Drama

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Since losing Maxie, the usual stresses of the world don't bother me that much.  I know that nothing is that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.  Compared to what we've already been through, nothing seems worth losing any sleep over.  So much so, that I find it sort of hard to be around those people that are perpetually stressed out or angry about unimportant things.  Those people who are never happy or make such a big deal over small work related stuff or worry about getting their carpets dirty or whatever else.  It's just hard to relate or feel much empathy at all.  That's just where I'm at.  I have no time for drama these days.  Sometimes it is just unavoidable though and it really frazzles me.

Early last evening, I took Mo and the dogs out for a stroll around the block.  Our dogs are big and the truth is that it isn't super easy managing the two of them and pushing a stroller.  But, Mo likes to get outside and loves watching Jake and Layla from his seat.  The dogs really need the exercise, especially Jake, whose hips are really worrying me.

We were walking up a nearby street towards an alley that we always cut down and I could see a woman walking towards us.  Something about her seemed off.  I can't even put my finger on it.  She was walking like she was on a mission and she was headed straight towards us - arms swinging, intense look on her face.  I should say, Jake and Layla are really friendly, they are not at all threatening and would never hurt anyone unless they really thought there was a threat.  I had this feeling that the way this woman was coming at us was no good but I figured we'd lose her when we cut down the alley.  I even kind of gave her a "You'd better stay away from us in the interest of maintaining the peace" look.  But, NO SUCH LUCK.  She decided to also cut down the alley, walking crazily with her arms flying, totally invading our personal space.  Before I even knew what was happening, Layla turned around and growled at her, bearing her teeth.....The woman FREAKED OUT, stumbled backwards and broke her fall by landing on her wrist.  She had a couple of plastic bags of groceries hanging from her wrists that fell down with her as well.

She started shaking uncontrollably - "Your dog attacked me", she screamed.  Before I even knew what was coming out of my mouth, I calmly said back, "You've gotta be kidding me".  I mean, REALLY?  I know I came off totally cold but oy vey, my heart just can't take this kind of stuff.  And, I don't mean to sound insensitive because I do know that some people do find dogs (especially German Shepherds) to be really intimidating - but then - DON'T WALK CRAZY-STYLE, WITH ARMS SWINGING, DIRECTLY AT TWO BIG DOGS!  I know that that's not how it goes though.  I am the one with the scary dogs and she is the one that fell down and somehow, the whole thing could have been prevented (if she had decided to skip the alley).  I felt more annoyed than anything.  I couldn't get close to her to help her because I was still holding Jake and Layla and had Mo's stroller that I wasn't about to leave in the alley either.  There wasn't anywhere to tie up the dogs.  I really didn't know what to do.  Out of nowhere, I heard a man's voice screaming "What the hell is the matter with you?  Why aren't you helping her!  Your dog attacked her!".  Did I mention that my dog DID NOT attack this woman???!!!  I mean, I know that is how it may have looked....and I admit that my dog (obviously) scared her but NOTHING HAPPENED.  She came at us and Layla growled protectively.  SO MUCH DRAMA!  "What would you like me to do?", I raised my voice back at him! "I'm still holding the dogs that scared her and I have a ten month old in a stroller!"  "What is wrong with you?", he screamed again at me.  Even looking back on this incident, its like drama for the sake of drama.  I really DO understand that people are afraid of dogs but I just don't understand then WHY on earth those people would bee line for the very dog that they are afraid of.  WALK AROUND US!  JUST WALK AROUND US!  Sheesh!  It's so infuriating to me.

The guy helped the woman up.  I asked her if she was hurt and she replied, practically in tears, that her arm was scratched.  I offered to carry her groceries for her and she declined my offer and then she and the dude both took off.  I suppose I am "lucky" that they didn't decide to sue me for walking my dogs.  Seems everyone is suing everyone these days - I have even been threatened twice with law suits about things I've written on my blog (ever heard of freedom of speech?!  I have to wonder what kind of a person would feel good about suing a woman who writes about life after losing her baby.)  Anyway, the drama left me so frazzled.  I am not mean spirited and I think I am a pretty compassionate person, but I just could not muster the strength to stress over this lady and her scratched arm.  The whole incident felt more ridiculous than anything but for some reason, I was shaking for hours afterwards.

There is this though - I have OFTEN wondered if these dogs of mine would or could protect us in a scary situation and I am pleased to know that indeed - they would.

21 comments:

Hannah said...

Oh my goodness, what a ridiculous woman! And the guy - what a prat.

I work as a dog walker and sometimes I have six dogs with me. I am very responsible with them and rarely let them off the lead.

One day, a gentleman came marching towards me and said "So, you don't clear up after your dogs, then?" I said, "I do actually - I'm sorry, did you see one of them poo and I didn't pick up? I must have not noticed it, I do apologise."

The man very bossily took me to where the poo had been done and, in fact, there was nothing there - the dog had wee wee-d but there was no poo. To be fair, he did apologise.

I have come to a conclusion - I think these people confront women who are walking alone. My husband has never been challenged but I have been on several occasions.

Hope you are ok. Obviously not a horror when compared to losing a child, but still a nasty incident and truly unnecessary.

Susan Chadney said...

Yehhh Layla!! What a protective LOVE she is. I'm happy you have her too.
Mom

Bianca said...

Uggh, I am so sorry. You do not need any drama or anything traumatic like stupid strangers yelling. I can't believe these idiots were acting like a scratch on a grown up was a big deal rather than moving their craziness away from the 10 month old, oy, oy, oy! When this kind of stuff happens to me it lingers and I have a hard time shaking it off for a week or two. I'm glad Layla is another mama bear in the house. Sending hugs to the doggies, kisses to Mo and dirty looks to the jerks.

Maxie's Mommy said...

To be honest, I found it more funny than anything else - it was all so silly. But, for some reason it kind of shook me and I felt bad that I lacked any empathy at all for the woman who fell down.

Egreeno said...

I think your reaction is totally normal. It's horrible having people yell at you esp. When you are being accused of something you, or in this case Layla, didn't do. I'm
so sorry you ever had to cross paths with that lady! And I'm horrified that people have threatened to sue you over things said in this space! I get that it is public but it seems also so obviously sacred. You are bearing your soul to help your readers know Maxie and your life and experience without him. I'm so glad you keep writing!!

Anonymous said...

Your lack of empathy towards others is appalling. How can you ask others to be sensitive to you and show empathy to your situation, if you can't return it in their time of need? Maybe to them losing a pet, fighting with their boss or anything else you have mention but dismissed, is the most traumatic event they have experienced. As for the people you call friends, shame on them for not being better friends and telling you when your wrong. Sounds like you surround yourself with a lot of "Yes People" and the moment someone says something you don't like or agree with your quick to judge. Since your about handing out advice, why don't you should practice what you preach.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to feel bad. I understand that completely. I lost empathy for most things and people after I lost my precious little girl. Comparing to what we've lost, other things are all too trival.
Grace

Maxie's Mommy said...

Oh goodness Anonymous. You are right. I am an asshole. Do you need to say more? Do I? It just is what it is. I lack the empathy I once did. Having a tragedy will do that to you. And yes, I surround myself with "yes" people. I am totally guilty of that. I am glad that you take the time to read my blog so that you can know how NOT to be. You sound like you must be a truly lovely, warm and empathetic person and your friends are very lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like 'anonymous' needs a thorough grammar lesson on the difference between 'your' and 'you're',

Tamar said...

I have a couple things to say to "Anonymous." As one of Abby's friends, I have to tell you that I've never witnessed anything as horribly painful or tragic in my life as the loss of Abby and Ted's beautiful boy, Max. That kind of loss is really like nothing else...none of these other things you mention. And the truth is, Abby is a very empathetic person. Just because she didn't express empathy in that very moment doesn't mean she isn't empathetic to others most of the time. We all lack empathy some of the time, right? And lastly - I know it's been said but I'll say it again - this blog is Abby's place to express herself. She's honest. She's doesn't sugar coat things. It's a place where she's vulnerable about being human, flaws and all. You lashing out at her doesn't serve any positive purpose.

Becca said...

I can see both sides. I was once attacked/bitten by a dog and it was terrifying, and it has made me skittish around dogs ever since (of course I wouldn't go charging at one either). She might have been truly SCARED out of her mind and very upset, adrenaline pumping, etc. I don't really blame her or the man for their reaction, since they don't know you or your dogs or your thoughts/situation.

All that said, you have NO reason to feel bad about this. It wasn't your fault, the woman was fine, and you did what was needed to control the dog. I don't think anybody who knows your story could expect you to feel much differently about what happened. She was fine. Why should you feel bad?

Maxie's Mommy said...

I had no idea this post would be so controversial. It seems like every time I expose my cold side, people get unraveled. I'm not sure where I ever said I was better than a regular person. Quite the opposite, I am sure I am more flawed. Sure of it. I was surprised at my reaction to this lady too. I don't know why I didn't feel that sorry. But I mean, I didn't do anything. I wasn't guilty of anything but walking my dogs. SHE came charging at us. And yes, I completely empathize with people who are skittish or scared of dogs (even wrote that on my post) but then down cut down an alley where you clearly see TWO BIG ONES.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tamar. Abby, I don't even know why you responded to her.

Becca said...

Sorry - I did not mean to be controversial. To be clear, I don't think you have a thing to feel badly about. Neither you nor your dogs did anything wrong! And I think the fact that you worry about not showing enough empathy proves you are a very caring and empathetic person. If you weren't you wouldn't give it a second thought.

Anonymous said...

if you can't accept feedback/ comments (positive or negative) then you shouldn't have a PUBLIC blog.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't appear the lady did anything wrong either. Just as you have a right to use the alley so does she. Maybe she didn't see you or wasn't paying attention because her mind was somewhere else at that moment, looked up and was caught off guard. Althought the man wasn't a witness to the incident, he was acting on the woman's reaction and isn't at fault either. Sometimes people are scared and over react. -Gloria

Maxie's Mommy said...

It's possible that you have missed the point of my post, and I fault myself for that. I TOO am surprised that I didn't feel much empathy. It was like an out of body experience. She may have over reacted and I totally under reacted. We didn't meet in the middle at all. I am writing about MY warped reality where things that would have seemed like really big deals to me in the past don't anymore. And, by the way, if I couldn't take the criticism, I wouldn't have posted your comment. And if you continue to post hateful messages on my board, I think you should own up and post your name. I DO EVERY SINGLE DAY! And, one more thing - I think it is really APPALLING THAT YOU READ MY BLOG, ONE WHICH I MOSTLY WRITE ABOUT GRIEF AND SORROW AND ON THE FEW DAYS THAT I EXPRESS ANGER, NUMBNESS OR APATHY - YOU ATTACK ME! You must be a terrible person. A really terrible person. To feel a lack of empathy for a person whose child died is JUST AS BAD as feeling a lack of empathy for a person who fell down and scratched themselves.

Anonymous said...

Go Abby!! I was wondering why she even reads your blog if she doesn't want to hear what you have to say or how you feel. For sure you don't need to apologize to her for what you say or how you feel. I think she needs to remain anonymous!!!!!!!!!!!

Susan Chadney said...

I think an anonymous should get a life. If she or he doesn't know you then, why are they on the blog anyway. Mean spirited Anonymous! Just go away
Mom

Anonymous said...

It is apparent that "Anonymous" is waiting to attack. "Anonymous" you are reading the blog for the wrong reasons. Shows NO integrity. Deal with your anger in a more respectable way.

Lina said...

I would feel the same way lol it doesn't make you a cold person if anyone to s acting cray cray near my child I hope my dog would do something about it :-) a month or so ago my cousin was playing around with my son and going in for high fives his dog must have thought he was hitting him and went after him I was surprised but it made me happy that dfogs are protective like that.

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