I think I had my second encounter with a dog hater today. The woman was around forty and for some reason she was hanging by the door that leads to the bike room (where the residents of this building can keep their bikes so people won't steal them). I don't know what she was doing there, because these apartments are for students only and she looked nothing like a student in her posh flower dress and high heels. Anyway. Papu usually barks once or twice if we meet strangers on our way out. Sometimes she barks like crazy, but since we live in the second floor (or first floor depending how you count) we are usually out before anyone gets annoyed. I know she shouldn't bark at all, but we haven't exactly done anything to stop it because
a) the hall is usually empty
b) nobody is bothered because people here are used to barking dogs
And you probably guessed it; Papu started to bark and since the woman wasn't moving anywhere and other people were making noise in the bike room, she kept barking. When we get close to the woman she said "what's wrong with your dog?!" ("mikä sun koiraas vaivaa") and since I didn't bother to answer she continued "train your dog" ("kouluttaisit ton koiras"). Her tone was really aggressive and the things she said made me seriously upset. It was hard not to cry when we finally got out.
Papu means the world to me and I have done my absolute best to take care of her. Life has not been so easy with her and I have tried so effing hard that you have no idea. God knows how many times I have cried over her because the things have looked so hopeless. And after all that pain and tears and misery, suggesting that I have failed with her is the most hurtful thing anyone could ever say to me. I know that Papu is still very far from the perfect dog she could be, but I'm doing OK with her. She's OK too. We are getting there eventually. I'm not a failure as a dog owner.
And I love my dog no matter how loud she barks.
But that woman obviously wasn't a dow owner herself. Dog owners know that other people's dogs are a very sensitive subject. Their like babies, and you definitely can't say to a mother that her kid's shitty even when it's completely true.