Sunny Obama: Series of Unfortunate Events
I was very upset to see that the Sunny Obama dog biting incident trending earlier today on Facebook. As the story was reported, an 18 year old White House visitor attempted to kiss (some sources reported pet the dog) Sunny, and Sunny bit her.
Anyone vaguely familiar with dogs knows to NEVER get too close to a dog they don’t know, let alone try to kiss or pet said dog!
If you were at an event and a person you’d never met before walked up to you and tried to kiss you, would you smile and accept it? Probably not, and neither did Sunny Obama.
When it comes to dog behavior, they look at the world differently than humans. I’m speculating that the visitor attempting to kiss Sunny was looking directly at the dog.
When a dog that doesn’t know you sees you looking at him directly, he views it as a challenge. At that point the dog goes into defensive mode.
Speculating again, I imagine Sunny gave some body language signs as if to say, don’t come any closer. The visitor either didn’t heed the warnings or wasn’t educated on what to look for and proceeded.
At this point, Sunny went into defensive mode, seeing the visitor as a potential threat. When the girl got very close to Sunny, the dog viewed it as a potential attack and acted to defend herself.
So often dogs are seen as the wrongdoer in situations like this, when in reality it is usually the human in the wrong. Dogs are entitled to their personal space as are humans, but for we don’t tend to honor that fact.
The person handling Sunny at the event where the bite occurred fell down on the job. It’s important to remember when approaching unfamiliar pets, do so with caution.
The visitor should’ve asked permission to pet Sunny before approaching. If the girl didn’t ask, it was up to the handler to caution her to stop.
Even though a person might love dogs and want to pet and/or kiss every one they meet, dogs don’t share that view. That’s when dog bites happen.
It’s unfortunate this happened, but hopefully this will prompt visitors and dog guardians alike to be responsible with dog interactions.
Photo Source: Huffpost.com/Google