life, travel

I’m Not as Nice as I Thought

I’ve been writing over the past few posts about how I’m not as nice as I believed. I learned this on our vacation in South Dakota. I have further proof.

So, my husband and I had hiked with our dog, Max, from our cabin into town. That’s a story you can find on my last two posts. This is a separate story about the forty-five-minute walk home.

Clouds had rolled in, making the temperature more comfortable than the walk into town, but we hoped we’d make it before the rain came. About halfway there, I saw a woman striding from the other direction struggling to hold onto her Siberian Husky. Our lovable, adorable, puppy-face Australian Shepherd transforms into a vicious beast around unknown big dogs. I usually get his attention and divert him with a treat if we have to pass a big dog.

The lady approached and said, “My dog is friendly,” as the Husky pulled her toward Max. I noticed the body language of her “friendly” dog and knew she had no clue he was about to get aggressive.

I stepped in between. “Our dog is not good with big dogs.”

The Husky swerved around me, dragging the woman behind.

Our two dogs bared their teeth and lunged at each other. Thankfully, my husband had hold of Max and was able to keep them from getting physical. We went on our way, and I loudly stated to my husband, “Didn’t she hear me tell her that my dog was not good with big dogs?”

Okay, so this is something I don’t get. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people with dogs do this very same thing, and let their dogs come up to sniff Max. Even if their dog is friendly, shouldn’t they consider that maybe my dog is not friendly? To me, this is a no-brainer.

Max is great with people, kids and small dogs, but he was attacked by a German Shepherd when we first rescued him. Since then, we have been unable to shake his aggression toward big dogs. A treat works if a dog is passing by in close proximity, but not if the dog approaches him. It makes him feel threatened.

My husband and I caught our breath and headed toward the tunnel to get to our cabin on the other side.

It was then that I admitted it out loud. “I’m not as nice as I thought. I really love this small town in the hills, but I don’t think the feeling would be mutual if I lived here. They’re all much nicer and understand small-town life better than I. The owners of our cabin, the tourist at Custer State Park, the couple at the “smoothie bar,” and this lady with the Siberian Husky probably wouldn’t care for my straight-forward talk with well-meaning advice. Not to mention my lack of survival skills to be living out here in the woods.”

My husband chuckled. “Yeah, if there were a test you had to take to live here, I don’t think you’d pass. They’d politely direct you to a town like Chicago.”

We both laughed.

Yep, after twenty-seven years away, I’m finally home.



24 thoughts on “I’m Not as Nice as I Thought”

    1. I did yell as we walked away about her not hearing me about my dog. Uh yeah, I may be knocking on your door if the grid ever goes down. 😛


  1. Great series, Lori. 🙂 Some people just aren’t meant to live in small towns. 🙂

    Yup, some dog owners are deaf … or something. I was once out walking in an off-leash area with my dear Rudy, who was convinced he was human and ignored other dogs. He got very upset though when a large doggie something jumped at me and knocked me down, flat on my back – I think it was a young St Bernard. The SB was friendly but completely undisciplined and out of control. Yup, “friendly” only goes so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I avoid dog parks with Max for the very reason of what happened on this walk and to you. There’d be no way my dog would jump on anybody. That’s a big no-no and he knows it. I hope you were okay from that fall. I was once around dogs running (just playing, and they weren’t mine). They plunged right into me as if I weren’t even there. I was shaken up after hitting the ground and had hurt my ankle. Hopefully, you fared better than I.

      Thanks for reading about my trip, Lynette.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can understand your frustration. I’m surprised the other lady’s dog was on a leash. I’ve found that in more rural areas, a leash is sometimes considered “optional.” That can pose a real problem when the other dog is leashed. You did the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joy. Yes, I have noticed rural areas leave dogs unleashed as well. The trail we were on went right in front of our cabin, and we saw lots of bikers and dog walkers go by. All the dogs were leashed. This was a national park trail (it went 109 miles through the hills) and I think leashes were required. Thanks for your support on this. Max is good with little dogs, and I still don’t go up and let him sniff other people’s little dogs. Dog owners should know better.


    1. I was more worried about Max. Her dog was even more aggressive than mine. Max is not young anymore (9) and that dog was bigger. I’ll bet she didn’t learn her lesson either. Go figure. Thanks for reading, Carrie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She was warned. Max does not want big dogs in his space and that is his right.

        I once had a big dog and I tried to warn people that he was very protective of me so do not invade our space.

        Some folks cannot hear or hear but do not understand.

        Happy Max is ok.

        Lovely photos.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen that dog situation happen time and time again. Some people should not have dogs. They are so clueless! There is no reason in the world dog owners should expect all dogs to like each other. It annoys me when they won’t listen when they are told, my dog doesn’t like other dogs, or big dogs or purple dogs – whatever kind of dogs. People should respect another dog owner’s “heads up” about that.

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  4. We may have several places where we feel we belong and too many places where we don’t…but it’s a super blessing to be allowed to live where we belong best…so happy for you to be back home in your bestest sense of belonging!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha. Well, I’m talking more about what I thought of myself and not what others think. And, on my trip, I had a new insight that I’m not as nice as I thought. 😛


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