MAIN PICTURE – Steve pictured above has the potential to be an incredible addition to your home! Come and visit him at the Niagara Falls Humane Society TODAY!
My neighbourhood is populated with a wide variety of dogs. I like it that way. There’s always a good chance of running into a fellow four-legged friend on a walk. I believe there is an implicit sense of communal respect for animals in this area as I have had many positive encounters with lovely people and their pets.
I must also mention the heaps of young children living in close vicinity. Many whom are enthusiastic about dogs, which is fantastic.
My last dog was a stoic golden retriever who would attract humans left and right. He was a sweetheart to the general public, adored by many, a real charmer. I didn’t have to worry about his temperament around anyone, he was an easy-going delight. The thought of dealing with a dog that was anything but remarkably chummy was never taken into serious consideration.
Fast forward to my current situation: handling a puppy wary of every stranger she meets. Her guard requires a number of personable visits in order to break it down. She really is a wonderful companion, though she may not make a good first impression with everyone.
Most notably, kids. Sporadic in their movement and communication, my pup cannot seem to wrap her head around the concept of tiny human beings. They don’t sit right with her and she is never shy to voice her opinion on the matter once she spots one approaching her personal bubble. The first time she reacted negatively to a child crossing her path, I think I was more startled than the little tike.
Steve again below…
We’re working on eradicating her anxious apprehension towards youngsters, but it’s stressful. I used to see people cross the street with their dogs to avoid contact with others, and didn’t think much of it, but now I completely understand how responsible the decision to detour can be in some cases. It wasn’t until I had a stubborn, excitable dog of my own that I began to relate to people who choose to do what may come across as ‘strict’ or ‘odd’ to people who have never owned a pet.
Teaching kids to ask permission to pet a dog is so important! This small gesture goes a long way and is much appreciated by the owner, especially by those whose canines may not want to be touched, though you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at it. Such an assumption can lead to a lot of trouble. This initial interactive exchange can mean a world of difference in terms of both safety and respect.
A note for those in the market to adopt an animal but are leaning more towards a small critter, the Humane Society has a bunch of bunnies in need of homes! If you’re interested, drop in at the main shelter and show these adorable fur-balls some love. Visit the Small Animals page on our website under adoptions for more information and some cute pictures. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
This week’s column written by: By Alexandra Hari
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