I was debating whether to share this experience with everyone, but I am simply so shaken and upset, I am interested to know how others would and/or have handled experiences like this.
Last night, I came home from dinner around 9:45pm and got G ready to go outside for the last potty break of the evening. I made it halfway down the stairs from our apartment and a man, who I had never seen before, was coming up the stairs. I stepped aside to let him passed, but he immediately stopped and started saying, "Is that a pit bull? You have a pit bull in this building?! Does the Board know about this?? Who are you? Where do you live? What's your name?"
As a single, twenty-something female in a new neighborhood and building, I was very, very uncomfortable. His words were aggressive and frightening and I just pulled G along and went down the rest of the stairs without answering his demands.
At that point he threatened me again, saying "I am just going to find out who are you through the Board anyway!" but I was already down the stairs and toward the lobby. I stopped by the doorman and asked him if he knew who this person was as I was worried for my safety. Would he wait for me by my apartment? Would he try and provoke me (or G) again?
As I was talking to the doorman, the man came running down the stairs and started yelling through the lobby. I took G outside to avoid the situation (and, you know, to let her go to the bathroom) and he again followed me out. He started claiming that, "We need to have a conversation about this. We have to be neighbors. I have young children and dog bites are the number one injury to small children. Why don't you want to have a conversation with me right now - we need to have a conversation!!"
I was so taken aback, so flustered that I simply said I did not want to have a conversation at that time and his actions did not exactly read as neighborly to me.
At that point, the Board president walked down the street and passed us, at which point the individual brought him into the conversation as follows, "[Board President], did you know this person brought a pit bull into the building?? Do you know about this? She won't speak to me! I want a witness to the conversation as I have concerns. You [to me] need to be extremely careful with that dog. There are children and families in this building."
I was so overwhelmed with the situation, I stayed quiet and simply stared at the President, who looked somewhat surprised at this interaction as well. The President asked if he could speak to the person separately and I gladly excused myself.
Luckily, the Board did know I had a dog, did know her breed and never raised it as an issue. There are no breed restrictions in the building and I was always forthcoming when asked about it.
So now, the morning after, I'm still feeling very upset. I have a note in to the Board President to discuss the incident and understand what exactly he said to this person to ensure it never happens again. Further, if I am harassed/chased again, I may need to involve the authorities as it is simply unacceptable for someone (especially a neighbor) to do this.
I am blogging about this so as to help anyone who has gone through something like this and also get some feedback on the situation. How would you have handled it? Is there anything I should be doing to protect both G and I?
All in all, I just feel sad that a situation that should be so positive (moving to a new home - our first!) is tainted by the ignorance and aggression of a ill-informed individual.