Geez, would it kill you to show some manners??

This is not in the pit, because I’m not outraged over it, and I’m not ready to spew vituperations or anything like that. But I’m a little pissed off, and thought maybe writing it out might get it out of my system.

We own a duplex with an additional lot. We use the lot as a yard as well as for off-street parking. The lot ends at the alley.

This morning, I was taking 7 year-old mudgirl out to the yard, to get in the car and go to day camp. As we were headed out, there was a woman walking her two dogs. The woman was in the alley, but her dogs were on our property. Mudgirl says to me “I’m gonna ask if I can pet them”, and I shrug my shoulders and say “okay”. I’ve taught her to always ask before approaching animals she doesn’t know. So, while she’s still too far away for the dogs to reach her (and very much still on our property), she says “Hey, can I pet the dogs?” The dog owner glares at her and says “NO!” She said it in a tone you would expect if my kid had said “Hey, can I come piss on your sneakers?”

Now, I don’t think it really matters why the woman said no. Maybe the dogs aren’t friendly, maybe they’re prone to snapping or don’t like kids. Maybe the woman just doesn’t like anyone messing with them. They’re her dogs, that’s fine.

But hey, they are in my yard. How much trouble would it have been for the woman to say “No, they’re not very friendly” or “No, I’d rather you didn’t”?

I mean, would it kill you to use some manners?

I thought about saying something (politely), or even making some smart-assed comment about how I thought it was the dogs that were supposed to bark, or something like that. But I didn’t want to start a situation that might escalate to something ugly.

Not to defend bad manners, but her dogs may be total assholes and maybe she was trying to emphasize that by scaring your daughter…so she wouldn’t forget that these dogs are always off limits. Not a very good approach, if you ask me.

But she needs to keep her asshole dogs off your lawn!

Well, I understand that she may have been concerned that my daughter would approach the dogs without permission, even though she had asked first. I know a lot of obnoxious kids. But if you absolutely don’t want your dogs touched, you’re right: keep them off other people’s property! But, you know, after she snapped, she could have said something to soften it a little; maybe “thank you for asking. A lot of people don’t”, etc. I guess I was a little upset because I saw the hurt on my daughter’s face; she wasn’t hurt at not being allowed to pet the dogs, but by the woman’s approach.

I will freely admit, though, that my yard doesn’t have a fence. We’ve decided not to fence it, since doing so would make parking in it a PITA.

You don’t want to teach your daughter to be like that. Not starting in on the lady was the right way to go. You can comment to her that the lady was over reacting, and you were proud in the way she behaved.

My Wife and a friend where out walking the dogs when a little girl asked to pet our friends dog.

“I’m sorry sweetheart, but your hands are too dirty”. :smiley: The kids mother overheard this.

Well, it was true, the dog had just had a bath and the kid looked like they had been making mud pies.

After we got in the car, I reinforced my daughter’s desirable behavior by saying to her “It’s a good thing you asked before you approached them; they must not be very friendly”.

And you’re right, I really shouldn’t have escalated it, even though I was tempted. I often remind my kids that the Golden Rule does not say “treat others as they treat you”, it says “treat them as you would like to be treated”, and that holds, even if someone is rude.

If I had been the mother, it wouldn’t have fazed me at all. I’ve seen her hands after she’s done playing! (we don’t call her mudgirl for nothin’, ya know! :wink: )

It’s really great that she asked, though! A couple of weeks ago at work I was finishing up drying a dog when a little girl asked me if she could pet my dog. I told her he wasn’t my dog, but his owner was right out front (it’s a do-it-yourself or they’ll-do-it-for-you dog wash) and she went trotting out to ask him. The answer was “Of course,” but I told her mother I appreciated that she asked. I always ask before I pet dogs; of course, I was taught guide dog ettiquette as a kid, and you do not pet them without permission. Period.

That woman was a complete jerk, even if the dogs were unfriendly. I don’t want to think about how she’d have acted if mudgirl hadn’t asked.

Some people are just bitchy, and some take offense where none is intended.

I have two blond cocker spaniels who are cuteness on a leash, especially when they’re together because they look so much alike. I can’t tell you the number of times little kids have ran right up to my dogs and started petting them, often dropping down and sticking their hands and faces right down next to the dogs’ faces. As it happens, my dogs are completely friendly and love kids, but the kids don’t know this.

I’ve started stepping in front of the dogs when I see kids coming, blocking the kids’ access. Then I tell the kids, you can pet my dogs but you have to ask first, and you should never just run up to a strange dog because you don’t know if it’s friendly or not.

On two separate occasions, I’ve had the kid’s parent glare at me as if I’m presuming to scold their child (even though I always talk to the kids in a very friendly, uncritical, kid-appropriate tone). One of them snapped, “If you don’t want my child to pet your dogs just say so!” I explained again that it really wasn’t safe to run right up to a strange dog and try to pet it, but she just glared at me and said to her kid, “Come on, you don’t need to pet those dogs.” Stupid woman.

So, anyway, congratulations on teaching your child to ask permission. Many parents aren’t that smart. And don’t allow one cranky owner to discourage your daughter from doing what is not only polite but safe.

Oh, to have a precocious child who woulda answered, “But Lady, that dog was just licking its own balls!?!”.

Ditto. Stupid woman not teaching her child not to approach strange animals.

I have taught my kids to always ask, as well as not to approach service dogs at all* because they’re working.

*Actually, I don’t know if it’s okay to approach service animals, but I always assume if they’re out and about they’re busy.

Stupid and rude. First and foremost, when asking permission to approach an animal, it’s a safety issue. Disney films and pet ownership may lead children to believe that animals are a lot friendlier and more helpful than they really are; secondly, though, it’s a matter of respect. It’s your dog. Why should my child be allowed to pet it without permission any more than she should be allowed to use anything else of yours without asking first?

People who think their “babies” can do no wrong really steam me. And they don’t seem to realize (or maybe they just don’t care) that it’s doing a huge disservice to the child, who is not learning how to interact in socially accepted ways.