On trails, and waking paths, I will, on occasion, come across dogs and their owners. Most often, especially when said dogs are not on leashes, the owners will hasten to assure me that their dog is friendly.
I usually stand still and stiff, hunching away from the curious sniffing and snuffling of said friendly dogs. I don’t reach out to pet. I don’t try to run away only because I don’t want to incite the friendly dog to a friendly game of chase.
Sometimes I consider replying to these dog owners that I’m not friendly.
But that would be a lie.
The truth is, I’d love to pet their friendly dogs.
I’d love to give them a hug and snuggle. play a quick game of fetch if they are so inclined. It doesn’t look like it from my posture, but I really do like dogs.
The problem is that I’m allergic to dogs. I can touch them, but it comes with a price. I might break out in hives or have an asthma attack.
So I honestly don’t care how friendly your off leash dog is. I don’t want your dog to touch me, period. Maybe next time I’ll just say that. And see how that goes.
But I really wish I didn’t have to.