One Lie Doesn’t a Liar Make

I have an admission to make — I lied.

We all know lying is wrong, whether it’s a “little white lie” or an outright big one. I’ve already confessed it, and I know I’m forgiven.

But, realizing we all should learn from our faults, I still find myself stumped to have done anything different under the circumstances.

See if you agree.

Darling Doggie Dallas and I are fond of taking walks. Long walks on sunny, warm days.

He sniffs other dogs; I chat with their owners. We enjoy being together in nature.

One day as we were walking, a BIG dog of indeterminate lineage charged down its driveway and past a street with a median. To get at DD, who was prancing beside me, minding his own business and not making so much as a peep.

Now, Dallas isn’t a baby. Nor is he what you’d call a feather-weight. He’s a substantial boy (yea, we’re working on that!), but I did what I could to keep him away from the “barking bully.”

I didn’t see any cars at the bully’s house. No owners. No fence.

So I did what any “little girl” would do — I screamed.

Probably didn’t help the situation any.

Dallas and I escaped, but the more I thought about it, the angrier I became.

After all, our town has a leash law. Dogs aren’t supposed to be running willy-nilly all over the place, picking on others.

And I called the animal shelter to register a complaint. They promised me they’d look into it.

A few days passed, and DD and I were again walking.

The “barking bully”‘s owner was outside this time. Mowing his lawn.

And he accosted me, demanding to know whether I was “the one who called the animal shelter” on his dog.

Gulp! Had the animal shelter given away my information? Information they assured me would remain private?

Feeling a bit like a child caught with its hand in the cookie jar, I did what any “kid” would do.

I lied.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” is how I believe I phrased it. (Sounds a bit like Simon Peter denying Jesus at the well, doesn’t it??)

I’m pretty sure he knew I wasn’t being truthful. I’m not exactly a practiced liar, and I had to turn my head to avoid his angry eyes.

It turns out, he has one of those electronic fences, but apparently, he’s not vigilant about changing the batteries.

Figures, doesn’t it? He’s okay with being lax in his obligation and passing the blame to somebody else.

The question is, Why do I feel bad?

Simple — I feel bad for the “bully” dog. It’s left by itself for long periods at a time, not played with by the owner’s kids, not particularly liked by the neighbors because of its incessant barking.

Who buys a dog and then ignores it??

So, tell me, what would you have done in my situation?

18 thoughts on “One Lie Doesn’t a Liar Make

    • Thank you for confirming my thoughts. He certainly was gutsy — got to hand it to him — I’d have been too embarrassed to go into attack mode, if my dog had done that!

  1. I don’t know for sure, Debbie. I think I would have said, sheepishly, yes, and that his dog scared me….but I may very well have done what you did – and then been mad at myself later. I’d have had to seen the guy and the situation and if i felt threatened or endangered – then, yes, to lie for your safety – understandable indeed.

    • I didn’t know him, Barb — or his dog. He looked pretty sturdy, sitting on that lawn mower, though! Not only did his dog scare me, it scared Darling Doggie, and I become “Mama Tigress” when it comes to my kids (fur or not!) Worse, DD is getting too heavy for me to pick him up AND he was on a leash, so he couldn’t protect himself, or me. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. I’m not sure you were even obligated to answer this question, much less answer is question truthfully. If he thought it was you, he should have offered an apologie. It is up to the owner to keep his dog in the yard, and make sure others can walk safely in the neighborhood. Unfortunately far to many dogs live this kind of life. I hope, I would have lied. It doesn’t seem like anything would have been gained by a confrontation. Glad both you and Dallas are okay.

    • Thanks for humoring me, Kb! It truly was scary — first, this big unknown dog, then this unknown dog owner. I hate that I felt compelled to lie to him, but accosting someone never makes for much truth. You’re right, of course — it’s up to owners to keep their dogs properly confined AND to train them in proper manners. That assumes the owners spend a little time with their pets (and if they didn’t want a pet, why’d they get one?). Your thoughts are always appreciated!

  3. Well, if it will make you feel any better, I’ve lied too. In fact, I lied about something at work about three weeks ago 😦

    In your case though, I can’t believe the animal shelter gave your information to him when they specifically said that it would remain confidential. But if could have been that he was just guessing that it was you. And as others have shared here, I think confronting him would have made the situation worse because he sounds like someone who would get very angry and then do something vindictive. What he should have done (if he knew it was you) would be to come to your home and apologized like a mature adult.

    Honestly, I think you did the right thing.


    Have a faaaaaabulous weekend, Debbie!


    • Ah, Ron, thanks for making me feel better! I hate being cornered and, like a wild animal, I just reacted badly. Still, you’re right — “he sounds like someone who would get very angry and then do something vindictive.” That was my thought exactly! I know some people lie regularly, but most of us (I hope!) only do so when we don’t see any other way out — or to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Always enjoy your thoughts, my friend — have a great weekend!

  4. I would’ve done the same, Debbie. Don’t let him make you feel guilty. After all, ultimately you’re protecting the dog’s best interest. I once spotted a neighbor leave a small dog in the car ALL DAY long. I first saw it at 7 am when Henry and I were walking. And again at 6pm. It was a sunny, warm day and clearly, the car was in the same spot, and had not been moved. I called the police to report it. Turns out the owner of the car was visiting the neighbor and didn’t even tell the neighbor that they had a dog. Was there in the car overnight. Because of me, they finally took the dog out of the car. So, I ask you, who has a dog and then leaves him out in the so long?

    • Monica, I HATE seeing dogs left in cars, regardless of the weather! Don’t those owners realize a five-minute errand can easily turn into a half hour?? Good for you, coming to the rescue of that poor dog stuck in a car! I’m with you, who buys a dog, then leaves it outside in a car overnight? Where did it go to the bathroom? Where was its water? Ooooh, that makes me mad!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. The only time I’ve had a real confrontation with an unleashed/unconfined dog I had to go public, because I was bitten: trip to hospital, dog confined, etc. etc.

    But in your case, the guy clearly didn’t know who’d sent the authorities his way. He was on a fishing expedition. I never would have admitted what happened at that point. Retribution against you would be one thing, but I’d not want to risk retribution against Dallas.

    Is he a neighbor you know, or were you far enough away from home that he was a stranger? The only thing that crossed my mind was maybe going back to his house to talk to him directly when it happened, rather than calling animal control. On the other hand, given the behavior of the dog, that might not have been very smart. 😉

    • In my mind, I certainly feared that Dallas — or I — would be bitten and have to undergo what you went through, Linda. I’m sorry for your pain (and inconvenience).

      No, we don’t know the guy. We walk past his house, but that’s all. I don’t believe he really knew we were the ones who’d reported us either, but accosting us sure made us more afraid. You can’t be too safe in this crazy world!

      Thanks for sympathizing and offering your wisdom!

  6. Ooh, this is a tough one. I generally avoid conflict, so as much as I’d like to think I’d have the nerve to admit I called, I think I probably would’ve denied it. I’d probably go one step further and change my walking route to avoid passing by this neighbor (even if it meant hopping the back fence to start the walk!) All this being said, I like to know if a neighbor has an issue, so I’d prefer they talk to me. But the realistic part of me knows that many other people are conflict-avoidant, like me, and this prevents them from directly addressing me. (I also know that there are some nut jobs in this world, so that’s one more reason not to directly talk to the offender directly. It could likely result in them going out of there way to make life a living nightmare in order to get back at you.)

    Yeah, now I’m pretty sure…I would’ve lied, without a doubt!

  7. Debbie, I find it outrageous that on top of not following the rules and keeping a closer watch on his furry friend, this man would accuse you instead. I think I would have pointed out the fact that he should be apologizing for his carelessness. I’m not afraid of a little confrontation, especially when the well being of our furry friends is concerned. I don’t think there was anything wrong with your fib. After all, that wasn’t what was important after all. Instead, it should have been him giving his word that he would take the preventive measures so the situation wouldn’t repeat itself. Poor Dallas. Thank goodness you are both safe! Oh, I would be livid! I can’t imagine being in that type of situation with Roxy. Whenever other dogs approach her in the forest and try to gang up on her, I scream my lungs out for the owners to take charge of their furry friends or else! hee hee! 🙂

  8. You absolutely did the right thing. I’m not sure what I would have done. Probably the same thing and then felt badly about it just like you. Only I would have felt bad because I didn’t go all macho on the guy, for not “standing up to him.” Avoiding the confrontation still would have been the right thing.

    • Thanks for the validation! I hate being put on the spot like this. It just never turns out well, does it? While there’s a bit of the “fighting Irish” in me, there’s also (I hope!) enough wisdom to know when to run the other way from angry people!

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