If You’d Asked Me… Pest wants to love up my dog

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SECTION 1, Continued:

God Is Great, Beer Is Good, and People Are Crazy

13. If a stranger insists on following and touching your dog even though you clearly say “No” and try to leave, . . .

is it self-defense to push, kick, or strike them when they refuse to leave you alone?

I find that walking briskly as though you had someplace to go will discourage people from approaching you and petting your dog. If you look like you’re loafing and taking the afternoon air, they feel free to socialize. If you don’t want to socialize, look like you’re on your way somewhere. The appropriate response to someone who wants to dote on the dog (or you) is “please be careful: my dog bites.”

IMHO it would not be self-defense if you struck or attacked someone just because they were petting your dog: your dog is not your self. If the person tried to block your way and stop you from leaving, that would be a different matter.

Once in a park habituated by drug addicts, I was walking with a young German shepherd and my small son. Two derelicts came strolling toward us. One, an older man, looked like true bad news. The other was a young man who appeared to be intellectually disabled. He also had the homeless look about him and clearly had taken up with the older guy, who appeared to feel pestered by the kid.

The instant the young fellow spotted us, he was drawn by the dog. Child-like, he came marching toward us and asked if he could pet the dog.

By now I had kicked into gear and was steering my son away from the playground as fast as we could go.

I said, “No, I’m sorry: she bites.”

This dog had never bitten a soul in her life.

He ignored me and continued moving toward us. When he reached out to pet the dog, she turned and snapped at him. She probably would have bitten him had she not been leashed and under my control, more or less.

Scared the bedoodles out of the apprentice bum. He and his mentor left forthwith.