Off-leash dogs harass petite walker on trail

Published 8:24 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

DEAR ABBY: I live in an area with a large number of dog owners who frequent the same walking trails I do. On several occasions, I have encountered dogs that are off-leash and running ahead of their owners. Sometimes the owner isn’t even in sight.
On several occasions, dogs have jumped up on me, almost knocking me to the ground. I’m in my late 60s, under 5 feet and weigh 105 pounds. I could easily be injured. I was once attacked and bitten.
My question is this: What’s the best thing to say to these dog owners when they finally appear? The last time it happened, the owner happily said to her DOG, “I know you’re excited, but …” The rest I couldn’t hear because she had already passed me on the trail. Abby, she saw her dog jump up on me and never even acknowledged me. I don’t want to respond angrily or sarcastically, but in a friendly yet firm manner. – WALKER IN WASHINGTON

DEAR WALKER: You are far too nice, lady. Start carrying pepper spray or bear spray when you walk on the trail. If an off-leash dog starts to jump on you, use it. When the owner shows up, say their dog charged you and take their picture. If they give you any trouble, file a police report. When you were bitten, you should have involved the authorities and your attorney.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been married 33 years. A year ago, my husband started wearing girls’ frilly socks and pink nail polish – the pinker, the better. He thinks it is great. When we go out, he has to show off his nails to everyone. It’s beyond embarrassing. I hate going anywhere with him now, and he’s mad at me for it. Advice? – MORTIFIED IN TEXAS

DEAR MORTIFIED: Some performers in the music business wear nail polish, and no one thinks twice about it. (The frilly socks, I’m not so sure.) Could this be your husband’s bid for attention, or a way of announcing that he has a proclivity for cross-dressing? If it’s the latter, please understand that it doesn’t make him any different than the person you have known for the last 33 years.
If you haven’t already talked (calmly) with him about this, do it now. As a regular Dear Abby reader, you may appreciate that on a scale of one to 10, this problem isn’t world-ending. However, such a sudden change in behavior is worth exploring further.
DEAR ABBY: I met a Realtor when I sold my house. He represented the buyer. After the sale, he represented me in a rental property. Then he said he wanted to partner with me in purchasing properties. We also formed what I thought was a relationship. After he borrowed $750 from me and didn’t repay it, and I refused to loan him any more, he ghosted me. Should I take him to small-claims court or chalk it up to a lesson learned? – STILL WAITING IN NEW JERSEY

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DEAR STILL WAITING: If you have proof that you loaned the Realtor money that he failed to repay, feel free to take him to small-claims court. (It’s certainly worth a try.) And when you are done with that, report him to the ethics committee of the state real estate board.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)