Big Dogs

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that it’s common for people to bring their dogs into stores here, including the grocery store

Yesterday Skylar and I were out doing some shopping and we were inside the grocery store…

…when a homeless man who was drunk (and probably high) had a big dirty dog that was not on a leash and it was trying to sniff Skylar while we were in the sugar aisle.


The Mama Tiger in me comes out when I see large animals with big teeth or drunk scary looking dudes approaching my child!

As in, you better

And get your big toothy slobbering, unleashed, hungry-looking dog away from my child before I flip out.

I didn’t say a word to the man but was ready to pounce if need be.  He looked at me, muttered some choice, vile four letter words, which I really didn’t care about because this was about my child’s saftey not what this man said he wanted to do to me.  I shot him some icy stares and he and Fido kept walking.  Thank God.

Feeling unsafe in the sugar asile was not fun.

So we went to the produce section and I bought some red grapes that were on sale for 88 cents per pound

I put half in the freezer because I love frozen grapes but they were so good.  Crisp, crunchy, and sweet.  We did major damage to the bag already.  Must get more.

I have to go back to the store anyway because I forgot half the items on my (mental) grocery list after the brush with wild animals inside the store.  I just lost all concentration, but who wouldn’t.

I was actually thinking of using grapes in a Mixed Berry Clafoutis  <– sounds complicated but it’s really just a fancy name for a twist on pancake batter in my opinion

I wonder how grapes would bake?


1. Do you have a fear of any animals?  Are you scared of big dogs?

I mentioned before that I do have some animal phobias including snakes, ants, and yes, unleashed, mangy, dirty, hungry or just mean looking dogs do scare me.

I grew up next to two huge German Shepards and was bitten by them as a child and my sister was, too, and that has scarred us for life with big dogs.

Yellow labs, golden retrievers, they’re fine, but in general, I prefer smaller dogs.

A major pet peeve of mine is when people say about their (unleashed) dog, “Oh, he’s friendly” as he is coming up to me and trying to sniff my crotch, lick my child, and is jumping around and acting hyper like dogs do.  They’re dogs, it’s what they do.

We all have boundaries and things that we are comfortable with and not comfortable with, and I am not comfortable with big dogs not on leashes or those who just race up to kids in parks, as the owner is trailing behind saying, “Oh he’s harmless”.  Sure.

However, you just never know when a child could pull a dogs ear the wrong way and although the dog is friendly for the owner, it may not be under certain circumstances.  So it’s better, in my opinion, to keep dogs and kids separated until everyone is absolutely sure it’s safe.  Not to mention, some dogs have heads the size of my child’s torso and teeth that could do damage.

I never thought this was until I had a child.  Yes, kids change you and change the way you see the world.  Mama Tiger, indeed.

2. Have you ever baked with grapes?

I never have but I think I’d like to try.

But they are so juicy and perfectly in-season right now, why would I want to mess with them or alter them in any way.  But who knows.  You never know til you try, right?  That’s Baking Rule #12

Thanks for the Manna Bread Giveaway Entries

Have a great Hump Day


  1. As a professional dog trainer I have to agree with you. Someone’s dog may be just fine with them but may have never had their ears pulled. The scenarios go on.

    I do believe people should be able to go many places with their dogs, but I also think there’s an etiquette that should be followed. I personally don’t want someone I don’t know at all running up to me and sticking their face in mine, I don’t think my dog should be allowed to do that either.

    Sorry abut your fear of dogs. That is unfortunate. It seems we have all had something happen that is difficult to get over. I try my best to work on my stuff to decrease the amount of fear that runs around in my head ever… never the less, it is a difficult process depending on the fear.

    • I dont have a fear of small dogs but big dogs, yes, I do. Thank you for as a dog trainer saying this “but I also think there’s an etiquette that should be followed. I personally don’t want someone I don’t know at all running up to me and sticking their face in mine, I don’t think my dog should be allowed to do that either.”

  2. I am scared of all dogs – big or small and I also hate it when people say ‘Oh but my dog is friendly’. It doesn’t matter if a dog is being friendly or not, if he jumps up at me or puts his paws on my lap, I’m going to be absolutely terrified! I’m not surprised you reacted the way you did, I would have been out of there!

  3. i’m just like kathryn (above) – not a fan of any dog, big or small. even the dog in the first picture, top of the blog post – cutie!…as long as he is at least 10 feet away from me! i had a couple negative experiences as a child and then again as a runner that have made me very nervous around dogs…which of course they can sense. dog owners who say “oh, he’s just being friendly” aren’t much comfort…please, just keep your leashed dog at a distance!!!
    glad the situation in the grocery store did not develop into something more…although it was unpleasant enough, what you went thru. i’d forget my list, too!

  4. I don’t think ANY dogs belong in grocery stores, big, small, leashed or in arms. I’m surprised that this isn’t a health and safety issue in your area. Stores that sell food – especially if they also sell prepared food – should be animal-free. I know that that’s a law here.

    My 120-pound dog is safe as houses with people. We prepped him as a puppy by being beyond annoying – pulling his ears and tail, sticking our hands in his mouth, poking his eye area (not hard enough to hurt him, don’t worry), grabbing food out of his mouth. He’ll let people do ANYTHING to him and respond with a wagging tail and adoration in his eyes. But I never let him off-leash unless I’m on an off-leash trail or far from all people. Just because I love my dog and he loves you – doesn’t mean that you’ll feel the same way about him!

  5. Well, I live in the midwest & the only dogs in stores here are those that have the little blue capes on to help people with disabilities (or if they are being trained to become helping dogs), so the concept of dogs in stores is just kind of odd to me. In fact, there are even restaurants here with outdoor seating that do NOT allow dogs (they will have a sign, or you just have to check before you bring your dog). About the grapes – there is a fabulous bakery here that makes a lovely concord grape cake. I love grapes too. I’m pretty confident you will create a very cool grape dessert treat! So happy your site it back – was so disconcerting to see it down (said something about could not access databases). One of the bright spots in my day is seeing what’s new & getting some inspiration from your site! Take care – Amy

    • P.S. Meant to also say that we have a big homeless population here & it’s definitely scary to interact with folks (homeless or not) who are high, drunk, etc. We are lucky to have yoga in our lives. I go regularly to classes, but occasionally I’ll take the mat out at home – might add a new goal of doing some solo yoga more often to my “goals list” :)

  6. Yes I’m also surprised they allow dogs into stores, specifically food stores, in your area. And I have an underlying fear of large dogs, or any large animal in fact. I just always have this sense they can lash out at any moment. I’ve been almost bitten by a stray dog before, but I pulled back quickly enough. Since then I never ever approach dogs unless they are on leashes. So glad the dog didn’t actually do anything to Skylar or you.
    And hmmm baking with grapes? I’m racking my brain for a recipe I’ve seen but I can’t think of a single thing! I’ve definitely seen them in savory dishes (chicken salad etc.) but can’t think of a dessert. You might be onto something there!

  7. I’ve now met or heard about three people getting literally attacked by big dogs in the last year. Attacked, as in had to go to the hospital and get stitches, so suddenly, I’m not so comfortable around them. But, my brother and his wife have two very huge dogs (a Rhodesian Ridgeback – 110 pounds, and a rottweiler – 100 pounds) and they are the sweetest most docile dogs I’ve ever met. So really, you never know. They dont bring them to the grocery store though.
    That’s just stupid.

  8. I really am not afraid of dogs – however when I see them roaming the neighborhood if I’m out on a run, I am definitely cautious and leery. I tend to try to go a different direction. You just never know with a stray.

  9. I would be freaked if that situation happened to us. Especially in the sugar aisle. Yuck! Good thing you dashed off to the fruit :)

  10. I can totally understand how you felt! I had a similar situation with my aupair children and the owner was telling me how friendly the dog was and didn´t listen when I told him, that I didn´t care, but my children were scared and he should please leash the dog up. (the dog was NOT listening to the man, btw, and was running back and forth) So annyoing. Thankfully, he then changed the side of the road, but on the next day, I was told that the dog has bitten several people before!
    I am super scared of foxes, no snakes, no big dogs, but foxes.

  11. I have three little dogs(5, 7 and 10 lbs respectively). They are the sweetest, most gentle dogs ever, but they are also very excitable; they are lap dogs and think everyone wants them on their lap! Because I know that many people don’t want any dogs around them, and because I worry about a car or a bird of prey attacking my dogs, we almost always have them leashed(the exception is when we are taking them out for potty in our own yard and at a dog park). But for a walk, I will definitely have them leashed.

    Once we were walking our girls with a huge group of family on Jekyll Island and a huge rotweiller came running up and tried to attack one of my dogs! It was horrible and I cussed the owner out like I’ve never cussed anyone out before. My dog is still traumatized to this day!!! Luckily she didn’t have any injuries(thanks to my dad for basically putting himself between her and the rottie) but because of this, I’m super nervous around big dogs.

  12. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I have grown up with dogs my entire life, I have been bit by two dogs – who were my own and yet I still have no irrational fears. I have a dog now that I would love to take everywhere with me, I love her that much. That being said, I have enough sense as a responsible dog owner to know there are appropriate places and times for dogs and not everyone is comfortable with them. I know that no matter how cute, fluffy and sweet they can be, at the end of the day they are animals that we do not have the ability to rationalize with. They do not understand consequences.

    Our last dog, Derby, was terrified of other dogs. Nothing ever happened to her to cause her to be this way, that we know of, she was just afraid and her fear would manifest into aggression if given the opportunity. Knowing this, we never put her in situations where she would have to encounter another dog that we didn’t trust. On walks she was always on a leash, we didn’t allow other dogs to approach her suddenly and we never took her to dog parks. The point of this story is that I couldn’t believe the amount of dog owners that would allow their off-leash dogs to come running up to Derby, without question. I would warn them or scoop Derby up in my arms to protect her and their response many times was “oh, don’t worry my dog is super friendly…”. I would always respond by explaining Derby’s fears and that it wasn’t a good idea, thankfully because we knew our dog, nothing every happened and she never bit another dog. However, somehow many times the other dog owner would storm off angry at how “uppity and uptight” WE were being.

    I love dogs. Always have and always will. I just wish more people understood how to be responsible dog owners and to take care for everyone and not just themselves and their selfishness.

    As far as frozen grapes go – they are super delicious dropped into a cold glass of white wine, specifically of the sparkling variety, like a prosecco or champagne. YUM! (sorry for the long post)

  13. I completely agree with you about big dogs. After a run in with a pitbull as a child, I definitely prefer my 15 pound beagle to any other hunkering beast.
    I have baked with grapes! I use concord grapes to make pie and I’ve used red grapes in an improvised cake. I cooked them down (for about 10 minutes) in a skillet and it really intensified their flavor and sweetness. They also became caramel-y. Yum!

  14. Ok, I just have to say I have a big problem with the whole “dog in the store” thing. I have a dog and would never think about bringing her to a store. Stores are for people, not dogs. Why is this ok all of a sudden!? And don’t even get me started with pets on planes! Um, hello allergies? Why are peanuts something we take seriously and ban from planes/classrooms but not dogs/cats?
    I know this is slightly off topic but it gets my blood boiling!

  15. I can’t believe the grocery store let him bring that dirty dog in! I am definitely a mama bear when it comes to my daughter! lol I told my hubby that If ever needs be, I would be the crazy mom at the school taking care of things if something was wrong. lol…
    and I love dogs, but not BIG dogs..They scare me.

  16. I personally have no fear of dogs (I used to wrestle with our pet german shepherds when I was a kid, and I learned how to immobilize them) but I have no patience with people who let their dogs run amok and terrorize people. Leash laws exist for a purpose.

  17. Small dogs are more my thing, but I like the big ones too…

    Funny, it’s true…I’ve never seen a recipe where you really bake with grapes!?

  18. We have a big labradoodle, Lola, who’s pretty excitable, but she’s actually very good about passersby and meeting strangers. When we’re hiking in the woods and I don’t have her on a leash and we see people coming towards us, I usually just call for her to sit on the side of the trail and she surprisingly does so. She’s also very good about sitting with kids and letting them pet her gently. That being said, I always appreciate it (and was taught to do so as a child) when people ask first before petting her. I am of course fine with it, but if she were particularly jumpy or nervous around strangers I would definitely give fair warning. Also, stores are no place for big dogs! We keep her to the woods, our yard, and our house.

  19. I’m with the others on dogs being allowed in grocery stores. If they are not allowed in restaurants they should not be allowed in grocery stores for the same health and hygenic reasons. My area doesn’t allow dogs in grocery stores unless the dog is identified as a service dog with collar or vest they wear. I have seen puppies idenified as “Service dog in training”. They are so cute and fun to watch the trainer work with them.

    My family has had 3 Boxers and 1 mixed breed but we only took them where they were welcomed. The businesses in our area usually are good about posting that at their entryways. We also sent our dogs through obedience training to be disciplined in social situations.

    I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do. I would have reacted the same way with my son at my side.

  20. Although I love dogs I have to agree with you on this one! And although my dogs are both small and friendly I would always keep them on a leash around children. You just can’t be sure that they won’t react badly or a child wont poke one of them in they eye or something and end up with one less finger! It’s just commonsense really and best for both parties to be careful.

  21. I hated dogs growing up. Most of my friends actually had chihuahuas though, but they were annoying with their yapping all the time. They were too energetic for me. I liked the big, old Labs.

    Once I went off to college, I became less scared because a roommate of mine wanted a dog and I considered it a better option than a cat… mostly because of the nails.

    My mom hated dogs also until she got one and it’s rather tame but not boring. I’m totally okay with her dog. I still wouldn’t prefer being around dogs but will no longer move over for them on the sidewalk.


  22. Hmmm, I love my Dante (labrador retriever), he is adorable and totally spoiled … but I have to tell you that even when he steps on your foot he hurts you unintentionally, but hurts you nonetheless. My experience has been that smaller dogs are more vicious than bigger dogs and that bigger dogs just look more harmful. Nonetheless, I keep my doggy away from all children … until the child and I are prepared, he is after all 70 lbs. and still considered a puppy. He is always on leash … I love my dog and though I can’t imagine anyone not adoring him … I keep him in my space and not in the space of others.

    I thought however that dogs were not allowed where there are food products???

  23. I’m kind of two minds about this one because I love animals so much and have seen so many owners mistreat animals that I try to advocate for them whenever I can. When they rush up to people I always feel as though they just want love and I want to give that to them! But my sister is really not a dog person at all (we always grew up with cats) and so I’ve seen both sides and I agree that owners should not just assume that everyone will love their dog.

    I also have never had an experience with a dog attacking or biting me and I can totally understand how that would cause fear. So I get both sides. I’m sorry you had to experience that while just trying to browse sugar though! xx

  24. No animal fears, just bees. Surely my tune would change were I a mother!

    My roommates and I are OBSESSED with frozen grapes!!! It started as our solution to preventing our fruit from going bad :)

  25. I have that SAME pet peeve about dogs, BIG TIME. It would happen to me all the time when I was a runner; some dog would flip out and run away from its owner and try to climb on me. And I am NOT a dog person to begin with, but on top of that, get your damn animal off me! And then they’d be all “Oh he’s just playing” and I’d want to run up and punch them in the face.

    It’s amazing to me that people have more respect and tolerance for dogs than for children in so many cases. If a child’s crying on an airplane or screaming in the grocery store, people give dirty looks and mutter nasty things – about another HUMAN BEING! – but if a dog is going ape shit and jumping, barking, slobbering, even right on top of another person, people will think “Aw, look, he just wants to play.” WTF? ARGH!

  26. Allowing dogs in stores seems like a health issue to me, but there are very prevalent here. I think pretty much every time I’m at a store I see at least one.

    I actually have the opposite fear, big dogs I’m fine with, it’s the smaller ones that make me nervous. Probably because I have been bitten and scratched by a small dog (that looked exactly like the one in your first picture, except more mangy). And I grew up with black labs and golden retrievers. So I’m more used to them. But I totally agree, all should be on leashes and “he’s friendly” is no excuse!

    I am intrigued with the baking with grapes idea. They seem so juicy I wonder how that would work.

  27. You’re way nicer than I am! The one time a big dog off-leash came at my kids (he “treed” them on the playground equipment… which was kinda funny in retrospect) I grabbed his collar, called the owner and waited until he got there to take the dog home. Gave him an earful too.

    And grapes? For baking?? Didn’t even know you could!

  28. Oh my goodness, that does not sound like a fun trip to the store. I hate it when things like that happen! Feeling unsafe is the worst feeling in the world. I am glad that it all worked out ok in the end though, that is all that matters right? Baking with grapes is awesome! They just turn into really juicy raisins. I think you should go for it for sure! They will get more dried out if you cut them up, as opposed to putting them into a batter whole, so you just have to decide on what kind of texture you want them to be!

  29. I grew up with a huge golden retriever who wouldn’t hurt a fly. However, I’ve been bitten by too many dogs in my life and am not a fan. The fiance wants a corgi, which I think I could stand, but nothing bigger than that!

  30. I have a 50 pound (is that large) dog who I know will never bite (he’s a therapy dog who has been through rigorous training and testing) BUT I NEVER let him run up to anyone for multiple reasons but a big one is what if the person is scared? My dog was my choice not yours and you may not want his love and that’s okay!

  31. I am only scared of dogs if they are not on a leash. I have never baked with grapes, but I make a dessert called burnt grapes, which is really good. No baking required!

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