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Another mother yelled at me at bus stop

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
We were waiting for the bus this morning and one of my neighbors came to the bus with a pit bull they had just gotten. She is pregnant and still smokes - her son is very aggressive - she leaves her 18 month old outside unattended despite living on a busy road...not to mention she has a terrible temper. That being said, I always say good morning and make polite small talk.

Well, today she shows up with the pit bull and I asked whether it was a pit bull and she launches into this lecture on how nice they really are, if people would only research the breed, etc. etc. etc. So I said that my bil had one and it was very nice with us, but ended up attacking my dog. (We never let the kids near this dog) About this time my kids join all the other kids who are surrounding the dog and I said to my kids "B & B, please come over here, I don't want you petting that dog" in a very level voice.

She yells "That really offends me" and starts muttering nasty things about me.

So I said "I am much less worried about offending you than making sure nothing happens to my kids"

So she says a whole bunch of stuff which in summary was "Any dog can snap and you are being overprotective and are a rude person"

Then I took a deep breath and said "You know you are right any dog can snap and that is why I never bring my golden retriever to the bus stop. I think you are wrong to be offended because we have plenty of friends who are afraid of dogs and I am never offended when they don't want to be around my dog. I understand that people have had different experiences and I don't think you should be offended because I am not comfortable with my kids petting your dog" to which she said

"Well, I am offended you stuck-up bitch" and stormed off.

To which I took the bait and yelled "Oh, grow-up"

I am really freaked out. I get along great with everyone at our bus stop --- my friend was horrified by the whole incident and one of the fathers who was there was like "Hey, it is a pit bull" but I did pick up the vibe he thought I shouldn't have said anything. I am so upset that I fought with this woman with my children there and that I am going to have to deal with this woman. I just can't believe it escalated like that --- I really asked ds in a nice voice not to pet the dog --- how could that make her that pissed off?

What do you ladies think. Should I go to her house and try to create some peace before our kids get off the bus? Should I have not said anything until I had my kids alone? I am really second guessing myself and terribly upset.

Advice?
BJ
Barney & Ben
post #2 of 102
........I am paranoid, I admit, but any dog around my kid(s) when he was smaller made me VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. (preg now, thats why I said kid, and kids, as this wont change )

I dont think you were wrong in ANY way. She created her own offense. not everyone on the planet has to feel comfortable around any dogs.
post #3 of 102
Whoa- I think she was out of line, getting all bitchy because you told your children not to pet her dog. I'm not sure there's any way to smooth things over with her- and going over there would mean exposing yourself to her pit bull, right?
post #4 of 102
wow...I think you handled it quite well...

Some people! :

I might have lost it......
post #5 of 102
I agree with the PP.. We all regret our reactions at times. But, when it comes down to the well-being and safety of your children, you have to do what is right. I think "making nice" would probably be futile as she sounds (to me) like she is looking for conflict anyway. I usually steer clear of overly-aggressive people anyway. However, I do not fully understand the implications for your children so... Big hugs to you as you work through this.

On a side note, I don't think people fully understand the reality of others' fear of dogs. My son in particular is very afraid of them. He only is comfortable around dogs he knows very well.

Hugs hugs hugs..

Karen
post #6 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by PortraitPixie
wow...I think you handled it quite well...

Some people! :

I might have lost it......
Yeah, what she said.

All things considered, i think you did a great job staying level headed.

Some people never cease to amaze me...(I mean that in both good and bad ways, lol)
post #7 of 102
You have every right as a parent to be concerned about your children's well being. And asking them not to pet a strange dog should not offend the owner. I'm sure you would have been concerned with any breed, so I personally would not have taken it as discriminatory...but maybe Pit owners are so used to defeding the breed that they are easily offended, not to mention it sounds as if this lady has a short fuse anyway.

Perhaps just to be the bigger person you can go over and tell her, since it was a "new" dog to your children in that environment you wanted to be cautious and that once you and your children know the dog better perhaps you will supervise them as they interact with her dog. And remind her - that is your position no matter who the dog owner is and what breed the dog is. It doesn't sound as if you want to be chums with this lady, but the fact that you will be seeing her regularly leads me to think its in your best interest to get the tension out of the way. If she isn't receptive at least you'll know you tried.
post #8 of 102
Um..well you are well within your rights to tell your children not to pet the dog. Based on your previous experience with this woman, it doesn't appear as if she'd be the type to be the responsible, cautious pet owner that pit bulls require. Pit bulls are a dog the require an owner that is fully aware of their capabilites and has done plenty of breed research. Based on the fact that she lets her 18 month old out unsupervised by a busy street, I'm betting she's not going to be too responsible with the dog. I always warn my children never to touch or approach animals that they don't know. It's just a safety precaution.
post #9 of 102
I own two very sweet dogs, but they can also react unexpectedly at times. Children should always be taught to ask the owner before approaching a dog and petting it.

There are ways to approach a dog that are appropriate, and ways that make the dog feel threatened...and some dogs are just on a hair-trigger. This is important for all people to know. I am actually very uncomfortable with people just coming up to my dogs and petting them without asking because they don't know if my dogs are friendly to strangers or not.

I think you took absolutely appropriate action. If I had been the dog handler, I would have stood behind your decision -- you are the parent, after all -- and helped by explaining to the kids that it can be dangerous to pet an unknown dog.

I try to model how to approach a dog when we are at the park and a child wants to pet one of ours, explaining what is proper and what is not. I figure, if they learn with my dogs, who are laid back and love the attention, then they'll know what to do and can avoid confrontation with more skittish dogs.

This lady is just defensive, I would guess, because she owns a breed with a bad reputation (thanks to stupid owners who train mean looking dogs to be mean). I'd let it go. She really should be more sensitive to the fact that she owns a particular breed that makes people nervous, even dog lovers.
post #10 of 102
I am terrified of pitbulls. I was run at and followed by one when I had my two year old in the stroller and a 6 month old in the backpack. I was terrified. My dog was attacked by one when I was a kid. I understand that there are nice ones out there.... I don;t think that one should ever be brought around a large group of kids... kids are so unpredictable, and you dont know what will set any dog off. We have a no petting policy in our house, unless you ask the owner first. Even then I have taught the kids how to approach a dog properly.
post #11 of 102
Well, as a parent of an almost-six-year-old who screams and tries to climb up on me at the sight of a dog... I think you were in the right to tell her not to bring her dog to the bus stop. I know that's not exactly what you said, though.
post #12 of 102
I am going to go out on a limb here.

She might like to provoke confrontations.

She might (I know this sounds illogical) like you better now that you have reacted to her.

You will just have to see.
post #13 of 102
I hate confrontation too, but I always seem to find it. :

I really do not like this woman, and I have no idea who she is.

You have every right to tell your kids to stay away from a dog, any dog, or any animal for that matter. And this is comming from me, an animal rights activist!

Children are our responsibility to protect, all children, our's or not.

This woman is a creepy character, smokes while pregnant and not looking after her little baby. I do not know how to make nice with people. I am having a hard time with my neighbors as well. I have a current post about it.

Just know that you were kind and that you were right in protecting your chindren.
post #14 of 102
Hmmm, I ALWAYS tell my 4 yr old dd NOT to pet dogs we don't know. I thought that was a common thing to do. I can't imagine why she freaked out at you like that.

Your kids started school already? In MN, we always start the day after labor day.

~Tracy
post #15 of 102
I don't think you did anything wrong at all. Even the part where you said "grow up" was ok because she was acting childish to call you names. I don't think you owe her an apology, if anyone should apologize it is her. My DS is 3.5 and I don't let him pet any dogs we do not know. EVER. I've had bad experiences with dogs as a child and I'd rather errr on the side of caution.
post #16 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Village Mama
I am terrified of pitbulls. I was run at and followed by one when I had my two year old in the stroller and a 6 month old in the backpack. I was terrified. My dog was attacked by one when I was a kid. I understand that there are nice ones out there.... I don;t think that one should ever be brought around a large group of kids... kids are so unpredictable, and you dont know what will set any dog off. We have a no petting policy in our house, unless you ask the owner first. Even then I have taught the kids how to approach a dog properly.
I am, too.

In our little neighborhood, two people have pits that scare the daylights out of me. We all share a yard, as it is duplexes with the backs to each other. One if pretty nice and the owner controls it well. But one neighbor lets his huge pitbull run around unsupervised and unleashed. Almost every time I go outside it tries to attack my puppy before we have to flee inside. The poor girl is getting scared to pee. And it has scratched me pretty badly to get to my puppy.

The other day it started attacking the new neighbors moving in across my way. The guy came outside and was like "he's nice, he won't hurt you, dude". ANd the new neighbors (rightly) freaked out on him. I have talked to the guy, and then 10 minutes later it's doing it again.

I would call the humane society, but I don't want the good neighbor to get her pit taken or banned when it is actually decent.

Sorry for the rambling, but I think that the OP did the right thing. I would have probably freaked out if it was my own children. I do not take dogs-especially agressive breeds-lightly around children. They may not try to hurt, but they can. I have been attacked by a fair share of "nice" dogs in my life.
post #17 of 102
I think you acted wonderfully, you did a great job sticking up for your beliefs. I find that oftentimes, most people can't handle confrontation but that doesn't mean it's not good to have. That woman is completely wrong. How irresponsible for her to bring her dog (any dog really) into a group of kids but IMO especially a pitbull. :

I'd be tempted to call someone about it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys
a pit bull they had just gotten
I just re-read the OP. This was a dog THEY HAD JUST GOTTEN. This woman has NO F$&*ing idea what that dog is capable of. Would animal control give her a good talking to over the incident? Was the dog even on a leash?
post #18 of 102
Quote:
So I said "I am much less worried about offending you than making sure nothing happens to my kids"
I think you were well within your rights and acted appropriately. I love that you were able to come up with the above comment in the heat of the moment! It speaks to the heart of the matter - you were concerned for the well-being of your children above all else. If doing what we know is best for our children makes other people uncomfortable, that's unfortunate, but that's their issue, not yours. Your children saw you sticking up for their welfare, and that's not a bad thing. Hopefully, they will still be able to get along with her children in spite of this incident (kids seem to forgive and forget much more easily than adults, anyway!). I think you have nothing to second guess yourself about!
post #19 of 102
Yeah, I think that woman was waaaay outa line. Good grief. I've heard so many stories about dogs attacking children - and not always "bad" dogs either! Kids and dogs together are not always a great mix.

I don't think you should walk on eggshells around this woman, but try to let her words and behavior roll of your back. It doesn't sound like she's about to change any time soon.
post #20 of 102
As an owner of two dogs, one of whom is a pit mix, I make sure I"m considerate of others feelings. I also teach my own dd not to approach ANY dog, large or small, without the owner's consent and my being right there. It's a safety issue.

Yes, pit owners tend to be hypersensitive. We can't help it. that does not excuse her calling you a bitch though.

I do think that you were reasonable in asking your children not to pet the dog. I make it a point not to trust any dog not my own. Period.

it may be helpful to talk to her later when things cooled down and explain that you would feel that way about any dog, any breed.
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