A few weeks ago I went for a walk in some beautiful woods with Fifi in the baby sling and toddler boy sort of running free, with random rein usage to keep him in check. It was all going well, we stopped to look at leaves and insects and to decide which path to take. THEN, toddler boy stood still, went red in the face and strained. Oh S**t, quite literally and as I didn’t have any spare nappies with me, this thought had double resonance. So the dilemma came. I had a quick peak and it was quite a solid one, several thoughts ran through my mind;
Should I go home?
Should I let him wander about with it?
Should I use my last remaining tissue and scoop/ flick it out and hope it gets buried in the undergrowth? Lets face it- we’ve all had that thought in such dire times of need
What would Tommy Zoom do? (in the voice of the man who does the voice overs in the Cbeebies programme)
Shall I? Shan’t I? I wish I wasn’t so indecisive.
Then, in the distance a dog walker appeared. Oh S**t times twenty, this really isn’t the time for indecision. So I dithered, until the dog walker was about 40 metres or so from us. This was when her dogs decided to come bounding over to us. Now, I’m not keen on strange dogs at all. I don’t mind ones I know, or ones that belong to friends whom I trust. But strange ones, no way. Frozen with a mixture of fear and indecision, I looked at toddler boy trembling in his wellys.
This was not on, the dogs were bouncing around us, yaping, nearly as big as toddler boy. So, I did what all rabbits do when frozen in the headlights and stood incredibly still, poised to boot one of the dogs if they came within a metre of toddler boy. And, I stood still and still and still, for about 4 minutes. At which point I looked over at the horse faced witch dog owner. She spoke; ‘Don’t worry they are good with children.’ RAGE overcame me. I considered kicking the dogs, then realised it wasn’t their fault. I then considered kicking the owner, that would have required leaving toddler boy to the mercy of the dogs. I spoke ‘I’m actually very frightened of dogs and have been trying not to convey this to my toddler’. She looked at me with an evil stare, whistled the dogs and off they bounded. No apologies or explanation as to why it was such a good idea to let her dogs intimidate some strangers.
I still feel aggravated and annoyed by this encounter. Its not the first time that a similar thing has happened to me. Myself and a work colleague have an on going battle with another dog owner in Verulamium Park who insists on letting her Doberman run up and bounce up onto both of us. Despite, both of us telling her we are scared of dogs. It is a very frightening experience when a large strange dog jumps on you. I cannot understand the selfishness of it. I choose not to have a dog, why do I have to put up with other peoples dogs jumping all over me? Especially when I am genuinely frightened of them.
The thing that worries me is that these dog owners are usually at quite a distance from their dogs, how can they be so sure that the dog wont suddenly take a dislike to me, or one of the kids? It is, in my opinion extremely irresponsible, selfish and unthinking behaviour. And just in case I do ever encounter the dog owning witch of Sherrardswood I shall be hoping that toddler boy does another special poo, which I can accidentally flick her way. Rant over.