I just don't get it, I really don't. I understand that some people have a fear of dogs, come from a culture that does not see them as the fluffy bunnies we here in the US view them...but really!!!
So we are walking into a department store and there is a bank of four double doors with a double entry. This small child, toddler stage, is running around crazy laughing with the mother trying to get him with the father looking on. She sees Spirit (dressed, leashed in our Bold Lead harness - total business -) and starts panicing, running in circles, trying to find a door that will get her away from us while being able to scoop up her out of control child.
So we calmly enter the far right door as they finally go through the left. The child is straining and saying "doggie, doggie!" and the mother is saying "Bad doggie, doggie bite, doggie bite". I stop, turn and take a look at the family. The father is looking on smiling at his wife's (?) distress, she is repeating her "bad dog" statement in a loud voice. I could not keep my mouth shut.
I addressed the husband, since the woman's english was broken, and basically told them to cut it out. That all they were doing was giving the child a fear of dogs, encouraging both of them to fear working dogs. That NO dog that is out and working would ever bite a child, or an adult. That the hysterics are distracting and disturbing to a working team. If they are that afraid, be quiet, do not draw the dog's attention, and do not follow the team.
The husband had enough sense to look ashamed and blushed, took his wife aside and picked up the child.
To quote Charlie Brown. . . "ARGGG!!!!!!"
I get that some cultures have problems with dogs. We have done our own conversion therapy of a few people in my school, but really!
I noticed when I was on the east coast more dog fear than here on the west. This was my first experience in my home town. Have any of you out there had this same experience? How do you handle it?
On a good note, we walked up to a check out line and a little girl in front of us was ramping up for a good cry. Her face was all screwed up, her fists were balled up, she was taking a deep breath then . . . Poodle Power. She saw Spirit. She tilted her head, looked confused and then burst out laughing.