First, I love dogs. I've had a few in my lifetime, just not one at the moment.
The PSA is, if your dog goes running up to a stranger, if they are a friendly dog - call that out to the stranger "he's really friendly, he won't bite"; if he's not a friendly dog then bow and scrape and apologize profusely to the person. You owe them at least that much.
Yesterday I was walking to the school to pick up my boys. Same route as I always take. Just a few yards down the street two HUGE (at least 150 lbs apiece) black lab mixes charge me barking ferociously. I stop, because you don't want to infuriate a dog any further, and try to use a friendly voice, but these beasts were jumping and barking and surrounding me. Not in a friendly way. I had a large water bottle in one had and held one dog at bay with it, but the other literally put his mouth on my arm. I felt his teeth and his wet lips on me. I could tell that he was going to bite, but gave it a second thought and didn't. I just knew I was going to lose my arm in a painful way. Luckily labs are soft mouthed dogs, had it had a terrier mouth I would've been toast. Where was the owner? - right there in his yard watching the whole thing. He yelled once for the dogs - they didn't come immediately. Then when they ran back to him, he hollered out a measely "sorry" and scurried off. I yelled out that his dog bit me. He was gone.
Hello? To the owner: I see you and your wife walk those two beasts every day. I always smile, say hello and wave, even though you don't back. You have to muzzle those beasts for your walks, and it's really not a walk, it's you being pulled down the road. Those dogs each weigh more than you and are certainly stronger than you and your old, frail self. The number to animal control is going onto my phone. There will be no next time. Had I had my boys with me - I shudder to think of how many years of therapy they would need. *I* even cried afterwards. I'm not crying any more. I'm angry. It doesn't matter that the dogs didn't hurt me. They intimidated me and scared me. Dogs are animals. I believe that any person is capable of any thing, so what do you think I think about animals?
So, today, I went for my usual walk. The couple was out with their dogs as usual. They were sitting on a bus bench, I'm sure for a breather from being pulled by their dogs. At that same time, a runner (the guy at Fleet Feet who sells me shoes) passes by. I give him a big smile, Hi and wave - as usual, and give the couple the cold shoulder as I pass by. Didn't even look at them.
Of course, being who I am, I feel bad about it. Not very forgiving or Christ-like of me. *sigh* Maybe now that is out of my system I'll get over it and not hold a grudge. Of course, I'll have to pray about it to get over my fear. Because you know how it is, the story gets bigger and bigger - like a fish story. Next thing you know I'll be saying the dogs ripped my arm to tatters and only the best plastic surgeon on the planet was able to put it back together. LOL! But it's challenging to even want to behave beyond my natural self. God is so good. It'll be interesting to see how this develops...