Anyone who has ever had a furry friend in their life knows as well as I do that dogs can be unpredictable. When I take our Boxer baby Xena for walks it never ceases to amaze me how many people let their children or pets run up to an unfamiliar dog without asking. Xena is typically great with kids, but I would much rather not have unfamiliar children sticking their hands in her face or “hugging” her around the neck.
The same is true with other animals. You can never tell just how two unfamiliar dogs will interact. Sometimes they like one another and sometimes they don’t. Dogs of different sizes can also be interesting to handle. I once had a lady let her two toy dogs out to “play” with Xena as we walked past her house. As the two little guys ran toward us she asked “is she friendly?” in a happy-go-lucky tone. I quickly had to pick Xena up to prevent disaster in that situation (not an easy task with a 60 pound dog, cheers to adrenaline). Xena has squeak toys bigger than those two pups. Not wise. I didn’t want to take a chance, particularly with the smaller dogs charging at her. We prefer to introduce her to other dogs in a safe and controlled manner.
The Yellow Dog Project is a brilliant cause. They championed the idea of placing a yellow ribbon, collar or scarf on dogs who need their space as a sign for others to keep their distance. In addition, they are helping to raise awareness that people should approach an unfamiliar dog with caution and ask permission from their humans before interacting with them, or allowing their children or pets to interact with them. Raising awareness and educating the public and our children about how to interact with animals can save the lives of many beloved dogs. Many thanks to the creators of this group, my hat’s off to you!
If you have a dog, please spread the word about the Yellow Dog Project to everyone you know and ask them to do the same.