It’s such a dilemma, having a not-so-social dog. I’m exceptionally social. It’s hard for me to not be social. Yet, when we’re out walking, I need to be less social to keep my little black Labrador comfortable and calm.
I just did a little emergency u-turn with said black Labrador (the little girl on the left there) when I saw my neighbor coming up the street with her dog.
The social butterfly in me cringes as I turn away. I want to shout “I’m friendly! Really! I’m just turning around because of my dog.” And Lily’s friendly, too, just very reactive when she’s on leash. (Reactive means she barks and acts like a nut at the sight of another dog. She will cause no harm whatsoever, but it flips the other person and their dog out quite a bit.)
The picture to the left was taken during a professional photo shoot in a local park where we have a leash law. You know where this is going…
As the photographer was snapping shot after beautiful shot of my Lily (who is very clearly on-leash in this picture, thank you very much) an off-leash dog comes barreling into the shot, completely out of control, the owner saying “He’s friendly, he’s just saying ‘Hi’.”
Them’s fightin’ words to the owner of a reactive dog. I could go on for 12 blog posts about that one incident, but I refuse to digress. At least for today. Back to my sociability and Lily’s lack thereof.
So I’m left wondering if my neighbor recognizes that I turned around and avoided her and her dog because I was looking out for my dog. We live far apart, relatively speaking, and we don’t see each other often, but it really pains this extravert to well, subvert my social side. I feel the need to explain it to everyone. Which is why you’re reading this — I need to get it OUT somehow.
If you are an introvert, having a reactive or antisocial dog is right up your alley. You have a really good reason to keep moving along when someone wants to chat. But for me, the most chipper kid on the block, it’s tough.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d much rather appear antisocial and keep Lily happy. It’s just that I then have this unresovled need to be polite and let someone know that I really am social. I’m cuckoo, don’t you think?
Does your dog match your personality type? How so? Or how not? Please leave a comment.