Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

February 20th, 2015

It’s Awkward When They Stare

By Tara

I knew this would happen. I’ve heard a lot of Dane owners talk about all of the attention they get when they’re out and about with their ponies. I was super excited about the prospect of getting to talk about a passion of mine every time I’m in public. But now that I’ve been in the situation, it’s awkward.

We’ve taken Bubba out a few times already and every time someone walks by, they stare. I’m okay with the staring; I stare at giant dogs, too. How could you not? At the beginning, when I would notice someone staring, I would meet their gaze and smile politely. Sometimes, they would ask a question or make a comment and I was excited to jump into conversation. That was fine.

But now I’m beginning to feel awkward. I notice these people looking and my two options are to either acknowledge them or ignore them (unless they start talking to me).

Acknowledge them

Option one isn’t always possible. Christian and I took Bubba and Roxie out for ice cream the other night and there were quite a few people there. About 90% of the time, there were at least one pair of eyes on us. If I were to go with option one, I would meet their gaze and smile with them. But that’s nearly impossible in this case because I would be looking and smiling at people all night and not enjoying my night out with my husband and dogs.

Excuse the blurriness. It was dark, I'm new to photography and didn't know the proper settings to use, and Bubba is never still!

Excuse the blurriness. It was dark, I’m new to photography and didn’t know the proper settings to use, and Bubba is never still!

And! If I do smile at them and continue what I was doing, I know that they’re still looking at us. I’m okay with them looking in general; that part doesn’t make me uncomfortable. What makes me uncomfortable is the awkwardness of ignoring them.

Ignore them

Option two is to ignore them unless they talk to us. But it makes me feel uncomfortable to notice something and ignore it. You know when you’re walking down the street and you see someone you know? You want to stop and chat, but they are so far away that it would be weird to just look at them and smile for another 10 seconds until you reach each other. Yelling, “Hello!” from far away would be weird, too. So you just look around pretending you didn’t see them until you two are close enough to acknowledge one another.

That’s how I feel when I notice people staring at us. I see them but I don’t want to acknowledge it. By not acknowledging it, though, it feels like there’s a huge elephant in the room (hehe) and who likes that?

I suppose I’ll eventually get used to it. I have to.