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Incident with Dog at Petsmart. What Do You Think?
May 3, 2007
7:06 pm
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gracenotes
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This is still bothering me today. What is your take on this?

I made a quick trip to Petsmart yesterday and was standing in line. Two lines were open. I wasn't paying much attention to much of anything around me, and I noticed that the dog in the next line started pooping, lots of it. The owners did not even notice, one was on his cell phone, the dog was behind them in the aisle. Half a minute later, I saw someone coming towards the lines and I said "watch out." The woman's cart wheels missed the poop, but she stepped right into it.

After that, she started blaming me for not telling me. I calmly told her twice that I did tell her. Then she started going on and on about who would do this and I found myself getting sucked into her conversation, just agreeing with her to make peace. Then, having enough, I told her that the dog belonged to the couple in the next lane and if she wanted to say anything to them she could. But, she didn't, she kept going on and on with all these judgmental comments to anyone who would listen, but no one was. I couldn't wait to get out of that store.

At first I thought the dog owners were totally the so-called villians here, but I really wonder what I would have done if someone was making verbally attacking comments indirectly towards me in a line. I think I would have not said a word, and quietly slipped out, although it would have been my first thought to say I am sorry for what happened. But, who wants to say anyhing concilatory to someone who is being verbally attacking?

Any thoughts? I seem to have a whole different perspective on this today.

May 3, 2007
7:22 pm
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on my way
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gracenotes,

I care about your post, but I don't know what to say. Sounds like you handled it very nicely though.

May 3, 2007
7:30 pm
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Hm. Were there no PetSmart employees around while all this was happening?

My first thought is if I had been in your position when the dog started pooping, I would have got the owners' attention and pointed it out.

Once things started unfolding the way they did, I probably would have done what you did. Told her calmly that I did warn her, and then tuned out.

But if the next day I was still feeling upset about it, I might call PetSmart and describe the incident to someone and ask what their staff are expected to do in cases like that.

Pet owners like the oblivious ones who let their dog poop all over without noticing -- INDOORS -- are the ones that give pet owners a bad name.

May 3, 2007
7:31 pm
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danielle7373
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I think you did a good job, too.

If you would have said anything, it wouldn't have gotten the conversation anywhere. The woman would've kept yelling, and then you may have gotten frustrated or worked up about nothing.

Sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves to prove our points... but sometimes we just need to walk away.

May 3, 2007
9:08 pm
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gracenotes
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Thanks for your responses so far.

Oh, yes, what about the employees? Good question. First, the cashier who rang up my order was new and in training. She mainly ignored what was going on. It could have been her first day on the job. The woman did keep talking loudly, saying where's someone to clean this up? It took over five minutes and someone did clean it up. I suppose that is a reasonable time, but she was very loud and demanding.

A friend worked at this store briefly and could not stand working there, the way they treated employees. They always seem to have a turnover

May 3, 2007
9:57 pm
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Robert123
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I guess if you hadn't even been there the same result would have happened. It sounds like she was angry about it and you just happened to be available.

May 4, 2007
12:53 am
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smarterone
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You handled it fine, but i really think some pet owners just ignore what is happening, you know all of a sudden, they dont smell or see anything. They should have apologized and then again, like what happened to you, the good guy gets it in the end.

May 4, 2007
11:34 am
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glittered when he walked
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I don't think there were any villains here, really. Unless the dog owners were aware of the dog poop and did nothing.

The stepper was upset for having stepped in it. but why would you walk up to someone enraged over an accident and assume repsonsibility right then and there? I probably would have though were it my dog, because those kinds of people don't intimidate me. i'd say "i'm sorry, it was an accident." and leave it at that.

I mean, it's only dog poop for God's sake...in the grand scheme of things it doesn't amount to much.

Good for you for sticking up for yourself.

May 4, 2007
12:06 pm
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gracenotes
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Thinking about this incident again, I think the dog owners should have apologized. It was obvious it was their dog. I observed their dog making the mess, and had commented that that was the dog.

If anything, the owners should have apologized for themselves. Aren't apologies also about doing something good for ourselves, clearing the air, accepting our part of the responsibilitiy? To me, that's a sign of health, a sign of strength. ALl they had to do was apologize for their dog's behavior. That might have changed the whole scenario. The owners seemed like new dog owners, buying all kinds of stuff, so maybe they were at a loss, but apologies, even if they are not accepted, are my way of doing things.

But, again, I am not responsible for the dog's or the owner's behavior, and I stood my ground and had good boundaries and feel neutral about it today.

May 4, 2007
1:09 pm
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nappy
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I would of told the woman:
Jesus be with you and kept walking.

Nappy!

May 4, 2007
6:25 pm
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Anonymous
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(Gracenotes) I can imagine how you felt cuz I had troubles like these. Unfortunately I had other (sometimes controling) people step in for me and could not practice standing up for myself very much.

As people are more and more unavailable to help each other, a good fellow like you, who seems to be a bit of a "fixer" (are you?), steps in and gets it.

The yelling woman avoided confrontation with the responsible party by venting out her anger onto you. As they say, trying to kill the messenger, you. Pretending you´re crazy seems to me to be a good way to prevent the matter from escalating. Easier said than done.

When we try to reason with angry or childish people, when we remain resentful of something, we hold the other end of a rope thrown at us. You know the saying, it takes two to tango. If we dont try to reason or argue, we can drop the rope and let the attacker find somebody else. Hopefully that will put ou the fire from the angry dragon.

How not to get embarassed, feel used, aso, is another matter, not rational. It takes a a gift from birth or a lot of practice not getting involved. Maybe better a little embarased and hurt than not having any feelings by mastering the ability to not get involved.

I find pretending to be deaf and dumb could be a fun solution. Imagine yourself just saying "What? Then turning around to otehr people and truly missing out the next words!Ít seems youre a caring person so think of caring for for yourself and your sanity, first!

Pls don´t give 100% credit to this post, I´m not in the mental health field, I mean, from the caring side, that is. He he! I just had my share of being bullied 🙁

May 4, 2007
8:11 pm
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gracenotes
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Sininho,

Thanks for taking the time to write to me. This got me thinking about how I have been a sounding board for others. I don't know if that's all good or all bad, or anytning in between, it just is. Maybe I look like a comfortable accepting person to talk to.

I have and had played that role with others past and present. But, I think I am doing ok in saying enough is enough when I am tired of listening to it. That's what I did with the woman at Petsmart the other day. I know, this week, when I called a friend and she started in how mad she was at her HMO, I was willing to listen for about 5 minutes or so, then I wanted to start talking to her about how to solve the problem and how to see things differently. I don't know if that is fixing, because she was asking for some feedback.

Its not easy sometimes to figure out what is healthy and what is codependency, especially in a world where women, especially seem to be socialized to be codependent in some ways.

May 4, 2007
9:20 pm
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hopeful for change
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shit happens

May 4, 2007
9:32 pm
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Anonymous
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(((Gracenotes))) U R Welcome! Your topic just hit a chord with me. I´ve been a good listener to people, too. Even some that think aloud speaking like a torn pocket. However, one needs to establish the cost benefit of it for oneself, right? That´s where establishing one´s boundaries come in, which is a hard thing for codeps to do cuz we´re so dependent on other´s approval. On an outside source to make us feel fine, whole, approved. When you chose to stop listening to your friend after some time, you overcame that obstacle. Congrat´s! Our ears are not dumping bins!

I understand "fixing" is another matter. Someone may correct me but I believe it´s when we feel it in our mind, as well as in our gut, that something is wrong (not cuz of us) and have the urge to make it right, even at our expense of time, energy, money, etc. This urge has different motivation for different people, but it isnt healthy in that it costs us more than we are able to give. It may not solve the problem, plus aggravate our health.

Hopefully someone will step in and give you also some reading suggestions such as Pia Melody´s Codependent No More and walking on egg shells. I want to read them myself, they are mentioned here left and right, its long overdue. It would actually be great to read and discuss them with you if you want!

You have a good point about women and codependency. For ages society expects different things from men and women. I too believe that women are raised to be the more caring, compassionate and vulnerable sex worldwide. At least, I can speak from first hand experience (live in baby sitter, etc) for the most informed, most modern American, German, French, Canadian and South American families, as to how the kids are raised. It´s amazing how much more submissive the female children are!

Lets see if we can keep on talking about this Achilles´ankle of women. All the best!

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