As you may know, when you bring a 'rescued dog' into your home, you are accepting some of the proverbial wrinkles that they may have in their personality. Our girl Sheba is a dog with a wrinkle all her own. She came to us at almost a year old in October of 2007 when the family who had young children, couldn't afford her hip surgery. I can only think that the kids were allowed to torment her, because Sheba in no shape or form likes young children. Knowing this, I keep her away from them. If anyone comes to our home with kids, I put her in her crate. When I take Sheba anywhere with me, I am always watching so that we can avoid contact with any children. It was no different today when I took her to the vet.
When we were waiting for medications and our bill at the end of our appointment. I sat in the far corner of the waiting room away from everyone. Someone came in with their dog, a stroller and a little boy that looked about 3-4 years old. The little boy smiled when he saw Sheba and took a step towards her. I stopped him and politely asked the Mother to please keep him away from Sheba, explaining that children made her really nervous. She replied telling me that she didn't believe this because all Golden Retrievers loved children. I told her that 'this one didn't, and it was best if she just kept an eye on her son and made sure he kept his distance.'
The whole time I am talking, I'm holding Sheba very close and I have her leash cinched up very short, and my other hand on her collar. I could feel her growling. When the little boy started jumping up and down and hopping in our direction, I tried to be polite and tell him that he needed to go play somewhere else. The mother looked but did nothing. Sheba continued to growl. The girl at the front desk said something to me and as I stood up the little boy threw a magazine in our direction. At that, Sheba started barking and lunging at the little boy. Thankfully I still held onto her leash and collar and so I was able to keep her under control. The Mother unleashed a barrage of accusations and threats, telling me that I had no business having such a vicious dog in public that was out of control! I really tried to not show how upset I had become but told her that the only thing that was out of control was her son! The rest of the incident is a bit of a blur that ended with the office manager (who had seen the whole thing) escorting the Mother and her entourage into a treatment room, and apologizing to me for their client.