Dog Karens, you don’t own every neighborhood pet
IDSC October Exclusive: When subconscious racial profiling seeps its way into dog lovers
This past year, there have been entirely too many strange (wo)men breathing down my neck and my dog’s. I shrugged it off at first, thinking people were just happy social isolation was over. The problem is with the increase in mingling comes the increase in Karen-ish activity.
All of my favorite dog walking clients are white, so this isn’t a let-me-pick-on-all-white-people post. But there is a very specific personality trait that turns a select few dog lovers into Karen Unleashed. I’ll give you a few examples.
One couple held up traffic at a green light to gush and yell out the window, “Thazz a good dog!” Meanwhile cars were swarming to get around them.
I’ve held my arm out to swat away three white guys (on separate occasions) who reached out to pet my dog without permission.
One lady leaned over my shoulder — even though I was in the middle of the grass and nowhere near the sidewalk where she originally was — to singsong “Goooood boy” to my dog after I poured water into her foldable dish. And she would not leave. She just peered over my shoulder like we were friends. Is this not creepy?
I was dumbfounded when another lady (yes, also white) blocked my path while I was discussing a legal case via phone. She interrupted to yell out, “Can my dog say ‘hi’?” I’m not a loud cell phone talker, but it was very clear that this was a serious conversation. I was stunned at the audacity—as if there were no other dogs on Earth for hers to say hello to—and my phone was somehow invisible. I asked her if she could see me on the phone. She just stared and waited for the “say hi” answer. I stared back, still listening to lawsuit news. My dog let out a low growl. She looked down at her, huffed and stormed away with her dog as though we were the problem.
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This has grown exhausting. I just want to walk my dog in peace. And I wish these examples above were the most irritating I could share this year, but the worst one happened over the summer and was loaded with screams, cursing, a family member jumping out of his car, bickering over ice cream and two apologies.