Elsa and I head up the hill towards the lake at one of our favorite spots. As we neared the bend a woman stood on other side of a narrow road with two large dogs in one hand and her phone in the other. She kept nervously watching us as we continued. Needless to say I was now watching her and assessing what exactly was going on before continuing any further. She yanked at the dogs over and over again; pulling them in to an inch beside her. It was what she did next that caused me to make the decision to u turn with Elsa.
Watching the situation with the woman, dogs and phone carefully; it was obvious that she was not comfortable with us passing by. Trying to balance her phone conversation and two large dogs she then held up one leg and put it in front of the dogs. Okay, that was enough information for me; I did a quick u-turn and head back down the hill, taking our walk in a different direction.
The woman's body language clearly stated "I don't think I can control these guys with one hand." She was not giving up on her phone conversation so she was hoping to rely on the one leg up and the other leg balancing to do the work. Hmmmmmmm....
Sometimes it's just best to turn around. She was not blocking our way at all but I saw the scenario as an accident waiting to happen. A simple direction change rectified what I saw as a possible situation. As we turned and head the other way I looked back to see the woman loosen her grip on her dogs and continue her walk. So it was a win, win.
Coming across someone who looks like they have no control over their dog can be as intimidating as a loose dog running around. It fact, it was a woman who had lost control of her Bulldogs while still on leash that attacked Elsa several years ago. I do not want to be the victim of someone's lack of control over their dog. Either get control of your dog or don't have a dog so large and strong that you can't physically control it.
The woman with the two large dogs had communicated to me that she was not confident in her ability to control her dogs. Having both hands available and not trying to carry on a conversation; she may have been quite capable of controlling her dogs. I clearly understood her body language because that's what I do. I read. Not everyone sees communication via body language and it is a big problem.
Just the other day Elsa and I were out in a big open field playing catch. A man with a Labrador started approaching. Seeing that he was coming our way, I made a clear communication by moving further down the field. He should have seen this "I don't want to interact," but he didn't. He kept coming so I upped my communication. I abruptly turned and walked away. Nope, he was still coming. It boggles my mind. Finally I leashed Elsa, turned around completely and started walking away. He then called out to see if they could play together. Wow!!!!
Canines are far superior to us in the reading body language department. We humans can in fact communicate without ever having to open our mouths. But whether or not the other person we are trying to communicate with can read or not is the question.