Dear Labby’s answer to treat-dispensing strangers

Dear Labby,

There’s an elderly woman who brings her rescued Bulldog to the dog park every morning. The other dog parents love her – she’s sweet and frail and doles out treats to any canine who approaches. I’ve christened her the Treat Lady. Problem is that my dog, who needs a lot of exercise, now hovers expectantly around the Treat Lady instead of running around.

I’ve asked the Treat Lady repeatedly to stop giving cookies to my well-fed dog, but she still slips him treats when she thinks I’m not looking. The other park-goers look at me as if I’m attacking the lady’s character when I ask her to stop, but really I just don’t want her feeding my dog. This is the only off-leash park in my area. Help.


Majorly Irked by Frenzied-Feeding Elderly Dame

First, try yelling, “Hey lady! How’d you like it if I hung out at the playground stuffing your pudgy little grandson’s face with moon pies and cherry coke?”

No – on second thought, no one wants to be seen slapping the hand of kindly old Grandma Milk Bones. Or making threats to her kin.

There are a million reasons, M.I.F.F.E.D., why it’s not ok for strangers to give candy to babies. But clearly, this woman missed the lesson. So, since you’ve already issued several requests, your best bet is to hit her with a good old-fashioned lie.

Tell her you know she means well and you appreciate the affection she has for your dog, but Sir Poops A Lot was just diagnosed with severe allergies. Any non-approved treat could result in severe stomach upset and an emergency trip to the vet. You could even add that the last well-intentioned treat giver ended up with a nice little pile on his shoe – yes, that’s how quickly the reaction occurs!

Oh, and unless you’re planning to run for mayor, don’t give another thought to the dog park’s Greek chorus. Won’t be long before one of them is sued for biting the hand that fed them… er, their dog.