Lily's very reactive when she's on leash and she sees another dog. She's not aggressive, but the scene could get ugly if the other dog isn't friendly. Lily makes all kinds of racket, jumps in the air, and is pretty much "crazy dog" until the other dog is out of sight.
Out for a photo shoot, I chose the quiet end of the park on purpose – I know Lily and I try to control the distractions as much as humanly possible.I also had Talos – all 110 pounds of him – out at the same time. I constantly scan my surroundings when I have Lily out, so if a distraction does come into view, I'm hip to it long before she is and I can prepare myself (and Lily).
Nightmare of nightmares happened today.
An off leash dog.
Not just an off leash dog. An off leash dog with no recall.
Fabulous. It doesn't get any better than this: I've got a reactive Labrador and a 110-pound Great Dane who takes his cues from the Lab. And now, I've also got an unknown dog directly in the mix. And an owner who isn't in any hurry to get her dog!
My mind is racing as I hurtle along, my feet skidding on the wet leaves. All I'm hoping is the dog is friendly and that the owner gets her dog as quickly as possible. Because it's very likely that I'm going down on the ground. And wouldn't that be pretty: three dogs (weighing in at a combined weight of about 250 pounds) and one woman amidst the tangle of leashes.
The poor photographer – what a sight (and a fright!) she must have gotten!I'm skidding along helplessly at the end of two leashes, there's growling, there's jockeying for position, there's barking, it's a whirlwind of fur and noise.
For all the noise and the fur, there wasn't any damage to anyone (except my psyche!).The woman got her dog and I got Lily and Talos back in this universe. Lily was too worked up to be any good for the rest of the shoot, and Talos was largely unaffected. He's a laid-back boy, he thought the incident was nothing but fun.
This is my plea: please (please!) leash your dogs! YOUR dog might be friendly, but other dogs don't appreciate having other dogs in their face. And you run the very real risk of letting your dog run right into an aggressive dog.
It's not fair to people who don't like dogs, who are afraid of dogs, or who don't want to be bothered by a dog. It's not fair to everyone else whose dog is on a leash. It's not fair to your own dog, who could really easily run off to chase a squirrel and wind up under the tire of a car.
Don't do it. Just leash your dog and be a responsible dog owner and considerate park user.