Our dog was nearly attacked last night. I can’t believe I’m writing these words again.

Fortunately, this time our dog is okay. My husband got between our dog and the attacking dog. His foot (he was wearing flip-flops) was bloodied by the other dog’s nails.

We were taking a leisurely evening stroll around our neighborhood when the dog came out of nowhere. The owners stood across the street and called for their dog to stop. Finally, one came over, grabbed the dog and leashed it. He then left with no apology and no questions about our condition or our dog’s.

I don’t understand why some people act like their dogs are not aggressive. And I don’t know why they think they have voice control over their unleashed dogs in a neighborhood.

Another time, I was walking our dog deliberately on the other side of the street from a man who walked his golden retriever off leash. For some reason, this dog did not like mine. I knew it from other encounters. The dog charged across the street while the man yelled for it to stop and shouted to me that his snarling dog was friendly. Uh huh.

Recently, a man approached with his smooth coat fox terrier on one of those retractable leashes. I’m familiar with two other dogs of this breed. Both are not friendly. The owners handle their dogs very responsibly. This man claimed his terrier was friendly. As soon as it got near my dog, it growled and snapped. The man’s response? “I don’t know why he did that. He never acts that way.” Yeah, right.

At dog beach, owners will say their off-leash dogs are just playing when they’re clearly exhibiting aggressive behaviors. Somehow, I’m the one who breaks up the “play” to keep my dog safe. And why are these dogs off-leash anyway?

I could go on and on with stories like these.

When I was growing up, my family owned an aggressive dog. The lab/terrier mix weighed about 25 pounds but would challenge any dog he met to a fight. We had to walk this leashed dog while carrying a stick to keep other (unleashed) dogs away. When our girls were young, we adopted a german shepherd/lab mix puppy who turned out to be aggressive towards other dogs. I walked her on a leash. I constantly warned people not to let their dogs approach.

I haven’t always been a responsible dog owner. The first dog I mentioned wasn’t neutered. The shelters didn’t require it in those days. I took over care of the dog when he was 11. I didn’t realize it wasn’t too late to neuter him. I hope I’ve become more responsible.

I don’t care what breed of dog people own. I do care that they know what aggressive behavior is and they control their dog in a responsible manner.

I realize many look at their dogs through rose-colored glasses and consider them love-able members of their family. They don’t want to admit their pooch has a mean streak. It would be like acknowledging a child is a bully. But that’s a post for another day.