In recent months, Spencer and I have had quite a few occasions where we’ve had to walk by people in somewhat close quarters. I am always more comfortable if the people are on my side when we pass, but we can get away with them being on his side, with treats and a bit of space. However, Spencer has never voluntarily chosen to walk towards strangers on a narrow path…until the other day.
There were only about 800 people in our town in 1900, and it was quite agricultural. Today, there are about 30,000, but there are traces of the older village. One vestige are our numerous pedestrian paths that connect different street blocks. They have actual street signs, and are considered part of the public network. One of these paths in our neighborhood climbs a hill and cuts between two halves of a private school. I sometimes take it, but Spencer has never shown a huge interest in this particular shortcut, although he likes several of these passage ways.
So I was a little surprised when he asked to go down it the other day. I was a bit nervous because two of the school employees were standing in the middle of the passageway smoking. I wasn’t sure how Spencer would react when he noticed them.
The truth is, he looked at them and then kept on sniffing without really paying them much attention.
By precaution, I had him walk near my hip so I could shorten the leash without making it tense, but it wasn’t really necessary as he just kept strolling on by without a care in the world.