By Kim Iffert
It was finally a beautiful day in Chicago so I grabbed my bag, my leash, a pocket full of treats and tennis ball and set out for a walk. The neighbors were out and it was the perfect opportunity for a social outing – but not for me and my dog. As we walked down the sidewalk, others may have looked, some would wave, a few may have offered a smile… and then crossed the street. Social pariah? No, just me and my Rottweiler out for a stroll. From the time Chopper was a puppy, people have avoided interaction with him and, consequently, me whenever we were out together. When he was just 15 weeks old, another owner in puppy class voiced her fear and refused to play “pass the puppy” with him. My very own veterinarian tosses treats to him rather than offering them from an open hand. Having had a fear-aggressive dog in the past, socialization was foremost in my mind when this pup came into my life, but how is a person to socialize a dog properly when no one will come near? Read more.