Trust Your Instinct

Just an interesting little note from my morning walks with Isaac. We walk pretty early (7:15ish) but not insanely early. However, because it’s December, it’s definitely not completely light out at that time, especially on overcast days. We rarely run into other people and almost never see another dog (the lack of other dogs is ideal!) so it’s generally just me and Isaac.

"I love me a good walk!"

“I love me a good walk!”

So, sometimes when I see someone in the neighborhood that I don’t recognize while we’re on our walk, I’m a bit more on guard. And whoever said dogs can’t pick up on the emotions of their owners is dead wrong.

For instance, one morning last month we were walking down an alley when a very large African American man came walking towards us. First things first – I am an unbiased as they come. I grew up in a diverse area and I could not care less what color a person’s skin is. However, this guy had an odd gait, was WAY bigger and stronger than me and I could think of no real viable reason in my head he’d be walking down the alley away from his home at 7:15 in the morning dressed in sweats. And Isaac – who loves almost all people – just wasn’t that friendly to him. In fact, if I remember correctly, he actually growled at him. He didn’t lunge or make a move but I firmly believe he could tell I was a bit uncomfortable and reacted accordingly.

Then, this morning, a young white man in pajama pants, earrings up the wazoo (again, just a description, I’m not being a prejudiced jerk – people are allowed to have earrings) and a ski cap on was walking toward us. Ends up he lives in the house where two murderers used to live just a few months ago (not his fault, I know, but still skeeves me out). He wanted to pet Isaac and I let him, but Isaac’s ears were pinned back the entire time – a 100 percent clear sign Isaac wasn’t completely on board with this guy. Definitely NOT how Isaac greets 99 percent of people.

"I'm a nice guy...most of the time!"

“I’m a nice guy…most of the time!”

Really, this is a completely random post but the subject popped into my head today when Isaac reacted strangely for the second time in a month to random people. I think it’s fascinating that Isaac either did not like those people all on his own or he picked up on my uneasiness. I tend to think it’s the latter which is all the more fascinating. It makes me think twice about how I react to and around my dogs.

I must say though, having Isaac with me on walks makes me feel incredibly safe. He is strong and he can obviously tell when I’m uncomfortable. Not the worst walking buddy to have!


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