Leash Courtesy

My boyfriend and I were hanging out on a patio at a brewery when a guy let his dog off-leash in the sitting area.

Which would be fine.. except our dog wasn’t happy with the other dog incessantly harassing her and was starting to get surly with the other dog. She’s never bitten another dog, but he was not listening to her body language. We decided to intervene, because we’re responsible dog owners.

We politely asked jerk-who-doesn’t-actually-care-about-what-happens-to-his-dog to please leash his puppy. The leash was on his table.

Off-leash. Because she’s at home. No other doggos.

Jerk got REALLY upset about it.

How dare we politely ask him to leash his dog?

Him: “If your dog is crazy, she shouldn’t be out!”

Us: “Um, no dude. Our dog has been attacked by three dogs, two of whom were ‘nice’ off-leash dogs according to their owners. She’s older and just doesn’t like being bothered by younger dogs. Also, we don’t want yours to ever get hurt by another dog, so you should have your dog on a leash so that if that does happen, you can rescue him faster.”


Us: “No, she’s very nice and well-behaved as you can see from the way she’s hanging out mellowly behind us, she just doesn’t want another dog in her space.”


Me: “Obviously you’re not understanding what we’re saying, so let me demonstrate.” *moves to sit at his table* “Are you enjoying this? Is this fun for you? Do you like me in your space?”

Him: “I mean.. uh… I’m fine with it.”

Me: “Cool, then I’m just going to sit here and bother you. Are you still enjoying this? Are you entertained? How about if I keep asking you questions, the same way your dog keeps sniffing at ours?”

Him: *makes some comment to my gentleman friend about how he should keep me on the leash or something equally sexist*

Us: “That is incredibly sexist, and also not the point. Put your dog on a leash; you’re technically breaking the law.”

Him: “I’m a lawyer!”

Us: “Oh, okay, let’s pull up Tennessee’s law and see what it has to say about dogs off-leash in public.”

I get up to get my computer, pull up the law, and start walking toward him with the .Gov website pulled up.

Him: “No, stop, go away!”

Us: “Well which is it? Do you want to know what the law says about this, or not?”


Us: “This is common courtesy. All dog owners should know this. Put your dog on a leash, especially if asked.”

Him: “I guess I’m just deficient in common courtesy.”

Me: “Which is astounding, because this is the south and you’d think courtesy was your second language.”

Him: “Just keep your dog away from mine.”

Us: “We will do so easily, because she’s on a leash.

So we sit there, working while they keep talking, and eventually my gentleman friend decided to write him a note of apology, explaining ending with “You’re lucky this time. Our dog is sweet. For your dog’s sake, may your luck never run out.”

And then we bought their beer as a gesture of good will (and to make a lasting impact, damn it), and left.

Good. God.

May the odds be ever in his dog’s favor. Poor puppers.


  1. halieusmedia says:

    Your self-control is admirable. I have a reactive dog as you might guess by the icon. I cannot, for her safety and the safety of others, take her to a public place. She is never out of my control, it is my responsibility to her first and then to others. I will remember your story the next time I see owners with their dogs at the very end of a six foot leash, dragging their owners around. Thank you for this vignette.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seraphina says:

      There are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners imho. But that may be my former middle school teacher coming out. 🙂

      This comment made my day. Thank you!


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