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Discussion Starter #1
I was running Bentley tonight and a Special Ed kid (not to be mean, but that is what he is) said I was abusing my dog and he was too skinny. I get that a lot but not a kid that well, doesn't really understand. I explained to him i wasn't abusing my dog and he was not too skinny, fit yes but not underweight. he then said "no your dog is way to skinny, you can get in trouble". I just said " my dog is not to skinny" and rode off. I just didn't really know how to react. This guy is very sensitive and if you say the wrong thing can a) get really violent(which I have seen him get violent before and it is scary ) or B.) Get very emotional and who knows what he will do.

Should I tell his parents(who let him do anything). Just stay away from his house? If he says anything else just keep going past like I didn't hear? he can be a nice kid(okay i keep saying kid but he is 20) but he can be intimidating. He has a Maltese mix and I have petted his dog before and asked him questions about her(he loves talking out his dog) but that is the most I have even talked to him.

How would you have reacted?? I know I should act like he was any body else but I really didn't want to make him angry. I am er..not to polite sometimes to other people.
 

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Smile and Say "Thank You. But my vet wants him at this weight for his health. But I'll pass along your concerns to my vet".
 

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Yeah, that's a tough one. Mentally disabled persons can perseverate- latch onto an idea and refuse to give it up no matter what. There's no real way out of that conversation unless he chooses to end it. I'd avoid his house. You can't really argue with a mentally disabled person without looking like a huge jerk.

There's a 10 year old boy near me who seems normal at first glance and he loves Kabota. The more I talked to him, though, the weirder he got. I don't know how to describe his behavior, just . . . off. I was talking to another dog owner in the neighborhood who has a lovely, gentle golden mix. She used to let this boy pet her dog, until he got angry about something and kicked her dog in the head and then punched her when she yelled at him to stop.

So, yeah, staying away from that house.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I got some good ideas from another forum and if I run into him again I will say "I think Bentley likes you" and go from there. Someone said it could be a fear factor and some other things. So I will also tell him I will be feeding Bentley more.
 

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Only bring it up if he brings it up. My nephew is 21 with the mind of a 5 year old and he perseverates. Don't ever trigger it if you can avoid doing so.
 

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Lol i have been in that situation, I just say 'whatever' & ride off if I was on a bike, or in my case, it id be walking & I just ignore them... I know it's mean but I think it's best that way to avoid a bigger problem.
 

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I have a brother with down syndrome who often acts the way you described, and will get aggressive if you challenge his ideas. In my experience the best way to handle a situation like that is to just say something like thank you/yeah/that's a good point.. something along those lines and continue on your way. Often mentally handicapped people get an idea in their head and won't change their mind no matter what. Also, with my brother sometimes the less you say the better, so it may be the same with this kid. Also you could say something to the parents, but if they really let him do whatever like you said then you'd be better off reporting them to the police if the kid is in danger or you feel is putting you in danger, I know that's what I'd want somebody to do if they felt my brother was threatening them.

ETA: I don't think ignoring him completely would be a good idea because he might get offended, even an "Ok" with a smile is better than nothing.
 

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I would just be polite but distant, especially if there is any safety concern. If he asks you about it again maybe kindly explain your reasoning, he might not accept it and if he doesnt I would just say something like "okay, I'll think about it thanks". Challenging an idea thats firmly rooted like that probably won't do either of you any good. I think patience is key... if you're uncomfortable though just give a little distance.
 

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One thing that frequently works with those who have developmental disablities (or little kids, who are simply not developed yet :D) is to guide the conversation elsewhere. Like if he says "the dog is too skinny! You need to feed him more!", you say "yeah? What do you think he would like to eat? Roast chicken? A hamburger? Maybe we can bake him some cookies!", etc. Ask him what he feeds his dog, and how much. That kind of thing. Don't ever try to talk them out of something, just guide and distract to another subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
he hasn't said anything else to me so far.
 

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I very rarely stop and engage in conversation with anyone when I'm exercising the dogs, regardless of who they are or what their mental capacity is. If I'm out for a stroll, sure, but if I was running/ biking/ scootering I just say something like "we're working, sorry!" and keep going.

Otherwise, I agree with others - don't spend time trying to argue the point, just guide the conversation in a different direction and go on your way.
 
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