Today was the fifth or sixth time we’ve encountered an adorable little brown dog running around without a leash in the neighborhood where I walk my dogs. He has tags and is clearly well cared for, but he’s on the street by himself regularly.

He’s very eager to play with my dogs, and he bounds right up whenever he sees us. This would be fine at a dog park, but since he’s offleash while my dogs aren’t, they’re both very threatened by him — particularly Buster, who snaps and snarls and lunges. The dog won’t take the hint, though, and he sometimes follows us for blocks, keeping Buster in a state of high agitation and me trying not pull my hair out.

I’m annoyed that it’s making our walks difficult, but I’m also worried about the poor dog. The neighborhood itself is fairly enclosed, with lots of cul de sacs and only a few exits, but it’s surrounded by huge, very busy streets. I’ve seen him near the exits, and yesterday he ran across the street way too close to an approaching car. Plus there a number of big, mean dogs in the neighborhood, and they’re likely to do more than just bark and snarl if he approaches them.

Argh. How can his owners possibly think this is a good idea?