I like dogs. I have friends who own dogs and I consider myself their dog’s friend as well.
I don’t own a dog, although I have in the past but that was over 50 years ago. I am not afraid of dogs and am friendly to dogs that are friendly to me. I have never been bitten by a dog or had a reason to fear or be suspicious of a dog’s behaviour – that is until today. When I was walking along the Esplanade on Willows Beach this morning, I was approached by two women and their standard poodle. As we passed, the dog growled, jumped up and bit me on the side of my left breast.
The women apologized and said that it was the first time he had done that. Be that his first time or 10th time, it makes no difference. The fact is the dog bit me. Had I been shorter, or a child, the bite may have been on my face. The injury I sustained may not have been major, but it was traumatic. Even after several hours, I could still feel the spot where the dog bit me.
What is to be taken away from all of this? Dogs are unpredictable. Dog owners need to take responsibility for their animals. Do not assume your dog will not exhibit dog-like behaviours. For reasons unbeknownst to me, this dog did not like me. It could have been the hat and sunglasses I was wearing or the orange sweatshirt or perhaps he felt that I was too close to his master. The fact is your dog bit me.
Sidewalks are for people. If you are walking your dog, you and your dog should make way for the pedestrian. The pedestrian should not be the one that steps off into the street. I have been walking along that stretch of the Esplanade for several years. Walking along the Esplanade at Willows Beach is a place where I used to feel a sense of peace and tranquility. Now, I will be walking with caution and wondering if the dog approaching will be the next one to bite me.