The other day at Kroger this little kid, about five or so, came running up to Isaac, squealing "puppy puppy puppy!" and started to pet him.
him, got down to his eye level, and told him "It is never OK to run up
and pet a dog without asking. You don't know if it's a nice dog or if
it might bite you." He looked surprised at being corrected.
see an adult anywhere nearby, so I asked him where his mom was. And
then felt kind of bad because he said "I don't have a mom." Oops.
asked who was at the store with him and he said his grandpa. So I
asked where his grandpa was, and surprise surprise, he wasn't quite
sure. So we went off together to find grandpa, who was all the way on
the other side of the store. I suggested to grandpa that he might want
to watch his kid better because he was on the other side of the store
unsupervised and ran up to my dog and started petting him without
asking, which is not safe.
I normally let kids pet Isaac when they ask to. This is only the second time ever I've had a kid pet without asking. Adults do it all the time, but kids almost always ask me.
The other time, the kid's brother smacked him upside the head and said "You're not supposed to pet that dog, dummy!"
In this instance, I felt like it was more important to tell the kid that his behavior was unsafe than to let him pet Isaac. Of course, Isaac does not mind a kid running up to him and petting him, but some dogs sure would mind.