There are some things in life that people take for granted that just don't happen in my house. One such thing is having a pet. Many people have pets. We have none. It isn't because we don't want them because believe me, I would LOVE to have a dog. It's because we can't have them. I have two kids. One has Autism. And along with his Autism comes a very real, yet incredibly irrational, yet so intense fear of animals - especially dogs.
We don't have a dog.
We don't go where dogs go.
When we visit family that has dogs they literally send their dogs away for the duration of our stay.
His fear is that serious.
We've made attempts to work past it, but as of now nothing has worked.
These are the kinds of things, even though they seem so small, that many people just don't understand. And today I ran into a person that just didn't understand - and well, I guess I didn't feel the need to explain it either.
Here's what happened...
It's gorgeous weather outside so I decided that today Bug and I would walk Bean to school. As we were walking I heard someone yelling behind us. I turned and looked and a dog (looked like a Border Collie, though very young) darted past and the lady yelled out, "Can you please help me call her? Her name is Gracie. She's a puppy."
I looked at my son. Then I looked at the lady and answered, "I'm sorry, I can't do that."
She, as I suppose is normal, looked very shocked and yelled at me again, "Please help me get her. She is a puppy. Just help me call her."
To which I replied, "I'm really sorry, but I can't help you." And while replying the kids and I kept walking. I couldn't even see the dog anymore.
She gave me a very nasty look and flipped her hand at me in a way that screamed "screw you" and then she kept going.
I suppose I could have shouted back that I have an Autistic son and I just can't chase animals. But I didn't.
I hope she caught up to her dog, I really do. And I think she did because as we walked home she went by me again and she turned down my street so I am certain she lives near me. Maybe one day we'll meet and I'll explain. But I'm not going to seek her out.
I think the lesson here is that not all people are just being rude. There is often a very real reason why people do what they do, and in our case my reason was my son and his comfort. I'm just not willing to send him into hysterics to help a stranger.
And well, she was a stranger so this also served to teach my dog loving daughter that no matter what a stranger says - puppy, ice cream, candy, whatever - we don't just stop and do what they ask.