In our time here at The Oakwood over these past three months, I’ve come to some conclusions about the impressions that a lot of people seem to have upon meeting DiploDog. Most of these interactions occur in or around the elevators as I am taking her out to do her business (can’t wait to hopefully have a yard again), or on our way out for a walk or to go play with her canine friends at dog daycare. A lot of people ask how old she is, and seem a bit surprised when I say she is 3.5 years old, or they will refer to her as a puppy. DiploDog is a bit smaller for a Lab, but at around 60 lbs, she is still a pretty decent size. It is always a bit fun to be able to surprise people with my answer.
The other conclusion I have come to is that a decent number of people think that the Gentle Leader collar that we use on her is some type of muzzle, with the requisite assumption that perhaps DiploDog might be a bit aggressive or snappy, which is a complete 180 from her temperament. Far fewer people ask about the collar, but those that have have been universal is saying they thought it was a muzzle.
I think this helps explain the one extreme reaction we had from a man as we were getting off the elevator a few months back. As the elevator doors opened and we headed out, he jumped back when he saw DiploDog and then actually ran away down the hallway. Needless to say we were quite surprised by his reaction, while simultaneously doing our best to contain our laughter. At the time I thought this poor guy must be having a rough go of it, given the number of dogs around here, but now I suspect he saw the Gentle Leader, thought it was a muzzle, and assumed she was aggressive.
The most classic Gentle Leader comment came from a little girl at the park who asked us why our dog was equipped like a horse. We found this a hilarious and also a very insightful observation on her part, as the leader does look very similar to a bridle that would be guiding a horse.