I will start by saying no one was hurt in the following incident (ok, I have a little leash burn on my left hand, but no serious injuries). People and dogs were scared, and my heart was broken, but no one was seriously physically hurt.
Yesterday on our lovely long Sunday morning walk, on a dead end narrow road another clearly fearful dog was approaching. The boarder collie's owner, said "good morning, you have your hands full". I said something about my dogs not use to seeing other dogs but they were friendly.
Then it went to hell. Hailey lost her mind. She completely freaked out, which put Phod into protect my Lady and Lee mode. As I was trying to control them, I told the owner of the other dog to keep walking.
The next part is a blur, I was dragged across the street, both my dogs teeth are bared, the owner is screaming, his dog is freaking out, I am screaming.
No contact with teeth was made.
They were able to get around us and continue down the road and I was able to get mine, who instantly calmed down to continue the other way.
The owner yelled "have a nice day" and I yelled how sorry I was.
As we walked the 2 km home (I managed not to cry until we got home) I realized, I was that owner. I was the owner who said my dogs are nice, but can't control them. I look and feel like a completely irresponsible dog owner.
On the walk home and after talking to the Man I realized I can't take the 2 for a walk alone, it is too risky. I can't control them both in these situations. The problem being Hailey. Her energy makes Phod go on guard and he feels he has to protect us. She turns my gentle, gentle boy into a dog I don't like. (Ok, I can think of situations I would like to have a protective dog, but this was not one of them).
The Man says this wouldn't happened with him. Which makes me angry (as I do 99.9% of the walking etc. and he is never going to join us to help me) and sad because it makes me feel like a failure. Some of the reasons it wouldn't happen with him is he is stronger, Phod never feels he has to protect him, and to be honest Phod in particular is a big more fearful of the Man. I think that is his history of being abused. Hailey would have acted the exact same, but Phod wouldn't have escalated and the Man would have been able to hold on.
Going forward, Hailey will get the morning walk, as Phod can get a lot of exercise playing ball in the yard. I think in the evening, Hailey would have to play in the yard (not as much exercise for her as she has to be on leash) and I will walk Phod. I am going to have to get up earlier to make this happen, but as a dog owner, that is what I have committed too.