It was the reproachful look on Nora's whiskery little face as she was carried off to temporary exile in the utility room that got my attention. Until then, I hadn't really noticed how often, when dogs charge at me with friendly enthusiasm, their owners make a grab for their collars. People must think I don't like dogs.
Maybe it's my body language. The flinching, possibly. Or my hand reaching out to fend off a canine instead of pet it. Or turning the other cheek away from an inquisitive wet nose. Perhaps people are misinterpreting these subtle clues as dislike.
Actually, I do like dogs. There are two that I meet regularly on walks in my neighborhood. Meadow, a cross between a German Shepherd and a sofa pillow, drags her owner across the street whenever she sees me, so she can lean her head on my knee while I scratch her ears. A Great Pyrenees, whose name I don't know, has irresistible "please pet me" eyes and thick, soft fur that she seems happy to let me use as a hand warmer on chilly days.
Sherlock, female despite her name, is a tireless hiking companion who flops down regularly in snow banks or water puddles to cool off. As a woman who knows about hot flashes, I can sympathize.
Then there is Marley, a Beagle/Dachshund mix whose alert intelligence and ability to do back flips make up for what might be tactfully described as his overly exuberant personality.
So it isn't that I don't like dogs. I just don't like them licking my face, or bouncing uninvited into my lap, or leaving trails of drool across my clean slacks. I recoil from sloppy dog-breath kisses, especially from a wannabe canine BFF to whom I haven't even been introduced.
There's nothing wrong with taking a little more time to get to know one another. I prefer a more old-fashioned approach, based on glances across a crowded room, a little discreet sniffing of hands or pant legs, and other gracious methods of becoming acquainted.
You know—the way cats do.
Ginny and I like dogs and cats. Especially Miss Kitty, our present cat. We dog-sit our neighbor’s tiny doggie , Lady,when they go on trips. Lady hates cats and loves people and will be in you lap in a heart beat, curl up for some petting, and when Miss Kitty decides it is HER lap that is occupied, she joins us. Lady quivers with resentment but knows she doesn’t dare make a move against the cat. Ginny is not afraid of any dog, and almost got into real trouble once when she was taking a census and almost laid her hand on a German Police dog that would have torn her to bits if the man of the house hadn’t warned her in time. I am wary of dogs. They can bite, and I have been bitten. They seem to sense my feeling. I notice in your comment that you know the names of the dogs. Sometimes, we know the dog’s name but not the owner.