To the beautiful ‘big puppy’ I saw today, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that your mom is having a tough time on walks. I’m sorry she lets you drag her to say hi to every dog. I’m sorry that she can’t hold on to you and has to just let go of the leash.

sweet pup

I’m sorry she was frustrated. I hope it wasn’t because the dog I was with was polite and could stay with me. I hope it wasn’t because I said we practice ignoring dogs and not saying hi to every single one. I hope it wasn’t because I tried to prevent you from getting reinforced for pulling so hard and running away.

Because it sort of felt like it. It felt like she was frustrated with me and the calm dog I was with. She thought it was unfair of me to expect not to interact with you. You are young, after all. Is her plan to keep letting you race up to every dog? Because it’s “almost impossible” to try not to. Will she wait to start teaching you later? When you’re 120 lbs?

I’m sorry, sweet pup. It will be tough for you when the rules suddenly change, and you are no longer allowed to pull on the leash or rush dogs. You’ll most likely ‘get trained’ using less than pleasant methods since you’ll be so big by then, and ‘kind and fair methods don’t work on big, powerful dogs”, right? Or maybe you’ll learn not to rush dogs because your luck will run out, and you’ll try it with the wrong dog. The outcome won’t always be the same as it was for you today. You were lucky today because my dog was socially skilled and confident around dogs. And I was understanding and patient. You were lucky because you didn’t run across a street to say hi and get hit by a car.

Good luck, sweet pup. I could help. I wish I had the chance.