You’re out for a nice relaxing walk with your dog.
Your dog is sniffing away and your deep in the middle of a pretty awesome idea and then
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.
Somebody drives by in a car and honks their horn scaring the crap out of you and your dog.
It takes you a few seconds to make sure that you haven’t went into cardiac arrest and by the time you actually have a chance to look at the person who honked their horn, they’re gone, so you continue walking muttering unkind words under your breath.
This happens to me all the time when I’m out walking Sherman and Leroy and to be honest, I’m surprised that I’m not dead yet. One of these days I’m going to drop dead on the sidewalk and my dog is going to have to walk home by himself all because people use their car horn inappropriately.
I know I’m not alone here so I put together a list of things that people should never do to a person who is out walking their dog.
Don’t beep. Do you know how loud your car horn is? Do you jump if you’re walking past a car and it beeps? Yup. So why do it to a person walking a dog? A loud car horn scares the dog and the person. A scared dog could easy bolt away from their owner never to be seen again or get so spooked that the dog runs across a street and gets hit by a car. How about roll down your window and wave or say “What’s shakin bacon?” I’m fine with that and I’m sure it will bring a smile to my face. Now, I feel I have to make a special note to my friends who are reading who have beeped at me before: It’s all good, we’re still friends. I know you were just happy to see me and I was just as happy to see you, after I got done shitting my pants. Here’s the rule for you my totally awesome beeping friends: If I am walking my dogs on a busy road-no beeping at any time. The sidewalk is too close to the street, however. If you have any questions or need further explanation about these directions, call or text me because my health depends on it.
Don’t bark out your window as you’re driving by. This is usually unruly teenagers but I have had my fair share of grown men bark at us. Really? What’s the point to this? This freaks some dogs out and could lead to a dog getting injured. I don’t get it and it’s stupid so stop doing it.
Don’t stop your car on the street to say hello or ask questions. This is just dangerous for the driver, for the dog and for the person walking the dog. I’ve had an accident happen right in front of me because of this. Luckily it was just a mild fender bender and no one was injured but it’s so unnecessary. Don’t pull into a driveaway and get out of your car either, that’s creepy. Just keep moving.
Jog or ride a bike right up behind a person walking a dog. I’ve seen this happen a lot in the park and it’s happened to me once or twice. Some dogs get spooked around bikes and might take a jogger who has come up behind them as a threat. Always give a warning when you are coming up behind a person walking a dog. A great way to let a dog walker know that you are coming up behind them is to say ” Coming up on your left.” This gives the walker and the dog a little time to prepare for you passing by, although, one time a jogger said this to me and I moved over to left and he ran right into me and said “I meant your other left.” It was embarrassing.
Don’t whistle. This is totally confusing for the dog and for the dog walker. Many dogs are trained to respond to a whistle as a command so they hear a whistle and they stop walking or sit or whatever it is they were trained to do. Dogs walkers aren’t sure if you are whistling at them or their dog. Just kidding. We know you’re totally whistling at the dog. But seriously, a whistle is a silly thing to do to someone who us walking a dog. It’s right up there with human barking.
So how about you? Do you have anything to add to this list? Is there something that someone does to you when you’re out walking the dog that drives you crazy?