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By Cheryl Bac

Dogs and Kids

Uploaded: May 17, 2016

Last week I read an article titled, "Dear Person Whose Dog Just Wants to Say Hi." The author talked about respecting a dog's personal space. And giving the dog's owner a chance to say "no" before another dog, adult, or kid entered that personal space.

Even though we don't have a dog, I enjoyed reading the article. Most of our interactions with dogs have been pleasant, but a handful have been uncomfortable.

Usually, these uncomfortable situations happened when a parent brought both their kids and their dog to the park at the same time. This can leave the kids mostly unsupervised at the playground. Or leave a dog tied to a fence or table barking at the kids, eager to join in.

Of course, kids and dogs both need places to run around, but it can be very scary for a young child (and that child's parent) when a dog, even a friendly one, unexpectedly runs up to them. I, personally, used to pick up our son when a stranger's dog ran up to us. However, with two kids, it's not as easy to avoid an unexpected dog.

Yes, we all need to share the park. But I think many uncomfortable situations between dogs and kids could be avoided if everyone (dog owner, parent, kid, etc) had a chance to say "no" before someone else (dog, kid, stranger, etc) entered their personal space.