What would you do?

Yesterday I’m driving home and I am half a block from my house about to turn the corner. I see a man walking a large older yellow lab. He’s yanking the lead and yelling at the dog and then kicks it, not hard … but a kick anyway. I have to slow to a stop at the corner so since my windows were down I simply said “looks like you’ve got an old fellow there”. The man turns, obviously surprised, and angrily says to me “He’s just lazy” as he yanks the poor dogs head again with the lead.

I feel the anger growing in me but figure that I should move on and leave this man alone. I turn the corner then park on the street in front of my houses half a block down. As I’m locking my car I see that the man has turned the corner and is heading my way. Then I see the dog stop and take a big crap. The man starts yelling at the dog again and he does pull out a bag and pick it up as he yells. (At least he picked up the poop). I can’t contain myself as my Irish temper is making the hair stand up on the back of my neck as the man jerks the dog and continues to yell. So I pipe up with the comment “you know sir, I have found that kindness goes a long way”. Well you can only imagine the look I got from this man as he yelled back at me to mind my own expletive business.

Ok so this man is coming toward me as I start up my front steps. As he is now in front of my house I can’t help myself as I say something about being nice to the dog would make his walk nicer too and he yanks the dog and yells something back to me. I do remember looking at him and saying “Well sir I bless your dog and hope your day gets better” and he basically told me to go to hell as I opened my door and stepped inside. I was boiling by now.

It took some time and thinking to calm myself down. I had to remember I am not in that poor mans shoes.  I don’t know what had put him in his mood. He wasn’t actually hurting the poor dog, if he had been I would have gone further. I could only pray for the dog at this point and hope that this was not an ongoing thing or worse. I had to let it go for now. Love my dogs. Hope that somehow the man’s day got better, or at least better for the dog. I had to be thankful I was not the man, nor his dog.

Today I write about it and contemplate how I react to people in situations like this. How do I help and not harm or add to it? How do I feel? What is right? …

What would you do?

12 thoughts on “What would you do?

  1. How frustrating. My advice is: when you feel damned if you do and damned if you don’t – go for what your intuition tells you is the right thing to do.

  2. Whatever is happening in his day the behavior towards the dog is unacceptable.

    I’m assuming he lives close so I would have the “eagle eye” out for them again.

  3. Witnessing such incidents haunts me for the rest of the day – and usually much longer. It’s hard to know what to do that wouldn’t make it even worse for the poor animal. Once he’s behind closed doors one can’t be sure if he’s not taking out his anger on it still more. My heart’s reaction would be to the same as usstorageunit’s above, to ask him if I could have the dog, though of course it wouldn’t be possible. (I’m not suppose to have ANY pets at my place, let alone the two cats I do have).
    I’m always amazed at how so many dog owners can’t get into their heads that their pets do NOT speak or understand English, treating them as though they were communicating with some particularly dense human being, for goodness’ sake! I think fines for mistreating animals should be far heftier than they are – including mandatory prison sentences.
    Such a sad tale!

    • I tried with the first comment about ” looks like you have an old fellow there” to start off by being non abrasive but unfortunately the man took offense from the start. In a future situation I may be better off with “thanks a good looking Lab you have there, I love labs” from there I may have a better start. I thought of asking for the dog but by the point I thought of that he would have taken offense and I fear would have been more volatile.

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