Let’s talk about animals for a moment. I am a devoted dog owner, so treating animals with kindness has always been very important to me. Being kind also means showing respect for the animal and its owner.
As a dog owner, I am wary of strangers who will approach to pet them without asking me first. My dogs aren’t dangerous, so there’s no risk involved. It’s just that sometimes this can be intrusive and I’d rather people asked before petting them. Some dogs react badly to strangers and it’s in everyone’s best interest if people check first.
A friend of mine just adopted a puppy. It only recently got its vaccinations, so she and her husband had to be especially careful when taking the dog out. They would actually have to carry the dog in their arms. Of course, the puppy is very cute so many people would stop them and start petting him without asking. Oftentimes this would occur when the puppy was sleeping, which meant he got riled up. Or, strangers would stop them every few feet, even when they were in the middle of a conversation or clearly in a rush.
The lesson is this: It’s absolutely fine to pet a domestic animal, but do so with respect and kindness.