of me because of my wheels and my brothers are reactive, one more so than the other. And my sister would not have liked a charging dog coming her way either. So all in all – things worked out in your favor and Shiva’s. And that’s good. So we figure, you know all about the blah-blah and that you’ll be extra careful next time. We still think you’re okay and my peeps would buy you and your PH a beer anytime that you’re out this way. Sound good?


  6. Oh dear – how unfortunate! But thank goodness the fella and his dog were friendly too! I had an unfortunate experience several weeks back where someone didn’t bother leashing their one dog (just the other) and that dog came running with tail up, hackles raised straight at Blueberry. I was so grateful that B is so used to aggressive dogs, that she did the right thing and lowered her head and stood still. The other dog realized that she wasn’t a threat and went back to the (bad) owners. They laughed about it and threw out a half-hearted “sorry” which really got on my nerves. Plus – it was a leash-only area, so their attitude did infuriate me.

    So really, you have nothing to worry about. A lesson learned and all in all – a non-event for Shiva.


  7. Hi, my name is Jodi and I’m an “MDIF.”

    The weirder thing is I have one dog on leash and one dog off, one reactive (sometimes) and one not.

    Luckily for me most dogs are off-leash where I walk, it is more running into the unexpected people who are hiking and walking. Usually if I say Sampson sit, he will and then I can usually get him on leash. I try to be very in tune to what is going on but sometimes stuff happens.

    I feel like you are very similar to me in that you don’t want your dog to be the one who ‘ruins’ it for others. Thankfully most ‘dog people’ are fairly understanding.


  8. I would have totally said the same thing, under the circumstances… Happens to all of us, I imagine: We do or say things that we swore we never would. But Shiva is lucky to have you and I think you can consider yourself judgment-free.


  9. ROTFLMAO! That is awesome. Just awesome…perhaps there’s a lesson here, for all of us? Perhaps these “jerks” we rail against for not being able to control their dog are just having a bad, low down rotten day? I mean, if it can happen to YOU, it could happen to ANY of us.


  10. Don’t be too hard on yourself! We all have our moments, for sure. As long as you don’t have a chronic case of MDIF, I think you’ll be just fine. 😉


  11. I will forgive you. Especially because the dude was all “Lol, it’s great!” and then your dogs played. If his dog had been reactive and he’d shot lazer eyes at you, we’d have a different story 😉


  12. 478 confessions ONLY? Slacker. I loved this and the MDIF post. it’s actually one of the reasons why I started littledogsonlongleashes. I was spewing over some lady and her toddler son who were “walking” their out of control little dogs on a narrow busy sidewalk on really long unretracted retractable leashes and who kept yelling out to me, “They’re friendly, don’t worry!” while they were lunging, barking and having a go at Georgia. Spewed. Spat dummy. Got the shits. And started a blog.

    Wow. That was a long sentence eh.


  13. Hahahaha! I think you’re just human and really, it’s the serial MDIF’s that are the problem. I think most, if not all of us, have been in that exact same situation. And know what? Shiva had a great time, no dogs were hurt and no dog owners put out of sorts.

    PS – you think maybe you were abducted by aliens on this early, early morning? hmmm…..


  14. Jersey generally leaves people and dogs alone, but Dexter? Now that he’s “grown up”. he tends to leave strangers alone. When he was a little puppy, I would go to the most isolated places that I could find so that we could have some off leash time. When he was a baby, in his mind everyone was his BFF and inevitably there would be the odd person that would come across our path. “Friendly Puppy! Friendly Puppy!” was my mantra for quite some time.


  15. Bwaaaaa ha ha! Oh, I’m sorry! I know it’s wrong to laugh, but I couldn’t help it. At least all’s well that ends well! I really wish there were a picture or video of this whole incident!


  16. Why am I the only one who doesn’t know what a MDIF is? Oh no, am I one? I am aren’t I? I loved your story but now I am going to be trying to figure out what a MDIF is all night!


  17. Oh Kristine – I SO feel your pain 😦 Cali is a 99% recall dog – unless we are in our front yard, and she sees a dog before we do . . .in that case, she runs barking at the poor people and dog, innocently walking up the street and I yell out – “I’m SO sorry! She’s friendly” . .but it doesn’t help. I can see the look on their face, and we feel like idiots.

    Now that Cali isn’t hearing very well, we have a new rule. We don’t even open our garage door unless she is on her leash. 😦

    Don’t be too hard on yourself . .we are all just doing the best we can!! (but maybe you’ll be a little more tolerant of the next MDIF!)


  18. Too funny!!! You’re absolutely forgiven. We all have an off day. Actually, the world might be a better place if we assumed whoever is annoying us at the moment is experiencing this alien-type phenomenon, and that on most days they’re just like us.


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  20. This really made me laugh, although I can see how it’s not the funniest thing to have happen to you. I think it’s great though that you’ve gotten to experience the other side of that equation–it just means that you and Shiva have come oh-so-far! And, hey, the guy didn’t seem to mind. 🙂


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