Wednesday, August 3, 2011

If You Go to the Dog Park

Now, the Matron quite likes the dog park.

She's lucky enough to live within minutes of just such a place: 30 bucolic acres, replete with ponds for paddling, fields for frolicking, and woods for otherwise pursuing.

This is an off-leash dog park. There are tidy little entry points with gates, where doggies can safely get unleashed and then -- boom! -- set free to race, chase, fetch and otherwise raise general Doggie Mayhem. Sort of what these critters were born to do.

Unless . . .

You are the person at the dog park who insists on leashing your dog. Really? The Matron wonders why these people subject their supposed beloveds to the torture of seeing their counterparts run free while they strain at the leash, a fur ball of envy and instinct.

You are the person who decides to do a U-Turn from that trail you were on and follow the Matron during her entire walk. No, she is not adverse to chatting with fellow dog-lovers. Oh no. The 'chat' is a vital part of the process.

Stranger: "Oh, what kind of dog is yours? He's adorable?"

Matron: "Not as adorable as yours! Look at how he gnaws that stick. What talent!"

That would be genuine, non-sarcastic chat at the dog park. Sort of like a play group without genetic stakes.

But . . . the stalker is different. He or she abandons independence and sticks to your side.

Stalker: "And then my neighbor's cousin lost her house to foreclosure. It wouldn't be so bad if their kids still had teeth. All those little ones rotted out because of sugar. Did I tell you about my husband's bunions?"

Sigh. The dogs can run free. The Matron? Trapped. It's hard to make a get-away: "Uh, I need to take that trail to nowhere right now?"

Yes, the dog park is a lovely place unless you are also the control freak. Now, the Matron does carry that funny bone herself, but it does not extend to dogs. One cannot make a dog 'behave.'

Stranger: "Charlie! Be a good boy! Share that ball."

Stranger 2: "Lola! Don't scare the little dog!"

Stranger 3: "I'm really sorry about my dog. He just likes to jump on things."

Hmmm . . . hog the ball, bounce at other dogs, jump up on bigger dogs? Sounds like a normal day at the dog park to the Matron.

But her all time favorite?

The person who brings ONE bright orange tennis ball to the dog park with his lone dog. Throws said tennis ball in the midst of a field of 15 dogs, all of whom immediately CHASE the ball.

There is an unspoken rule among dogs: each and every ball is MINE.

Alien with Ball: "Hey! That's Freddy's ball!! Get back!"

Not that this happened today at the dog park.

1 comment:

trash said...

Other dogs' people? Always way weirder than your own dog's person.