Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dog park drama

Dear Toothless Mary (of dog park fame),

I'm really sorry I don't know your real name, and I'm also a little bit sorry I picked such a mean-spirited moniker to apply to you, but it's really stuck since we first saw you at the dog park and neither Dave nor I can call you anything else at this point, even if we did know your real name.

First, I love the way I can usually smell you before I see you. Sometimes a wee nip in the evenings is no big deal but last I checked dog walking really isn't what you'd call a conventional drinking activity. Kudos for thinking outside the box on that one! Maybe you could drink peppermint schnapps like my grade 12 teacher so people will think it's scope!

I'll get to the point of this letter. Sure your dog is cute, but walking an active husky on a 40 foot rope? Not such a great idea. I get that huskies run away. Heck, any dog can run away, but attaching a 40 foot rope to your dog? That's not a solution. All it does is get caught on things, get dragged through the mud (you'll notice it's been a wee bit rainy of late).

Also? It really wouldn't stop the dog from running away from you because you rarely have the other end of the rope. See, a fail safe system would involve you holding the end of the rope. It's kinda like kite flying - useless unless you're still holding the string. The only way you could get him if he ran away would be to hope he got less than a 39 foot lead on you.

And, beyond not really being a solution, I'll tell you it's not exactly safe. Since you sport the combination of boozey and toothless that leads me to approach you with stereotypes (totally not fair, I agree), I'd be happy to explain why to you.

You'll notice the dog park we both use is full of both people and dogs. And, funny enough, as a fairly social place, both tend to congregate together.

You'll also notice that, since dogs are pack animals, and people are social too, it can lead to problems when one of those dogs is on a 40 foot rope. Dogs, when they congregate together do things like run around their owners. And the other dogs. This is where I take issue with the "dog + 40 foot rope" combination.

After an incident the other night I have to say a pattern is emerging.

This summer, I saw you and your dog + rope combo standing around in a group of people with their dogs. I kept walking with our dogs but witnessed something that bothered me. Your dog was running around with his rope up getting caught around a little girl's feet, causing her to fall and leaving some rope marks on her ankle. Now, in the scheme of things that's really not THAT bad, and, since I wasn't her parent I didn't say anything because I kinda figured it was her parents' job.

But last night? Come on. It was the same freaking thing! Only I was the victim! When your dog ran around the group we was standing in, wrapping the rope of a running husky around my legs. Now, there was no blood, but I have to say the rope of a running husky around one's ankle? Not a pleasant experience. The mud that's now all over my pants? Well they weren't good pants, because I knew I was going to the dog park in them, but seriously! I now have to launder them and hope the mud comes out because you think it's appropriate to have your dog run around on a big giant rope.

And, I have to say it kinda got my goat that you didn't bother to say "oh I'm sorry" or anything.

You're the owner. If your dog isn't socialized enough to stick around you, then perhaps you should invest in a leash and walk the dog in the park that way, or, you should not bring your dog to the park. There has to be some solution between "dog running away" and "injuring other park users."

So, I really didn't say anything last time, but next time? Not sure I'll keep it to myself.


Cranky vonMuddypants


ElaineMI said...

Hi Heather:

Not knowing the laws of Canada, I can only go on what I know here in the U.S. Most states, if not all, have a 6 ft leash law and even then, the owner has to have control of their dogs. At 40 feet, I would say she's definately in violation. Wonder what she would do if you were present her with a bill for the cleaning or a new pair of pants.

You could follow her to her car, get her license plate and complain to the city. She and her dog are an accident waiting to happen.

Elaine said...

Get the dog to come to you. Take the leash off hand it to her and give her hell....or just cut it with some scissors

The Waghorns said...

Ugh. How frustrating. Some dog owners are absolutely clueless.

You should definitely say something. I was really timid about saything anything -- sort of like disciplining someone else's child -- but there are a few neglegent owners at our park and people frequently jump in once somone starts yelping.

I mean, it doesn't have to be rude, like "Hey gummy Joe! Get a #$%@^ clue!" But if you see the leash wrapping around someone walk up offer to untangle the person and politely suggest that the long rope causes more problems than it causes.

And I sincerely hope I never meet a toothless wonder in general. I have teeth issues. THEY'RE IN YOUR HEAD PEOPLE, TAKE CARE OF THEM!

TB said...

Jeez. Some people really either have no sense at all or have their heads up their asses. Either way it sucks for the rest of us.

PS I love the redesign and the Thoreau quote.

Andrew said...

Sorry, you lost me with the forty-foot dog. Lord in crimminy! That's a lot of feet for one dog. Is that ten feet per leg or forty legs with one foot each? Or a dog that's forty feet long? Somethings tells me I have something backwards somewhere....

Oh, and I'm blogging again. Go check it out. I promise moderate entertainment.

Heather said...

Elainemi: it's illegal in this park to have your dog off a leash at all - don't think it'd make sense to complain about her given that our dogs were breakig the same laws.

Elaine: I love the idea of cutting the rope but don't have the balls to do it.

The Waghorns: I think next time I will say something.

TB: I'm fond of calling them asshats. Thanks for the compliments on the re-design. Blogger beta is cool but has the awful downside of a whole whack of bugs. Now if only I could figure out how to put a better masthead up.

Andrew: I will be checking in - and will even add you to my blogroll if you post regularly. :) Thanks for stopping by.