Yesterday when I was walking our puppy a man crossed the street to come over and pet her.
I had a strange feeling about the man as he approached. He was very short and looked like some of the patients I’ve cared for many times in the ER. I have no proof but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d just come out of our drug rehab or possibly the psych ward. Remember I live only three blocks from the hospital so there are patients that are currently being treated for a disorder walking around at times as well as those that have been recently discharged.
The man turned out to be nice. He said he really loved Labs and that they always loved him. Judging from my pups reaction what he’d said was true as she greeted him as enthusiastically as she would anyone else.
Still … the whole encounter got me thinking about safety. Walking up to someone with a small or young dog could be a good way to get close to someone when you have bad intentions. I mean, most people that have approached me when I’ve been walking my dog are very friendly and I’m sure they are just dog lovers who want to meet my puppy, but it would be a good way for someone that wanted to mug you or perhaps even steal the dog to get close.
I think I’ll keep my guard up a bit more when I’m walking Midnight – well at least until she’s fully grown and hopefully a bit more protective (or at least might intimidate a would be robber). I know labs aren’t known for being guard dogs but I’d hope someone with bad intentions would think twice before approaching someone with a mature lab.
I walk the puppy at all hours and for the most part I feel very safe walking around. This was the first time that I felt really uncomfortable when we’ve met someone that wanted to pet her. I guess that was a little wake up call.