The white terrier raced down the trail at full alert. It proceeded to swing behind me on the single track foothills trail and nip at my heals as I continued my run uphill towards the descending dog’s owner. For three minutes I was corralled by the terrier as it barked and nipped at me. Reaching the dog’s owner (who offered no verbal instruction to the dog) she apologized halfheartedly and continued on. The terrier was already racing off to chase the next hiker behind me.
We all have habits we have no intention of correcting. Acts that break the social contract or do not conform with expected practices. If we are authentic in our communication about these behaviors, people will give us latitude. However, when we ignore them and act as if they happen in isolation on rare occasions, it breaks our trust. We embrace the eccentric when we understand. However, pretending to be one way and acting another with not intention of changing does not breed loyalty.