Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Random Rant - It's Not Okay For You To Touch Our Kids Without Permission

Towards the end of last year, Lisa and I were in a retail location that allowed pets. It was the holiday season so the store was busy. While browsing, I noticed an older lady shopping. She had a tiny dog in her carriage. I also took notice to a couple of young children running around the store with the intent to pet every dog in the store. I could tell a few of the dog parents were getting irritated.They had every right to be.

The children ran up to the woman's carriage. Her dog barked. The woman immediately told the children to stop. Her voice was stern when she said, "Don't touch my dog." The mother of the children gave the woman a dirty look and walked away. Her children were instructed to follow. I could tell she wanted to say something, but at the last minute she bit her tongue.

I stood there silently applauding the woman with the dog. I also wouldn't have hesitated in backing her up had there been an altercation.

Situations like this anger and frustrate me for so many reasons. And, it's one of the reasons why we don't bring our kids to many retail locations. Despite our best efforts, young children, and even some adults, think it's okay to approach our kids with the intent to touch them without our permission. We always speak up. More often than not, we get dirty looks and, on a few occasions, we've been called names.

Why are we so adamant about strangers, both young and old, not touching our kids?

To explain, I'll go down the path of "What If..."

Let's say Lisa and I take Lobo into a store that allows pets. It's busy. Noisy. There's lots of hustle and bustle.

Despite our best efforts to keep Lobo close to us and monitor his immediate surroundings, a couple of young human children come running from around the corner. They see Lobo and both squat down to pet him. Lobo bites one of the young humans.

This all happens within a few seconds.

I do want to mention that none of our kids have ever bitten anyone or us. However, there's always a slim chance that it could happen. That goes for any animal. Always expect the unexpected.

The parent/s of the young human children approaches us.

What could happen from there?

They can call the police and file a dog bite report.

The ACO can seize Lobo and keep him quarantined for a couple of weeks.

Lisa and I would be responsible for paying the daily boarding fee at the pound which ranges anywhere between $10 and $25. That would be a hefty $140 - $350 out of our pockets plus any additional fines.

The parent/s could sue us for medical costs and probably other stuff.

The parent/s could also make our life a living hell for quite some time.

See where I'm going with this?

It frustrates me to no end that young children are not being educated about approaching dogs or any other animals. It frustrates me even more that adults will walk up to a pet parent and touch their fur-kid without permission.

It's not okay. Ever.

If you're the parent of a human child, you wouldn't want a stranger approaching your human baby or human kid and petting their head or pulling them in for a hug, right?

That's actually kind of creepy...

So, why do you feel it's okay to allow your human children to do this to the fur-kids of pet parents?

Why do you feel it's okay for you to do this as well?

Educate your human kids.

Educate yourselves.

Have respect for pet parents and their fur-kids.

And, by all means, when a pet parent says NO, it means NO.

While you're at it, keep the dirty looks and snarky comments to yourself.

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