Monday, January 22, 2007

At the Market.

Did you ever get stuck in a situation where you witnessed something or heard something and wish you said something, but you didn’t, because you did not want to make a scene or maybe you thought it was none of your business?

I am not like that.

We were at a very crowded farmers market the other day when I witnessed something that irritated the hell out of me; people with their dogs. I have a dog. I love my dog. I think dogs are great, but not at a farmers market. I don’t care how well behaved or great your dog may be, it is still a dog. It is an animal.

At the farmers market there was a little boy, maybe 4 years old, sitting in a stroller. The boy was facing right, toward the table that his father was scanning, when a golden retriever on a leash walked up to the kid’s left. When the kid turned his head he was startled by the dog, at his level, on his left and he began to cry. The dog started to growl. The kid’s father heard the growl and knelt down between the dog and the kid.

The woman walking the dog turned towards the father and said in snippy tone, “Oh the farmer’s market is no place to bring a child who is afraid of dogs.”

I watched as the father said nothing and tried to calm his frightened child.

I then had that internal argument with myself. “Should I say something? No. It is none of your business. Don’t bother. Well that woman just acted like a total bitch to that little boy. She should apologize. This is a place for people. Not for dogs. The last time I checked people paid for produce. Not animals. I have never seen a dog with a wallet. No. Nevermind, don’t say anything. Wait a minute, what if that was Max or Wyatt and the lady said something like that?” Then my internal monologue stopped and I yelled at the lady.

“This is a place for people, and not for your god damned dog. And you should apologize to that boy for scaring him.”

I stood there, chest out, eyes fixed on the bitch with the dog. I was ready for her rebuttal. I was ready for her argument. The entire area around me became quiet as people turned their heads to see what was causing the raucous. I started to glance around and realized that there were about 15 people around me, all with dogs. I think they all thought I was talking to them. I realized I was out numbered; I lowered my head and moved on.

Stupid internal monologue.

36 comments:

Susie said...

I love dogs. I can't stand to see children frightened when it is avoidable. And that surely was. It's a golden rule thing. Would that lady like to be strapped into a seat and have a beast about twice her size unexpectedly appear face to face with her? Nope. People who are taking their dogs to such places have to be responsible for what they're doing. Um...next time, scan the area first. Glad they didn't turn on you.

bbsgirl said...

Well I think it's completely understandable why you did what you did. I would have done the same thing. I agree that a Farmer's Market is no place to bring your dog. I hope she eventually appologized to that poor frightened child and the Father.

mary said...

Wow, I am glad that no one set their dog on you!!
You should be proud of yourself for standing up for the little boy and his dad.

TBG said...

I dont understand why people bring dogs to places like that either. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

You have always stood up for the under'dog'. It must be a left handed thing.

Anonymous said...

To stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves. That is Honor. Uncommon Valor if you will

jd said...

I can't believe that many people bring their dog to a place where they sell food! I have a dog, and I wouldn't do that!

Scottsdale Girl said...

Being of the "cuss every chance you get persuasion" I wonder if it was the GD reference that perhaps gave you odd looks rather than applause?

Most folks don't like it when I swear like a sailor in the farmer's market, because it might offend their dog.

Scottsdale Girl said...

Ugh ok I meant to say I have no issue with the GD reference somewhere in that first sentence Sorry.Bacardi doesn't write good.

Nilbo said...

I think my creds as a dog lover are fairly well established. But I HATE when people assume that just because THEY love lil Fifi or enormous Rover, that everybody else has to. That just because THEY know their dog is (to this point) hasn't been aggressive or bitten anyone, everybody else should take their word for it.

You can call yourself "mommy" or "daddy" all you want when you're talking to your puppy - that doesn't make it a human being with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.

Just as there are some places where kids shouldn't be, there are some places where dogs shouldn't be. And at a Farmer's Market, scaring kids ...? That's a no-brainer.

Sadly, a no-brainer is just the kind of person who does that.

Sharkey said...

I hate it when people bring their dogs to things like that too. But since I don't have kids and I do have a dog, I tend to think of it from the dog's perspective.

How much fun do you think your dog is having in the 90-degree heat, walking on the pavement that's probably 120 degrees, surrounded by throngs of people who may be unaware of its presence and could step on it at any moment? Don't you think he'd be more comfortable lounging around on the couch at home where it's cool?

A lot of people do it with puppies, and I think it's because of all the attention it gets them. Idiots!

Steve said...

Good for you for saying something. Sometimes people feel this sense of entitlement and too often and sit back and just endorse it.

I'm gald you said somethime.

Danielle Meehan said...

Right on. Thankfully there are people like you that have the balls to say something. (So that people like me can stay shy and silent.) I don't get why people think their dogs should have more rights than our kids. Don't get me wrong I love dogs but there are clearly situations in which they don't belong.

Character Builder said...

As I was reading along, I kept thinking, "Say something! Say something!" I'm so glad you did. I hope that the kid's parents heard you say it and that the correct dog owner knew your comment was directed at her.

Animals are animals, and no matter how great of a pet they are, the nicest dogs will bite under the right (or in this case, wrong) circumstances. Leave the dogs at home, people!

Jay said...

I love my dog and pets in general, and I like my boys to be around animals... IN THE RIGHT SITUATION. I agree completely, that the uncontrolled setting of the Farmer's Market, where there are obviously going to be children present, is not the place to bring a dog.

Way to go!!! I wouldn't have had your guts to say anything.

momo9 said...

This blog is going to the "dogs"! Dogs just have no manners. Their owners are the same. Obviously, by this story. At a farmer's market I would leave the dogs and the kids at home!

momo9 said...

By chance, was the child in the stroller L.W.?

Susie said...

Scottsdale girl cracked me up (the language might offend the dogs), but she has a point. You're lucky the people with dogs didn't make them bite you for using such gd language in front of all the effin' children!!!
You might wanna stay away from the market for a while.

Mainline Mom said...

I like seeing dogs out in public, but that lady was just rude. I don't take my dog out in public because she's got bad manners and would freak some people out.

nadia said...

awwww LOL. i'm so glad that you stood up for that little kid, though. i'm sure the father, and his son, were very grateful. That's really thoughtful of you. The lady should at the very least have been considerate of the boy's feelings; it wouldn't have killed her to kneel down to the little boy and try to comfort him after her dog ended up growling at the poor kid. i think you did the right thing.

stepblog said...

Bill, it is so good to see in this topsy turvy world that some things never change. And one of those things is you.

Right there with you on this one--major pet peeve of mine when a dog owner of a dog who is threatening a person says "Don't worry, he's nice," or "Oh, you must not like dogs." Owners are responsible for making sure their dogs don't scare people or make them uncomfortable.

eclectic said...

I woulda had your back, William. Your internal monologue was right on target. Pet ownership is a responsibility, not just a privilege.

sarahgrace said...

Good for you...even if you did end up feeling like an idiot, what that lady said was wrong- and she should have apologized to the poor kid, nobody, but nobody wants or deserves to have a dog growling in their face (except maybe that lady.)

Lowa said...

YOU GO BILL!!

I bet your heart was pounding really fast, eh?? Mine does that in situations like that. I am glad you spoke up. Who cares what the others with dogs thought.

That woman sounds like a very sad person. You have to be to treat a child that way. She knew she was in the wrong and she was transfering her guilt. Loser. So sad.

AmyM said...

I have a giant, friendly, slobbery dog I'd never bring to a place so chock-full of people food! The farmer's market in my city posts signs that non-service dogs aren't allowed.

On the other hand, I was yelled at by a guy, who put his 9 m.o. baby on the ground AT AN OFF-LEASH DOG PARK, for my dog running up to the baby. People are strange.

Kami said...

Good for you, William.

sari said...

I can't stand people who say passive agressive snippy things to other people about children right in front of them like that. Like the child is deaf or something or stupid or not sitting right there.

See, I'm always the one who gets PO'ed at THAT and says something back as well.

Stupid idiot woman. Now I'm all indignant.

No one you know said...

This made me laugh so hard!! I clearly identify with your situation. You want to do the right thing for the right reason and come out with egg on your face! (at least to the unknowing doggy crowd).

The thing with this story is that the woman will never see herself in the wrong....people like that never do!

I really hate it when people leave their kids or their dogs in the car, that's really stupid!

Stepping Over the Junk said...

Farmer's Market is for DOGS! HA!!!

You said the right thing and you thought the right thing too.

This reminds me of my poor mother, who loves walking in a specific woods nearby and there are signs posted EVERYWHERE that say "All dogs must be leashed at all times". Yet, these dogs come loping through the woods and down the path and bark at my mom, cornering her for 10 minutes while the owners come running up calling "Here Max!" or something yuppie like that. The worst is when the friendly dogs jump on her and leave muddy footprints on her clothes and lick her face and the owners take their sweet time leashing their dogs and then they act as if it is my mom's fault that she is walking there. Dog owners think they own the place for some reason, in many places. As a part-time dog owner, I am very conscious of people around me and make sure the dog is on a leash, blah blah blah...a dog owner really doesn't get it, they aren't the ones stepping in the dog poop on the sidewalk or beach that they leave behind! Whoa, sorry so long....I am mad at the lady with the dog you talk about here.

Effie said...

Bill--I think you were right. It growled at him--not just sniffed and licked!

Laura said...

Well i'm both a dog lover and I love lil kiddos, but the snippy bitch was wrong. She could have turned around then and there to turn it into a teaching lesson. If the kid continued to cry, or the dog was nasty she should have just moved on. Frankly, a dog that growls easily in public should not be at the farmers market in the first place so whether there were other dogs or not, I think you were right.

Better to teach the kids not to be afraid than to reinforce their fear by getting mad at the owner of the dog.

Still, you stood up for the kid, that says a whole lot about ya. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have a friend whose son is allergic to dogs...he's 10...should his well-behaved-self have to stay home just so dog owners can feel better about taking their dog with them rather than leaving it at home for a few hours???

Just another thought to chew on!

Anonymous said...

I have a dog I love very much. HOWEVER, I hate when I see people bringing their dogs places they don't belong. Just because your dog fits in a purse and mine doesn't, doesn't mean it's appropriate for you to bring your dog somewhere! And, as you point out, lots of people are scared of dogs -- if your dog is going to growl at a cyring child, I would bet it's not fit to be in a public place!

Anonymous said...

You're Superman.

Eva said...

Found you through Sari's blog. Well played, sir! I'm so glad you said something. In Northern CA there are signs posted that it's a health code violation to bring your dog to the market. I, too, am a dog lover, but always gave children the right of way on the sidewalk, etc. If they wanted to give Penny a pat, THEN I would let her leash out a bit. Some people are so idiotic.

p.s. Love your site (and title!)

Jem said...

Aw good for you! I used to work at Blockbuster and a guy came in once, wanting to bring in his huge dog. I said no so he tied it up outside but it started whining so he brought it in. I told him he couldn't and he wouldn't listen. In the end I didn't know what to do - I love dogs but I didn't exactly want to call the cops on this guy, then again if there was a kid in the store who was terrified of dogs it wasn't fair on them even.