Respectfully Yours: Pet Decorum

Before the last two days of horrible weather, I’d become accustomed to taking Soon hee on a daily walk. Not only has it been great for her, but also wonderful for me.Walking allows us to get a bit of fresh air and much needed exercise. I truly enjoy this time with her but it also comes with a few troubles. My dog-Soon hee is a 5.5 year old teacup Yorkshire Terrier. She weighs under 4 lbs so of course you can imagine how wonderfully cute she is. Adults, children and seniors light up ear to ear when they see her approaching. Her tiny size and overall cuteness, makes many want to reach out to touch her, and to those I say to you-DON’T. It’s always a good rule of thumb to exercise pet manners. You see it is my responsibility to protect my dog and that means shielding her from uncomfortable situations and people she is not familiar with. And while I understand she looks like a puppy and seems non-aggressive, she still has teeth and therefore is capable of biting you or your child. It must be said, that I’ve yet to witness Soon hee bite anyone, well except playfully when my younger sister or S.O are rough playing with her. I do not feel Soon hee is capable of seriously biting anyone, but I also don’t want to take chances with my precious dog’s life.

In Illinois (and like most states), if someone is bitten by a dog and its reported, that dog is put to sleep. My dog will not become a casualty because someone couldn’t resist the urge to reach out and touch her. A scent or manner in which one reaches, could be off putting, or she could become afraid and bite in defense. Parents, you also should not urge your child to “go give puppy a rub.” While I appreciate the ooh’s and ahhs over my precious Soon hee, do not touch her nor encourage your child to do so. Keep in mind, any outsider should always ask an owner’s permission before reaching for a pet, and if ┬ámet with an unexpected no, do not regard the owner as being rude. Simply put, they are looking out for the best interest of their dog.

I am quite fortunate, while Soon hee is quite reserved outdoors. Her exploration does not include acquainting herself with others-peoples and animals included (except for pigeons, she tries to go after them). Soon hee will simply walk down the street and does not respond to being called, whistled or tsked at. She also will not come if a person’s puts out their hand to her but merely hides behind my leg. Strangers would have no idea by her outside demeanor, that anytime-anyone comes over, Soon hee is convinced its her guests as she leaps into their arms and greets them with licks. Outdoors, she is much more reserved and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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6 thoughts on “Respectfully Yours: Pet Decorum

  1. I 100% that people should never approach another’s pet without asking permission first. One small suggestion is that you may want to tie a yellow ribbon on your dog’s leash. It is a symbol that is recognized by many as a request not to approach the dog for a variety of reasons (old, nervous, unwell, etc.). You can check out Yellow Dog Project for more information. Should you have to do this? No, but it may help keep a few people at bay.

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  2. With your doggie being tiny I guess people.. as you say, think it’s a puppy or that he doesn’t get scared and might bite. Our dog is not as small, but he is a Llaso Apso and so is smaller than many dogs, and when people come up to him, I usually say something to the effect that he doesn’t know you.. and so we need to be careful…. In his case he is quite friendly and so I say ‘hold out your hand if you want’ and let him sniff it, and then you can pat his head. .. But with your little doggie, you I guess, just can’t encourage that kind of interaction… because he isn’t wanting anyone to pat him… and you can’t take a chance… People should always give a courtesy and at least ask! Diane

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    • Diane, your approach is awesome. And I couldnt agree more with people asking-but they never do. Thankfully, I never linger when we are out so I hear the comments, smile and keep walking as they are reaching towards her. Also because she is so small, one has to even be careful with how they pick her up or touch her. Many places that have her bred for adoption, will not allow it to go to a home with children under the age of 14. This is because the dog can be hurt. As it stands, Soon hee runs and hides from my now 5 year old nephew. Apparently when she was younger, he was a bit rough with her and my mum would put her in another room. So she remembers this when he comes around.

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