I don’t get to the dog park much, mostly because my dog is a control freak and spends most of her time trying to tell other dogs what to do because the dog park is pure f-ing chaos! Don’t climb on that picnic table. Don’t chase that ball. Stop humping. Stop barking. Stop ganging up on that one dog. She’s got a lot of rules and she likes to enforce them loudly and enthusiastically. When I think she needs some dog-time, I either take her to daycare (where the other dogs are pre-screened and there are people actually in charge) or I borrow the Asian Persuasion’s dog, because they loooooove each other.
So it was no surprise to me when a dude got arrested at the Glastonbury dog park. In fact, I’m shocked that it doesn’t happen more often.
I figured it was only a matter of time before someone kicked my dog at the dog park. She’s not mean, but she can be a loud mouth. She often zeroes in on one dog (usually one that likes to obsessively chase balls or sticks) and she chases it. If it stops running, she barks at it. It’s an obnoxious herding behavior, but it’s harmless. And sometimes, when other dogs are not dog-like enough (meaning they don’t interact in proper doggy-fashion) she will bark at them trying to get them to just do something. Most dogs don’t mind this — they can recognize it for what it is. Owners, however, do mind. They see all barking as aggression.
I stopped taking my dog to dog parks because I figured sooner or later I was gonna have to throw down with someone because of her relatively harmless but annoying behavior. And since she doesn’t seem to do this at daycare (thanks to a more controlled environment) it seemed silly to put her in a bad situation.
Now, according to the story, the guy who was arrested was “drunk” and kicked one dog while hitting another dog in the face with a retractable leash (if you use one of those, I kind of hate you anyway) because the dogs were playing “too rough” with his dog. Seems like a pretty dick move…but it’s probably more complicated than that. In my experience, everyone and their mother who thinks their dog is “friendly” will bring it to the dog park no matter how scared the dog is, or how much of a bully it can be. I also know that people often think that dogs play “too rough” when really they’re having a great time.
Dogs will let other dogs know when they’re being too rough…believe me. People are usually the problem, refusing to let dogs be dogs and handle the problems among themselves. And apparently, some of them even resort to kicking and punching dogs. Again, it sounds awful — and perhaps it was — but the truth is, the dog park is a free-for-all where as long as your dog is spayed/neutered, has its shots, and is vaguely friendly you can let it loose among a bunch of other dogs that meet the same criteria–many of which would probably be too scared, dominant, or otherwise unfit for the average doggy daycare.
So, what the the take away from this article, you ask? Well… If you’re looking to prepare yourself for the apocalypse, the dog park would be a good place to start.