Although I am not a dog holder myself, I come across many dogs in my everyday life. It makes me happy when I realise that some dogs remember me and know me. Often I marvel about how affectionate dogs can be even towards a “stranger” such as me.
What to do when a dog is crossing ways with you? Usually I recommend people to be kind and polite. So first of all address yourself to the dog, heartily saying “Good morning”.
The dog has a right to know who you are and what he might expect from you. Therefore it is good first of all to signify to the dog that you would not constitute any danger. As you kindly greet the dog you show that you are peaceful and that you are not going to threaten it in any way.
Admittedly at times I have been somewhat apprehensive when being alone with a dog. Happily I realised that those dogs did not really mind my apprehensiveness.
You may be cautious or even fearful, but never be aggressive with a dog. Avoid anything that may be a challenge for the dog to defend itself. Be careful not to be disrespectful about any responsibilities a dog may have.
Be sensitive as to what the dog might be concerned with just at the moment when you appear on the scene. Some dogs may be involved in some happy, enjoyable occupation. Others perhaps tend to feel bored and get excited as they see somebody approaching.
People tend to be irritated if a dog should speak up loudly, trying to tell something.
Please note: dogs are likely to bark. These are the sounds such animals make. You cannot really expect them to choose appropriate words in Oxford English.
Usually I don’t mind dogs barking at me. This helps me to assess how they feel about me. Would the dog be prepared to accept what I am really up to? Would he – for example – allow me to pass him by and reach the letter-box at a building so I can drop some mail into it?
Actually politeness may require spending a few moments with the dog. Being very hasty might be offensive.
Generally it seems advisable not to pass out commands to a dog that does not know and trust you. It is much better to be very calm and friendly with such a dog.
If you signify to a dog that you are peaceful, the dog on his part also may leave you your peace. You want to get on with a dog without experiencing trouble therefore be kind and avoid anything it might perceive as disrespectful.
I was to deliver a letter to a letter-box which was near the main entrance of a building. The house was surrounded by a fenced garden. A dog was moving about freely in that garden. The owners had told me earlier I needed not to be frightened of that dog. Nevertheless the dog seemed to be a huge animal.
On that day nobody was nearby. But the dog was in the garden.
I do not remember exactly but I think I was speaking to the dog. I ventured into the garden. The dog was keeping at my side all the way till I reached the building.
As I came near the main door the dog made itself very tall standing only on its hind legs to make sure to prevent me entering the building. I did drop my letters into the box beside the door. Then I calmly made my way back in order to leave the garden. The dog did not go with me this time.
I was very impressed about the behaviour of this dog. It did not threaten me in any way, yet it did a good job in protecting the property of its owners. Really I felt proud with that dog.
This originally is meant as a post about politeness. Admittedly I enjoy writing about dog experiences.
Some of what I said might – perhaps slightly altered – apply to dealing with people as well. In 1 Corinthians 13:5a St. Paul stresses that love does not behave in an inappropriate manner.
You might agree or disagree with what I said about dealing with dogs. Please even after reading my post be cautious enough not to get yourself into danger! If necessary please read my post several times before you try to put inot practice what I said or what you understood from my post