If I ruled the world, I would outlaw those awful extending leashes. There is nothing to be accomplished by having your dog 12′ away from you when your dog then has to walk at your pace anyway. No, the only thing that you accomplish is having no control over your dog when a crisis happens. I’ve seen dogs almost hit by cars because they ran into the road. I hit a dog while biking because it lunged off the sidewalk after me. And on the multiuse trail in the park, I’ve had to come to a screeching halt on my bike when my call of, “on your right” led to the dog owner stepping off the trail to the right and the dog running off the trail to the left, effectively clotheslining the trail.
But yesterday was the limit. We were at Petco, waiting in line to check out. The woman in front of us had a very pretty bulldog on an extending leash. As we get to the line, the bulldog rushes back toward us. I let out a squeak, and she reeled the dog in. He sat beside her for a moment, but then came back toward us. Shasta was fine at first, but when Ferrett spoke to the bulldog, he jumped toward Ferrett. It was a friendly jump, but Shasta is very protective of her people, so she was alarmed and lunged forward to protect Ferrett, and the bulldog turned his attention on Shasta. I had her, and things should have been under control. But the owner, who was paying no attention, upon feeling the lunge? Released the fraking leash. The bulldog went after Shasta, who ran behind me to get away. The bulldog chased after her, and suddenly I was wrapped in the extending leash, unable to get to Shasta to help her. Fortunately, Ferrett was there and able to help me get untangled. Throughout all this, the owner was oblivious. Eventually she retrieved her dog and wandered away.
Also, Petco is dog friendly, but people, PLEASE watch your kids. As we walked through the front door, someone was walking a dog out that lunged forward to sniff Shasta. She is a little dog-shy, so was startled but okay. But then another dog passed, and at the same moment a little girl ran up, squeeing “cute doggie!” and stuck her hand right in Shasta’s face. My heart was in my throat. Fortunately, Shasta didn’t freak out and snap at her. Please, please, parents, teach your children to always ask before petting a dog. Even friendly dogs can be nervous dogs if they are startled, and I’m just glad that the little girl didn’t learn that lesson from Shasta.