Saturday was like any other day. I woke up around 7am, to the noise of claws on hardwood floors. They make a small clicking noise, but speak volumes: "I am up and I need a walk."
Rocco was awake.
He doesn't bark or whine. He just waits and when impatient, will walk around my small bedroom.
I get up and take him out. Often, I just open my door and let him into the hallway of our condo building. I have done this many, many times and he gets to work off some extra energy when I do it. Sometimes he runs ahead of me, sniffing and exploring. Other days I will walk 100 feet to the elevator and he's still at the door, looking at me with "aren't you forgetting something" expression. I love his personality.
Later that morning I decide that I would take Rocco to the dog park, then hit Vito's deli afterwards, killing two birds with one stone: Getting Rocco some exercise and me my lunch.
I get my coat and his leash, and head to the door. I let him out the door and he dashes off, scampering down the hall, while I follow. I see him reach the elevator and I hear the "ding" of the elevator bell. I guess the elevator arrived, and I see his ears perk up with his "recognition" expression. OK, I know he saw someone and he leaves my field of vision, headed to the elevator.
I'm still walking there, expecting someone was getting off the elevator and Rocco was greeting them.
I get to the elevator and the door to the elevator is 90% closed and there's no dog and no people.
I bang on the elevator door, shouting "Open the door!" and can hear a little girls frightened voice saying, "Doggie!" and a woman's voice calmly saying, "No, that's a nice doggie."
It is my neighbor, who has a four year old girl who is basically petrified of my seven month old, 22 pound French Bulldog. A dog that doesn't have a mean bone in his body, and loves everyone. But, to a four year old girl, my dog may look menacing and now she, her mother and my leash-free dog were on an elevator together, going from the third floor to the first floor.
I briefly thought about taking the stairs, but then wondered what will happen when they reached the ground floor. Does Rocco stay in the lobby or on the elevator?
I waited for the elevator to come back, and the elevator was empty. I go to the first floor lobby to see a man standing there, and Rocco, just sniffing around like nothing major happened. The guy says, "I don't know who's dog that is."
My neighbor wasn't there, either.
I get off, grab Rocco and leash him. Yes, I know what you are thinking - I should have leashed him and this would never have happened. Part of me knows that i'm to blame here, but another part of me wonders two things:
1. Why couldn't my neighbor have hit the "Door Open" button? She could have been distracted, but...really?
2. I recognize that her daughter doesn't like my dog, but she leave the dog in the lobby...alone? Come on. If the roles were reversed, if her daughter hopped on the elevator with me would I leave her daughter in the lobby?
Suffice to say I was fairly angry. I leave the building and see my neighbor a block away, walking with her daughter, towards Washington Street.
Again, if I leashed my dog before opening the door none of this would happened, but I still think my neighbor was in the wrong here, too - she should have at least made sure I got my dog back safely.
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