Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How the great wars start

(All names and breeds, except for Stella's, have been changed)

At the dog park, Ian, with his dog Travis, tells me that Jerry's dog, Dutchie, attacked Travis and broke Travis' leg. When I first heard the story from Jerry, Jerry had told me it was an accident, that Dutchie and Travis were roughhousing and Dutchie landed on Travis too hard and broke the leg. Jerry said that he and Ian had talked about it and at first Ian was pretty understanding, especially since Jerry had volunteered to pay the vet bills, but then after a few weeks, Ian started getting angrier about the whole thing and they haven't spoken since.

Nicola, tells me that Thomas' dog, Toby started a fight with her dog, Elmer, and Elmer got bit and had to go to the vet for stitches. Nicola tells me that she almost got bit as well trying to stop the dog fight. A few days later, Thomas tells me that what really happened was that Nicola's dog, Elmer, had taken one of Toby's toys and when Toby tried to get it back, the two dogs got into a fight and then Nicola kicked Toby.

A neighbour of mine asks me if I know the guy up the street who owns the two Boston Terriers. He says the owner never picks up after his dogs and there's always crap from them on the sidewalk in front of his house. He says if he finds out where the guy lives, he's going to gather up all the shit he can find and dump it on the guy's doorstep. Next time I see the Boston Terrier owner, he tells me that the neighbour I spoke to has got a huge dog that always barks and growls through the flimsy screen door at his Terriers whenever they walk by and so he's thinking about calling animal services because he's pretty sure one day that dog is going to bust through the screen door and attack.

Scotty the German Shepherd and Darling the Chihuahua are standing in front of Sandra. Neither of them are Sandra's dogs but they are standing in front of her because she's feeding them snacks. Sandra holds out a snack to Darling and Scotty snaps at Darling. Darling yelps and jumps back. Sheila, Darling's owner, runs to her dog and picks her up and sees there's a bit of blood on Darling's ear. Sheila starts crying and yelling at Gerry, Scotty's owner, for not controlling his dog. Gerry starts yelling and pointing at Sandra for bringing out dog snacks at the dog park. Sandra continues to feed the other dogs more snacks.

I walk towards the guy I call Barney and say hello. His Dalmatian and my Great Dane Stella are giving each other the stink eye, which they always do because queen bitch Stella demands subservience and the Dalmatian, with his passive aggressive type personality, if that's even possible in a dog, likes to tell her to shove off but usually with a backwards glance while walking away or from behind the protection of his owner. I've been trying to get Stella to be civilized with this dog and haven't been successful yet. This time, I make Stella sit but they continue to stare at each other and then Stella snarls and the Dalmatian growls and Stella lunges at the Dalmatian. She's on leash so I pull her back but before I am able to pull her back completely, Barney, the Dalmatian's owner, jumps on Stella and tackles her to the ground. He's swearing at her and he's got her in a headlock. His Dalmatian, who is off-leash, watches from a few feet away. I'm angry at Stella for lunging but I'm angrier at Barney for jumping on her when I had her on leash. What if she had bit him? What if he had exacerbated her already wary opinion of strange men? Later, I see Barney talking to one of the grounds keepers of the park. They are looking at Stella and me, shaking their heads.


CyborgSuzy said...

Draaaaaaama at the dog park. :D

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Crazy stuff goes on at the dog park. People forget themselves when their dogs are involved :)


foxpen said...

This could be a soap opera...and that stinks. : \

monica said...

Poor Stella. What an idiot.

Addie said...

Why does everyone always think they know better about someone else's dog?
Last week my roommmate took Oz on a walk while I was at work. She knows he is aggressive on leash. Yet she got mad at me when her mishandling of Oz meant he snapped at someone and tore their pants. Gave me a whole rant about dangerous dogs being the owners fault like I don't spend every walk with him trying to train out those behaviours only to have her reinforce them when she walks him without my permission. People suck, I'd rather stick to dogs.

Lynda said...

We stopped going to the dog park. It's bad enough just walking my dogs anywhere in public, seeing as they weigh over 350lbs together. People scream, run or just act like complete imbeciles when they see them. WTF??!!

I agree with Addie - people suck.

Anonymous said...

This is the perfect essay describing why I don't go to dog parks.


raina said...

I agree with everybody else,
dog parks are strange places where the regular social rules seem to disapear.
Even on-leash parks where I think I'm safe arent since no-one respects the rules. Its not my dog's fault if yours gets snapped at because he was off leash.
Not everybody wants to be friends.

Joan Sinden said...

You are an amazing writer, Fred - the dog blog world is so lucky to have you.

Joan in Halifax