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Woman mistakes stranger's daughter for a dog, sparks debate over 'child leashes.'

Woman mistakes stranger's daughter for a dog, sparks debate over 'child leashes.'


"TIFU by mistaking a child for a dog."


Today I was walking home from the shops, where I live we have very very few street lights and it was EXTREMELY dark. I was walking along and there was a woman just sort of in the street light but she had a lead.

I LOVE dogs. Total dog person. So I start looking to see the dog, and I can’t quite see the dog because of the way the light was in the road, but then the dog moves into the light more. I realise that the dog has one of those rain mac coats, it was pink with love hearts on it. SO CUTE!

It made sense for him to be wearing a coat since it’s cold and rainy in the UK right now. So I did the proper british thing, walked past, gave THE awkward smile and said “your dogs coat is so cute!”.

Her face dropped. It was then that said dog stood up after crawling around on the wet grass and what appeared before me was a three to four year old. She had one of those backpack harnesses on. The woman was mortified. I was mortified.

Confused, bright red and stumbling over my words, I spat out the WORST apology you’d ever hear and ran off. I don’t think I’ve ever embarrassed myself more. I’m mostly grateful I was on the other side of the road so my escape route was easier.

So, what I have learnt from this, is kids harnesses terrify me and that I should never try complimenting peoples dogs again. And to the poor woman who’s child I mistook for a dog, I AM SO SORRY!!

Also, thought I’d make it clear. Harnesses are great in my opinion for kids! They ensure your child is safe and has independence, but please don’t let them crawl around, imbeciles like me might mistake your child for a dog if it’s a bit dark.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


I’m seeing a lot of hate for the toddler leash. But when you need one you really need it. My daughter was like my shadow, never more than a metre away from me. But my son would run like the wind, never looking back if he wasn’t somehow restrained.

He was later diagnosed with mild autism, but he had No Fear. Not of cars or dogs or strangers. It was the worst year of my life between when he was two and three and that harness saved me.


crying actual tears of laughter right now hahahaha oh man.


I was anti-child leashes until I met my friend’s 4 year old who would run behind any car in a parking lot that was about to back up. The little white lights would come on and he would just throw himself under the car. It was wild. It’s ok if it saves the kid’s frocking life. I’m amazed that kid made it to adolescence!


Personally, I think a bumbling, rushed apology in the moment shows it was an honest mistake.


As a mom who has used a harness for my early walker that refused to be in a stroller and liked to take tf off in a blink of an eye, I would have laughed my ass off if someone thought she was a dog! 🤣 fr would have made my month.

I used one with no shame. She used to yank her hand out of mine in really unsafe situations, and it gave me so much peace of mind to have her tethered to me in a safe way.

The OP responded here:


The only reason I thought the poor kid was a dog was because she was crawling around on wet grass and oh my god when she stood up I was actually mortified 🤣


If you're going to walk your kid around on a leash like an animal don't be surprised when someone mistakes them for one.


That is a hilarious story. I'm not sure why either of you would be mortified. Kids are silly. My daughter was a cat for several years. If someone mistook her for a cat she would have been super excited and I would have laughed. Also, toddler leashes are literal life savers. It gives the kids a lot of freedom of movement without the danger of them getting run over or lost.

Woof, that was an awkward interaction.

Sources: Reddit
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