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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    Default Screaming incident

    The weather finally became cool in central florida today and I was very pleased to be able to take Kit on a nice cool morning walk. As we were passing by the dog park, there was this 20 something year old woman on her phone passing by. Kit tried to walk up to her to get petted. This woman screamed bloody murder like Kit was a giant green monster. It was a scream of genuine fear and terror. Kit thought her scream was fun and wanted to approach. I didn't react at the time and kept moving because that is what our trainer taught us. Since she was on the phone, I couldn't even apologize. Her scream really came out of the left field. After she was out of sight, I couldn't stop laughing. It was uncontrollable laughter because I've never heard a scream like that and it came out of nowhere. My husband started berating me because we probably gave that poor girl night terrors. How should I have handled this differently? Has this ever happened to you?

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I donít really understand what your husband thinks you should have done differently. Kit is a friendly, leashed, dog who is in training. Itís fine for people not to want to interact with her, but there are better (and safer) methods of getting that point across than screaming bloody murder. It might also be helpful for people who are THAT afraid of dogs to avoid walking in front of dog parks. Maybe thatís just me.

    That 20-something, who couldnít be bothered to get off of the phone for long enough to ask you not to let Kit get too close to her, is very lucky that Kit was both leashed and emotionally stable. That kind of reaction to the wrong dog could end up prompting a defensive reaction in the dog, possibly ending in a bite.

    Yes, as dog parents, it is our responsibility to understand and respect the fact that not everyone wants to interact with our dogs, no matter how adorable and friendly they may be. However, those people have the responsibility to assess each potential unwanted interaction and respond appropriately. If a humongous, unleashed dog is running toward you with hackles up and teeth bared, okay - scream. If a friendly, leashed dog walks past you on a sidewalk, maybe try a more measured response. I mean, itís not like you and Kit jumped out of the bushes at her wearing killer clown masks. She could easily have asked you to keep your distance.

    As for your laughing afterwards, Iím no expert, but it sounds like you were having a fairly normal stress response. Obviously, when a person starts screaming at the top of her lungs in a situation where it isnít really warranted, itís stressful. You donít know anything about this person except that her judgement may be a bit off. You have no idea what she might do next. That can be terrifying, especially when animals are involved. Itís normal to experience a buildup of emotional tension in a situation like that. Once the situation is over, and you know that everyone is going to be okay, the tension is still there, and needs to be released. Thatís where the laughter comes in. I watched a documentary on human behavior years ago that described laughter as modified screams. We laugh when we need to release that tension, but we know weíre safe. Test the theory out the next time youíre on a ride at a theme park - it will make sense.

    I think you handled the entire situation as well as anyone could be expected to.
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  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    Thank you. Her reaction was so extreme, she bolted before I could say anything to her. I mean we might as well be wearing a Pennywise costume and jumping out of the bushes. I felt bad that I startled her that bady but her reaction was insane. She reacted as if we were at Universal Studios's Halloween Horror Night and we were chasing her through a haunted house. That was the reason I laughed because I've never quite seen a reaction like that before. Even when we had Sahara, no one has ever reacted like that. Kit was clearly on a leash and she is friendly. I don't ever let her off leash in public because her recall is not great. Our previous neighbor has two high energy lab puppies that were a bit insane during their adolescence. People were afraid of them because they were mouthy and jumpy but they usually just keep their distance rather than scream. Kit is not mouthy but likes to jump up sometimes. She sits for the first 1 min of petting and then if she gets more attention, she would start jumping up for kisses. We have been working hard at correcting this but it is a working progress. Sometimes, it isn't even her fault. Some people would come over and gush a little too much and she knows it and goes insane.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    SM's first paragraph made me laugh...

    snow, how close were you & Kit to this person when she decided her life was in imminent danger?
    I wonder if she didn't even realize you guys were coming??

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    She definitely knew because we were on the sidewalk with both Kit and Lucky. She came in from across the street and jay walked while chatting on the phone. Perhaps she was not paying attention but she was passing by us on a wide sidewalk. She was maybe 2 feet away.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I have had grown adults cross the street to get AWAY from Sebastian and me, but never cross to our side of the street and then scream like a teenager in a slasher film.

    Either she wasnít paying attention, or she has some serious issues.
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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow0160 View Post
    She was maybe 2 feet away.
    Ah, close enough for her to dramatize the clear immediate and imminent bodily harm...
    There is a possibility she wasn't paying attention who was on the sidewalk and when she noticed Kit was obviously pulling on the leash in an attempt to maul her to death....

    However, there is a difference between a situation where I walk my dogs to a person who doesn't like dogs and your situation where this young lady actually crossing the street and ended up on the same sidewalk you were already on.

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    Yeah that is what I said which is why it was so odd. And you know it is definitely a few days too soon for Halloween 🎃 lol. Maybe she was on drugs because she definitely didnít look like she was running around the lake on the bike trail like me. Hm... I feel less bad for my hysterical laughter. I did want to mention that the cool weather is a nice change. Kit loves going out on walks and having the wind blowing through her hair. Hope we donít run into this chick again.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    Thank god that has never happened to us, Apollo would be dangerous in that situation! Personally I have an issue where I laugh when I am uncomfortable and generally at inappropriate times, so I would have done the same. I really don't see why your husband had that reaction, unless that was his stress response to the situation.

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