Just because you and your dog are "Happy-go-lucky" does not mean everything around you is. When you take your dog to a busy location, you need to be HYPER-AWARE of your dog and your surroundings.
I had a client share an unfortunate story with me about 3 weeks ago & I wanted to share it via a blog as it is a good lesson about how important it is to be aware of our surroundings when we are out and about with our dogs: One of the owners took the dog (on leash) to a very busy park environment with a festival going on (think music, vendors, thousands of people, kids running, strollers, bikes and plenty of other dogs... BUSY!!!). The owner was simply talking to a vendor with his dog in a sit-stay right next to him. Out of no where, there was a random 2 second dog scuffle. Apparently, another dog walking by launched at my client's dog. It was only a 2 or 3 second incident, but... my client's dog is now missing a little part of its ear. My client's dog, luckily, is fine... both physically and emotionally- didn't seem too phased by the bite and so far... no "after effects" (fear, anxiety, aggression, etc).
The most important thing is that the dog is OK... physically and emotionally. After that, there is a lesson to be learned here.
Whenever we take our dogs out, especially in really busy areas or events, it is going to be more work then if we left them home and that is FINE 🙂 It is still enjoyable! We just have to realize we have an extra responsibility when our dogs are with us... very much like a parent bringing a young child with them... it is more work and more responsibility. We really need to be hyper-aware of our surroundings. There are other dogs, bikes, kids, cars, skateboards, and numerous other things that can surprise us or our dogs in busy locations. Just because you and your dog are "happy-go-lucky" doesn't mean everything else around you is the same. When we decide to have that meal, grab a beer, socialize, or basically "kick back and relax" we need to make sure we choose a good location in which our dog is safe & comfortable (physically and emotionally) and we can keep an eye on things coming and going around us.
Again, it doesn't mean we cannot enjoy our dogs while out and about. I bring my dogs all over the place with me: parks, festivals, family members' homes, vacation travel, trail systems, mtn biking, trips to Home Depot, etc. I do a lot with my dogs. However, when I do, I realize I am adding a responsibility to the situation. While my dogs bring more joy to the occasion they do bring more work and awareness as well and I am OK with that. The times I don't feel like keeping up with all the "x factors..." I simply leave them at home. Both options are fine.
Enjoy your dogs, but be hyper-aware in busy locations.