Tonight was the very first time I’ve ever seen Leo act standoffish to a stranger while in passing on our usual last-pee-and-poop-of-the-night-walks. I will admit that I’m actually rather relieved to learn that he actually is a cautious dog, when he needs to be, since so far in the three weeks I’ve had him his personality has been that of the typical, “A Pit Bull never met a stranger” type attitude. I was almost convinced that he’d happily trot off with anyone who even glanced and smiled in his general direction, as his enthusiastic greetings and sloppy kisses might suggest.
Dogs know which people are good, and which are bad.
In passing by the local bar, (where there are always people sitting out front having a smoke or drink) we said hello to a nice elderly gentleman who was not at all put off by Leo’s fierce appearance. Actually, Leo was so excited at the sudden attention that he knocked the poor man’s cigarette right out of his hand (which I apologized profusely for)! O_O But the old guy waved it off as nothing, and gave Leo some good rubs and pats once he had calmed down enough and sat politely. We chatted for a few minutes, then said good-bye, and continued on our walk.
Once we had turned onto the side streets, getting closer to the church I saw two men up ahead on the building’s front steps. One guy was on a bike, and the other one was standing with a cig in his mouth. The two stirred as I approached, and moved to leave. As they started walking by us, the one younger dude with the cigarette called out, saying how it’s such a shame that I have to put a muzzle on my dog. “Every other kind of dog can go without one… this law makes me sick.”
I said, “Well, better safe than sorry. You should go to the protest tomorrow.”
He said, “Oh yeah? Where’s that?”
“Queen’s Park, from 7-10pm, Sunday. Go protest and show how much you disagree with the ban, and work to change it.” He said he just might do that.
We were about to go our separate ways, when he suddenly turned back around and walked straight towards us, calling out again, “Say, your dog looks pretty friendly there. I bet if nothing else that thing on his face would just make him more mean.” At this point, the guy was way too close for comfort, (while his friend on the bike kept his distance and stayed silent) and I made sure to keep Leo well between the shifty stranger and myself. I almost expected Leo to jump forward enthusiastically, full of tail-wags and licks, but he did just the opposite; Leo actually took two steps backwards, spread all four legs out straight, lowered his head and stared directly up at the guy’s face.
I said, “Well… he has his moments.”
The guy kind of took one step back and gave Leo a sideways glance and said, “I hope it’s got a quick-release, in case you run into any assholes.”
I replied, “Actually, his muzzle’s on pretty loose. He can get it off without even trying.” Which was very true.
The guy said, “I’ll bet.” He then turned to leave with his friend on the bike, and Leo and I walked the rest of the way home.
So now I’m wondering… how stupid is it for me to be walking the dog around at night, in a not-so-wonderful area, WITH his muzzle on, ban or not? Michael Bryant talks about wanting to make sure that Ontarians are safe… yet I still see street punks walking around all of the time with their Pits unleashed and unmuzzled. I’ve even seen PUPPIES! This ban is totally screwed up. :/