the stranger’s dog etiquette

i can not express this more often than i already did, but here i go again: i just LOVE dogs. whatever dog it is, whenever i see one, i would squeal and hold my breath (to keep myself from squealing furthermore).

i LOVE it when people bring their dogs when they go to my workplace, i LOVE it when they bring their dogs to the public transport, i LOVE spying on my neighbours as they walk their dogs out… yeah, i know, i might sound a bit scary. but i can’t help it!

ever since i moved to this new place, i’ve seen quite a lot of neighbours with dogs. there’s one that has a big wolfy looking dog, another one has 2 very small dogs (that often fall on their sides from pulling the owner so hard and the owner pulled their leashes back… they’re too light that even the slightest pull make them fall!), another one has a barky-barky-bark-all-the-time small dog… for safety & security reasons, i can’t really tell you their breeds, but it’s all the same to me anyway: they’re all cute dogs! ❤

we (me & husband) always give our own nicknames to these dogs, since we don’t really know what their names are. the big wolfy one is the big kind wolf, the 2 very small dogs are the clumsy clowns, the barky dog is the coward (because it just keeps barking without actually acting out). there’s also the energetic dog, the fluffy dog, the Muppet dog (because it looks like a Muppet!). yes, we’re a bit crazy about dogs.

and then there’s this one very cute & curious dog. i see it (and the owner) every second day when i go to work, or sometimes when i go home from work, and some other times we would see them when we go shopping nearby. so many times we’ve passed each other, and almost every time, this cute dog always came to us as if it wanted to say hello. and just as many times we just walked by it without stopping, because… we have no idea how the stranger’s dog etiquette work!

i know that some dog owner wouldn’t mind a stranger petting their pet, but some actually do mind it. and if i ask the owner nicely, if i may pet it, how can i trust myself that i can then let the dog go??? and how do you end this petting session anyway??? LOL, so many things go in my mind when i want to pet some stranger’s dog, i end up never doing it!

i really, REALLY, want to pet this cute & curious dog, especially because it always seems expectant and waiting to be pet. as i said, this cute dog always came towards us when we were passing by, and then it actually stopped near us, almost as if waiting to see if we were going to FINALLY give it a brush, but we always just kept on walking (though i must’ve looked like i nearly died from holding back my squeal & at the same time smiling so big towards the dog). these last few times, i always also tried to look at the owner to see how she reacted, and it seemed as if she would actually give a green light if i were to ask if i may pet the dog, since i think she also remembers who we are by now from passing us by so many times. but how could i REALLY know?

so friends, strangers, ANYONE, please tell me, what is the correct etiquette for petting a stranger’s dog? or a stranger’s pet, any pet at all? what would you, a pet owner, expect a stranger to say when asking for permission, and also how would you end the session??