This is just a funny story because I did something really dumb just now thanks to small children and dogs breaking past my logical precautionary thinking. Oh well, everyone has a fatal flaw.
I just got back from taking Albie Dog for a walk in my neighborhood. I am surrounded by large families without dogs, so I am used to children being out and screaming and running when my Vicious Terrible Dog comes close to them. This time, we were walking along, smelling smells, and I saw a cluster of little kids about half a block away and heard high piercing voices going “dog! It’s a dog! Dog! It’s like a BEAR!” (as I said, these are not children used to dogs. Of all the dogs in the world, 25 pound Albie Dog is very unlike a bear). So I kept half an eye on them, watching for them to run out of range while we passed. But they didn’t! They stood their ground! And also, blocked the sidewalk.
And this is when I lost all memory of us being in a pandemic and small unmasked children being horrible harbingers Of Death, and was just charmed at the thought of a bunch of little kids who actually liked Albie Dog instead of running screaming from him. Of course, Albie Dog tends to run screaming at small children. Since they are other little puppies and his favorite game is run-chase with other puppies. So I scooped him up in my arms to calm him down and then leaned him down towards the kiddies. They did that thing where they held their hands out and then pulled them away when Albie Dog snuffled towards them because it was too scary. Pretty soon I knew Albie would think they were playing keep away and start trying to catch the hands in his mouth, so I had to stop that.
Brilliant idea! I suggested, instead, they try blowing at the dog. Albie Dog turns towards you when you blow towards him, which is very exciting, and means no one’s hand will get bitten. So they did that for like 5 minutes, until it began to be a little bit boring, and then the oldest started looking for other items of interest and asked me what the poop bag cannister on the leash was (if you have a dog, you know what a poop bag cannister is). I explained it was the bags for poop, which just turned into interest and excitement about dog poop. What did I do with it? When would he poop? Could they watch? I used this as a handy way to get away (since I could feel poor Albie Dog wearing out with all this excitement) and said that we should go so he could go poop. I warned the kids to back up because he might jump and set him down. And he completely ignored the kids and pulled in the other direction because he was ready to GO!!!
Anyway, that was lovely, and then I kept walking and about a block later I went “wait a minute, did I just tell half a dozen small unmasked children to blow on me for ten minutes?” And then I came home and washed my hands for a full minute and threw my mask in the laundry and decided it was worth it. Kids are so great! And kids who aren’t afraid of my dog are so rare!