Yesterday’s blog set the stage for people on sidewalks and paths encountering other people, some with dogs, and some running or biking and, thus, appearing suddenly, startling the other person and dog.
Yesterday I mentioned an incident that was told to me recently in which the dog was startled and could have lunged out or jerked away and become lost. Here is another incident I was told about.
This incident occurred on the sidewalk - too narrow, as they all are in Columbia, for safe passing. The person and dog were walking slowly, the dog happily sniffing away when they were suddenly overtaken by a jogger. Both dog and walker startled, and the jogger jogged on, oblivious. . . . again, a startled dog is not what you want to encounter. Instead of ‘startle’ you can substitute ‘frightened.’
The Right Thing to Do
Of course, a dog may bark and leap out of the way when startled! And some people startle more easily than others as well. The dog walker can drop the leash and the dog can run away, frightened. Or the dog can lunge toward the faster bike rider or jogger when startled. . . so to protect yourself and prevent from startling others on paths and narrow sidewalks and, just to be polite, please announce that you are coming up from behind. We will get out of your way. It’s the right thing to do.
Tomorrow: My Personal Startling Incidents