Eve, one of the sweetest puppies I've ever met.
I stepped up to the cash and packed my groceries as the cash guy rang them through. I always try to get as much as I can into each bag; making fewer trips for myself back and forth from the car to the house. So with my two bags filled to the breaking point, I put my card in the machine. It was then that I realize someone was standing way too close to me. The guy beside me, who I had not actually turned to look at; towered over me only inches away. I slowly turned my head left; looking into his chest and lingered a moment.
I used only body language to let him know that he was far too close; he was in my personal space. Amazingly he got it right away. He moved away saying "oooops sorry, I'm not looking over your shoulder I was reading this sign." The sign was over my head so he had to be very close to me to read it. He then said to me while laughing "I realized I was too close when you turned and looked at me." Well, good for him, not many "get it."
We continued with a little back and forth. I told him "you were in my space." Then I explained that I have a big space. The cashier made an arm gesture saying "ten feet around, huh?" "So that means I'm in it?" he questioned. I told him he was allowed in and that I would spare the guy behind me from being hit today, I was in a good mood. Everyone was laughing but "got it."
How much space we require around us depends greatly on who the space invader is. My family is allowed right in and welcomed with open arms. Very close friends are as well. Acquaintance type people are given a small space range and strangers; well, they just need to stay out of my large space entirely. I cannot stand when people walk right up on you when you are standing in line. I will often step back or move about; claiming what is rightfully my space.
That said, everyone is different; just like every one of our dogs is different. Some dogs have a huge personal space while others have none. It is extremely important to respect your dog's space. That means with other dogs and with people. It always amazes me when people come up and get in strange dog's space. Some even reach out for a hug and kiss, stupidly. I think the only strange dog that I have ever given a hug and kiss to was an amazing five month old Borzoi that I was shooting. She was so openly affectionate with me. She came up from behind, wrapping her gorgeous neck around me and gave me a slurp. I responded by hugging her neck and giving her a kiss on the cheek. It was a very clear moment of realization for me. "Wow, this is a first," I thought to myself. It is not something that you should ever do with an adult dog or non consenting puppy for that matter. But this girl had asked for it.
Looking much older than her 5 months in this photo.
When we are out for a walk and I step off of a pathway, giving a person coming the other way, space; I expect the same in return. Nothing irks me more than having a person with a dog on a long leash or worse still, an extension leash, not offering space. So many times I will step off the path and move away so that we have space; and the person coming the other way allows their dogs to wander right up to us. What part of me stepping off of the path do you not get? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggg.
Space is a real thing and if you are a space invader, STOP. People and animals need space. Keep out unless you know that you are allowed in. When in doubt offer more space. How difficult is that? Do you enjoy when someone is standing so close to you that they are breathing down your neck? I know that I do not and neither does Elsa. Think about space, it is an easy thing to offer.