No, my dogs don’t want to meet your dogs

Published 11:42 am Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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Thirteen years ago, my wife and I decided that on top of starting a career, buying a home and having our first child, we should buy two puppies. Crazy as it sounds, it didn’t feel like we put too much on our plate. I put close to a thousand miles on our baby carrier as I walked our two dogs through the neighborhood with my son on our back. I passed many other dog walkers, and we would say “Hey,” but kept moving. Now, it seems that people must think my dogs look lonely as I am frequently asked, “Can our dogs meet yours?”

I know I may sound like a grumpy old man, but my dogs don’t need any more friends. We now have three, and there are plenty of personalities in the group of three dogs to keep them happy.

Add to that the fact that I usually hold three leashes in one hand; chances are, I will become tangled up as four dogs try to sniff each other’s hindquarters. I’m not trying to be mean, I just don’t want to end up on the ground. 

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Growing up, I’d hear the phrase, “I trust you, I trust your friends, but I don’t trust y’all all together.”  That is good dog advice also. While we all think our dog will act perfectly in every situation, dogs will be dogs and things can happen. 

While walking my dogs one evening, someone was letting their self-proclaimed “very well-trained and friendly” German Shepherd play off-leash. The very well-trained dog made a beeline for my dogs while ignoring its owner’s recall command. 

It then, let’s say, tried to play leap frog on one of my dogs, to which my dog growled. The well-trained German Shepherd was so well trained that in an instant, it started biting my dog while ignoring its owner’s pleas. It takes a highly talented dog to multitask like that. 

Thankfully the injuries were minor and the German Shepherd was pulled off my dog by its owner. Since then I just assume not to live under the Disney fantasy that dogs seek friendships like people. 

There has been an increase in the term “Fur Babies” that has correlated with the increase in asking if our dogs want to be friends. I love my dogs as much as anyone, but at the end of the day, they are still dogs. If it stinks, they are going to eat it, sniff it, roll in it or all the above. Dogs don’t need pen pals, birthday parties or designer clothes. All a dog wants is an owner that will love it and keep it safe. 

I can think of two things that can happen when dogs meet. Only one of them is good. The other keeps our wonderful local vets busy. So if we pass each other on a walk, please don’t be offended if my dogs don’t want to meet your dog.  


The author’s dogs pose for a quick photograph.