I have a 200 pound St. Bernard named Bear that my husband had before we were married. He is a big beautiful teddy bear and a very gentle. Unfortunately for some people, they think that he is dangerous because he is so big.
I was at the park yesterday with my cousin and her two and four year old girls and my eight month old. We also had Bear, my Border collie Tess, and my cousin's Standard poodle, Garcia, all on leashes, of course. The kids were playing and I was sitting on the bench, talking to my cousin, and Bear was sitting calmly beside me, tied to the bench. It was before school let out so it was only little kids. A little boy, probably about three years old, who was already playing with the other two dogs, came up to me and asked if he could pet the "Biiiiiiig doggy". I told him that he could but, before he could pet him, his mother came and snatched him away, screaming "Don't touch that dog!" I asked the mother what was the matter. "I don't want him touching that dog. St. Bernards are dangerous animals! I can't believe you have him here at the park with all of these kids!" I calmly explained to her that Bear was not dangerous. He was a loving family dog and he would never hurt anyone. "You don't know that. You can't guarantee that. Dogs like that are dangerous."
She told her kids to stay away from us, which kind of left our kids out. She went around to the other parents and told them all that our big dog was dangerous so the other parents told their kids not to go near him. There was a walking path around the play ground so we got up to walk around with the kids and the dogs. When we got back, the woman came back to us and said "You should just leave. All of the kids are afraid of your dog."
"Because you've told them all he was dangerous when he is not. They were all playing with him earlier."
"You should just leave or I will call animal control."
"Go ahead. There is no law against leashed dogs being at this park and he is not hurting anyone. We have as much right to be here as you do. The dog is not the problem. You are the problem. If you don't want your kids to be around my dog, you are welcomed to leave." A couple of moms took our side but most of them just told their kids to stay away from Bear. This dog is so gentle that the two year old was walking him and he wouldn't even pull on her. He wasn't running loose, he wasn't tugging at the leash, all he was doing was sitting there and wagging his tail when the kids petted him. He is a very loving dog and, though he is protective, he is not aggressive and certainly not aggressive with children. We stayed at the park until after she left because there was no way we were leaving before she did but that woman had the parents keep their kids from us and, ultimately from our kids too because we didn't let them just run all over the park.
What would you have done if this happened to you? I try not to let these things piss me off so bad but I can't help it. Of all the dogs to think was dangerous, why Bear? I understand he's big but he is the most docile, friendly, loving dog on the planet. My eight month old climbs all over him and he wraps his paws around her and cradles her.
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