Real Life Confession #85: Things For Which I Will Not Apologize

018Shiva the dog is a dog. She makes a lot of mistakes. I am a human. I make a lot of mistakes when I am handling her. I am happy to own up to these gaffes. In fact, I have been happy to take the blame for every misstep ever made by a human since the beginning of time. Ones that included dogs and ones that did not.

For thirty-two years I have retracted, I have repented, and I have redressed things that happened under my supervision and things that happened when I wasn’t in the area code. It is always my fault.

But there are straws and there are camels and there are backs.* After all of this time I am drawing a line. There are now certain things, dog-related things, for which I will no longer apologize. I vow:

1. I will not apologize when my dog reacts to another dog who invades her space when the other dog’s owner is disobeying city bylaws. These bylaws include not being off-leash outside of designated areas and not being on a leash that exceeds two metres in length. So to the man walking the dog on the extendable leash in Old Strathcona tonight? I am not sorry Shiva snapped and otherwise flipped out at your dog. Your dog, while perfectly lovely I am sure, should not have been able to cross the road to get in her face. This was your fault, kind sir, not mine. You should apologize to me.

2. I will not apologize when I break the bylaws and annoy someone else who is also breaking the bylaws, especially when my flouting of the rules does less harm. So to the man walking the dog on the extendable leash – this seems to be a common law-breaking habit – in the ravine Wednesday morning? I am not sorry I failed to re-leash my dog in an on-leash area. It was dark and your dog was trotting so far away from you I assumed her or she was off-leash as well. My dog obviously did too which is why she was clotheslined on your illegal leash’s cord. I am not sorry we irritated you. I am sorry your leash almost hurt my dog.

3. I will not apologize when my dog slips her collar and gets an illegally off-leash dog riled up to the extent he or she cannot be recalled. This is not my fault. If your dog does not have a solid recall with all distractions, including nutty on-leash dogs, he or she should not be off-leash in an on-leash area. So to everyone who walks their dogs off-leash in the clearing of the ravine every weekend morning? You have been warned. The next time, I might just let her go on purpose.

4. I will not apologize when my dog lunges at people who stand behind trees and then leap out in front of me. Especially when it is dark. You are lucky all she does is bark.

I'm just a dog in the world. That's all that I wanna beeeee.

I’m just a dog in the world. That’s all that I wanna beeeee.

5. I will not apologize when my dog sets off dogs whose handlers are walking them in groups of five down the middle of the road on extendable leashes. The size of the dogs is irrelevant. My dog deserves to walk in peace as much as those belonging to other people. If I can walk on the sidewalk and keep my dog in her own space, other people can too. If my dog’s presence is so arousing that your dogs just can’t take it? You need to do some training. I recommend starting by walking one at a time on a shorter leash.

Am I being unfair? Is there anything for which you refuse to apologize?

*Line shamelessly stolen from one of my favourite Canadian films. Betcha can’t guess which one.

17 thoughts on “Real Life Confession #85: Things For Which I Will Not Apologize

  1. Not unfair at all! I will not apologize for yelling at an off leash dog when it comes up to my leashed dogs, nor will I apologize for body blocking it. I will not apologize for not letting you pet my dog; did I ask if I could fondle you? I will not apologize for not letting my dog play with your out of control dog that 6x her size.
    Nola’s Mom


  2. Howdy Mates. No you do not need to apologise at all. I also will not apologise for blocking a dog from mine if they invade our space and I will not apologise for saying my dog does not like his head petted. You may pet his side but not his head. (Some people seem to think ALL dogs love having their ears rubbed. Rory does, but only by me). Also I will not apologise for my dogs barking when someone walks past our house. They are inside their fenced yard and they just like to bark at passers by. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)


  3. I will not apologize for spoiling my dog, carrying her when she is tired – for putting her in my purse when I go in the mall – she is tiny, she is quiet – and as an abused rescue dog, she deserves to be spoiled


  4. I will not apologize to anyone (including children) when they foolishly try to run up to Blueberry to pet her and I block them from approaching her and say loudly “NO, STEP BACK.” Thankfully, I don’t have to do this often because quite frankly, I hate confrontation.

    Love this post.


  5. Love this!
    And agree! Being the owner of the bigger dog (99% of the time), it seems like I’m expected to apologize for any reaction or less-than-perfect interaction, regardless of the aggressor or fault. Nope. Not happening.


  6. I won’t apologize when I warn you my dog is snarky on leash, and yet you still let your dog come right up on mine. What part of “My dog isn’t friendly” don’t you get?


  7. You are so right! I also apologise too much for thing that are totally not my fault, or my dogs fault. I also see many things in my clinic that clients should not apologise for on behalf of their dogs. In particular, there is no need to apologise because your dog is scared and doesn’t want to take a treat from the scary (!) vet. There is however a need to apologise if your dog goes over and sniffs at that poor little cat in its carrier who is on the floor and totally petrified! Again, retractable dog leashes are usually the problem there. They are just terrible things, and I’ve never come across one that actually locks properly! Well said, on all counts!


  8. Nope, you nailed it. I really only apologize when my illegally off-leash dog runs up to others that are dog-less or who have their dogs on leash. Then I feel the need to apologize, but in any of those situations you listed, Absolutely not. As for the person jumping out from behind the tree…..Oh my, they might have gotten a face full of pepper spray. LOL


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