By being on the defensive, you can avoid confrontations when you walk your dog
To avoid confrontations when walking your dog, be on the defensive

Be On The Defensive…Not The Offensive

What makes a good driver and a good dog walker? Someone who is cautious. It requires taking appropriate action to avoid confrontation walking dogs just like being defensive when driving a vehicle. 

Without exception, it is always better to stay clear of what could turn out be a conflictive situation that ends in an accident. The priority is safety. And, most importantly, human intervention will keep people and their companion animals out of danger.

To Share Or Not To Share…The Sidewalk

Naturally, you have the right to walk your dog on the sidewalk. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility as a pet parent to teach him to walk properly on the leash. This means eliminating the urge to pull, lunge, bark, growl and become ferocious. 

Likewise, it is the responsibility of other pet parents, who you are certain to come across on your outdoor trips, to do exactly the same. But, this is not a perfect world. 

Dodging Conflict Dog Walking

As most of you are aware, some dogs are hard to train and others have never been trained. Then there are those that have acquired certain negative behaviors as a result of previously being abandoned, injured, or abused.

If your dog knows another dog really well and they are both friendly towards each other, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t interact and rub noses. However, when this is not the case, and this is most of the time, the best advice I can give is…be on the defensive.

What I Do 

When I see a dog walking towards me, I cross over to the other side. Doing this will avoid coming face to face in case a direct confrontation occurs.

Sometimes, the other person walking the dog will act first and cross before you attempt to do so. Occasionally, they will actually turn around and back track to find another route to walk along. Now that is one smart, responsible human!

To Sum Up

Do your best to avoid confrontation when you walk your dog. Always err on the side of caution. It just makes sense to do everything you can to prevent a potential incident. And, as I said at the outset, defensive walking is like defensive driving.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


This pet hero helped save a man from drowning in Northern California
Moe, the Golden Retriever, watching all that goes on at the marina

It’s all thanks to dog hero Moe that a drowning man was saved. Because if it hadn’t been for a very alert Golden Retriever who was in the right place at the right time, and raised the alarm, this incident could easily have ended in tragedy.

Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, a few weeks ago I launched a special section on this site about pet heroism. What you see here now is the second such article about the heroic actions of both dogs, and cats. And, we look forward to sharing with all of you, a lot more inspiring stories about our pets. So much more than simply furry companions, they are sentient beings with a greater purpose.


Heroic Dog Moe Senses Danger

In January this year, an elderly man was taking an early morning stroll along a marina in Northern California. To be precise, the location was Pittsburg, which is some 40 miles northeast of San Francisco. However, his walk stopped abruptly when he slipped and fell into the water.

Fortunately, though, Moe happened to see the incident and began barking profusely. At the time his owner was still asleep but the noise woke him up and he immediately knew that something was wrong. The “Golden’s” Dad rushed outside, saw the senior struggling in the water, and managed to help bring him to safety.

Pittsburg PD Meets The Hometown Hero

Moe, the heroic Golden Retriever, was happy to receive treats of gratitude from local law enforcement
Moe, the pet hero, was personally thanked with treats by officers of the Pittsburg (CA) Police Department

Always ready to recognize acts of valor carried out by members of the community, the Pittsburg Police Department paid a visit to Moe and his human family later that day. K9 Officer Morris and Sergeant Law were able to thank Moe personally for his lifesaving act and gave him some treats. They also said this to him, “Good job, Moe! We are proud to say you really are a hometown hero!”

Subsequently, the PPD published a Facebook post about what happened. They wanted to make sure that everyone in the area could read this great story with a happy ending.

To Sum Up

This article is just one example of the intelligence, loyalty and compassion that companion animals show towards other animals and humans. They are so very worthy of our admiration and respect. Stay tuned for more dog and cat hero stories in the coming weeks.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


If you drive like this with your pets, you could get a hefty fine
In some US States you could be fined if you drive with a dog on your lap

Don’t laugh. It happens. In the USA, some states are stricter than others, but, yes, you can be fined if you allow a dog or a cat to sit on your lap when you drive.

Why is it that most drivers and passengers don’t think twice about buckling up themselves and strapping in a baby, infant, or child, yet it never occurs to them to secure their companion animals while on the move?

This Can Happen
An unrestrained pet can easily become injured. If it is allowed to move around freely it can also become a hazard for the driver and passengers in addition to other people who could become involved if an incident or accident were to occur.

If people can die because someone was texting while driving, people and pets can also just as easily die because someone turned to stroke their cat and fed their dog a treat!

In Tennessee
Tennessee House Bill 212 was passed in May 2011 and became law on July 1st that year. It’s a measure that helps keep pets safe by making it a Class C misdemeanor to allow a dog to ride unrestrained in the front seat of a vehicle. It restricts the movement of pets traveling in a vehicle to the following:
* it must be held by someone either in the front passenger seat or the rear seat
or else
* it must be harnessed, crated or otherwise contained

In New Jersey
New Jersey police officers have been known to stop drivers for improperly transporting an animal and issued fines as much as $1,000 per pet. Examples of citations range from dogs hanging their head out of a window, unleashed dogs traveling in the bed of a pickup truck (deemed animal cruelty), cats resting on the dashboard, and someone driving with a bird perched on their shoulder.

In Other States
Fines are issued to motorists who drive with pets in their laps in these states:

Please send me a comment. I’d like to know three things…
1. Had you heard about this law before reading this?
2. Does it exist in your state?
3. If not, do you think it should because it will help to save pets’ lives?

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!


The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje from The Netherlands was recognized as a Sporting breed dog by the American Kennel Club in 2018
Nederlandse Kooikerhondje

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen from France was recognized as a Hound breed dog by the American Kennel Club in 2018
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The number of breeds that are eligible to join the list of dogs recognized by the prestigious American Kennel Club keeps growing every year and 2018 is no exception. Both of these newcomers hail from Europe and one in particular has a name that most of us will be challenged to pronounce.

Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
Originating in The Netherlands, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (pronounced Coy-ker-hund-tsje) has been popular for centuries and even depicted in paintings by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt. It was bred for duck hunting, and enters the Sporting Dogs category. The name means “little cage dog,” so called because it uses its long fluffy tail as a tool to lure ducks into cage traps.

As long as the Kooikerhondje gets regular exercise it can live quite happily in an apartment. Because it is very sensitive to sound it doesn’t do well around small children that make a lot of noise. Apart from that, it is intelligent, loves to please and would make a great companion.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
A relative of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, the larger Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen from France falls into the Hound group. This breed was used to hunt wolves and deer as well as track smaller game such as rabbits and hares.

These athletic, high energy dogs would hunt in packs so they thrive being part of a group and staying extremely active.

The GBGV has the typical Griffon wire coat and its short legs and droopy ears give it a most endearing appearance. It is friendly and mostly low-maintenance except for the fact that it needs a lot of space to run and express its hunting instincts.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!