Saturday, July 30, 2011

Some People

I don't know how many people I interact with on a daily basis.  Even if you don't count Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail, the number still must reach into dozens.  I guess it's only natural that not every interaction leaves me with the warm fuzzies.

Nat - back when we did Rally Obedience class

The normal routine in the morning is that I get out of bed and let Nat and Pyxi out into the yard so they can run around, sniff, do their doggy business, and have some exercise.  I spend the time getting ready for the day.  It's a good arrangement for all three of us.

Pyxi doing Rally O
Yesterday, however, I heard a truck pull up to the house next door, guys voices, and then my dogs began to bark and wouldn't stop.  Since this gets annoying to me even when I'm in the house, I know it has to bug other people, so I went back out to the porch and called them to come in.  They ignored me and continued to bark at the guys next door.

"It's okay, lady, we're playing with them," said this one smiling guy. 

I thought that was kind of nice . . . until I realized that what they thought was playing was actually freaking out the dogs.  Pyxi has issues with warming up to other people.  She startles easily.  Even my friends who she's known since she was 7 months old know to ignore her when they first come in the house and then to let all interaction come from her.  They don't make loud noises and they definitely don't reach for the top of her head, which she hates.  Instead, they let her come up and sniff their hands, remain calm, and then, if she sticks around, they'll rub under her chin or her chest.

While I watched yesterday morning, Pyxi barked, and then bravely ran up to the fence to sniff the guys' pant legs.  Instead of remaining calm, the guys thought it was fun to roar, wave their arms, and then reach over the fence as if to grab her.  So, of course, she jumped back and started barking again. 

If you know dogs at all, you can tell by their body language whether they're playing or agitated.  Clearly, Pyxi was not playing.  On top of that, the guys even scared Nat who is much calmer and relaxed, usually, around people, so they wound him up, too. 

I was dressed only in my sleep shirt (sans bra), so this was not the place or time to explain things to the guys.  I just called the dogs again until they came and went back in the house.  Inside I was fuming.  I know the guys thought they were doing was okay, but all I could think was, "Thanks for reinforcing my dog's anxiety about approaching people."  Grrrrr.

On the drive to work, I was behind a Ford Escape.  The driver put on the left blinker and pulled into the left-hand lane in order to pass a car.  He' never turned off his blinker so the left light continued to flash red red red.  Unfortunately, he got stuck behind a truck, which meant that I gradually pulled alongside.  All of a sudden, he veered into my lane.

I honked the horn and he pulled back into the left lane -- and then started to cuss me out through his window.  Apparently it was my fault that he didn't see me and, I guess, that I didn't divine that he was about to pull over. I could have pointed out that A) I'm not psychic and B) His left blinker was still on so how was I supposed to know he was going to pull over in the other direction?  Instead, I decided not to argue with someone while we were both driving and simply continued on my way.

I'd like to think that, in both situations, I elected to take the high road instead of just the path of least resistance.

Some people just don't get it, do they?


lora96 said...

Oh my gawd what idiots terrorizing your doggies! I HATE it when people do stupid antagonistic crap like that and then act all "what, i'm just playing!"

diva smash!

Robena Grant said...

I agree with Lora. : )

I had a little kid who would walk past my fence and stamp his feet to wake up my Akita who loved to sunbathe on the inside side path. Nikki would go bazinga when the kid awakened her. While I felt mean doing it, I stopped the boy one day and asked him to walk past my place quietly and told him it was dangerous for him, to antagonize the dog. And I added it was also annoying for my old dog.

I know boys will be boys, but sheesh, I wouldn't irritate an Akita.

Hope said...

Even if they thought your dogs were enjoying themselves, surely they must have realized that your neighbors wouldn't appreciate the barking! How inconsiderate of them.