Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dog IDing

So a weird thing happened. We are walking Sammy along the East Coast Greenway in Simsbury. Or rather, Sammy was walking us along the East Coast Greenway in Simsbury. But that's a whole separate story.

Sammy was doing her usual yanking and pulling at another dog wanting desperately to sniff it up and down and nuzzle it to say hello. It's always a toss up whether to let her approach the dog and requires some feeling out of the owner and assessing the scariness level of the dog. This was a very, very old bassett hound. I was more worried about Sammy exciting it to death with her powerful sniffing snout. But the owner encouraged us to bring her over to say hello. "It's ok. She's old," she said. All the more reason to keep rambuncious Sammy away I thought .... but Craig walked her over.

Then the woman looks at Sammy and asks the usual: "how old is she?" with that undertone of ... "Isn't she old enough to be under control by now?" We answer with the usual, "a year-and-a-half, we think ... she's an adopted rescue dog." As if that meant we can't claim responsibility for her anti-leash demeanor and outrageously strong lunging muscles.

Then she starts looking underneath Sammy's belly, poking her face between her legs. Craig and I look at each other, both instinctively wanting to cover our own "private areas" from her searching eyes. This woman was actually looking to see if our dog had girl parts or boy parts. "So does he .... she .... is she?" We're both taken aback and ultra protective of Sammy's privates. Couldn't she just ask us if she was male or female? What if people want around pulling aside baby's diapers to check for a penis, though of course it would be helpful because honestly who can tell if a baby is a boy or girl anyway without a giveaway bow in the hair (but even that's not always a safe assumption). I opt for gender ID avoidance.

I wanted to answer, "yes, she's a bitch." Or maybe, "you're a bitch. stop violating my dog."

But we smiled, led (yanked) her away and recapped deciding that yes, that just happened, and burst out laughing. I don't think we'll ever be searching for a dog penis when we meet a new Sammy friend ... who really wants to see that anyway? We already spend so much time telling Sammy to keep her legs closed. Gross.

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