Saturday, February 12, 2005

Park Courtesy

So, as Mrs. Wigglebottom were on the last twenty minutes of our walk, we saw in the distance a large mess. Four adults, a young kid, a stroller, and four white dogs unleashed and running around the family moving at the speed of mosey. Mrs. Wigglebottom and I walk slow. The loop at the park is 2 miles and it takes us fifty minutes to walk it. So, if we're overtaking you, you've got to be almost standing still. It's illegal to have your dogs off-leash at the park. Everyone who doesn't own a dog most people are irrationally afraid of takes their dogs off their leashes at the park anyway. We just have an understanding that, if anyone with a dog, especially one people are irrationally afraid of, approaches, you leash your dog back up until the other dog is past. Did these folks make any effort to leash their dogs up? No. Could they, perhaps, not see us waiting 300 feet back for them to do so? No, I was wearing a fluorescent orange jacket. Did they make any effort to get everyone over to one side of the road and under control so I could pass? No. They just kept meandering down the road at the speed of turtle. Finally, I had to stop and make some phone calls just to give them a chance to pull ahead. They were hogging the whole road. I have no idea how the bikers were getting around them. After I let them get a good five minutes ahead of us, we started walking again. The, there they were standing around their cars giving their dogs water. Fine. I don't know how your dogs can need water, because over the whole 30 minutes I was behind you, you all seem to have walked approximately one football field and back, but maybe you have rare, easily dehydrating dogs. But, there I was with Mrs. Wigglebottom, stuck on one side of their cars and their free-range dogs with the road back down to my car on the other side. I couldn't get any closer, because their dogs were just wandering around the cars. So, I stood there, where they all could see me. And not one of them bothered to holler "Go on by, they're blind and can't smell. They'll never even notice your dog is there." or "Oh, sorry. Let me get them on leashes (or in the car)." So, I had to stand there while they fucked around and got things put away. Of course, the dogs were the last things that went in the cars. But here's the best part. Once they got in their cars, rather than just driving the loop back to the road (the way the one-way sign would seem to indicate one had to go), they started backing up! And when some poor schmoe came along the right way on the road, they just kept on backing up and made him pull over and let them pass, like they had the right of way. I couldn't help but notice that their luxury cars both had Williamson County license plates on them. Perhaps one oughtn't make sweeping generalizations about other people based on their income and choice of counties in which to reside. . . but perhaps one ought not to behave as if everyone else in the park is there just as "local color" to the grand drama that is your life.


Blogger the Professor said...

I love dogs, all dogs. Even though I've been bit 5 times, I still seem to believe that all dogs are my friends. Still, I am leery of people who don't use leashes. I am annoyed by people who explain that they don't because their dog is so well-behaved that it is apparently not necessary. How self-centered? Maybe it's not your dog I am concerned about but my dog or my super frightened child (or even a fearful adult who might not continue to like dogs after being bitten just once). These people seem so self-centered that they do not even notice there are other people in the world.

Somehow, probably because I was not there, I am almost more willing to forgive their stupidity than I am folks who don't put their dog on a leash or who don't hold them tight when people ask. At the Frothy Monkey last weekend, this couple had a large malamute who was very friendly. Although tied to a chair, he could still block the stairs. As people, many with food, passed and he greeted them, the couple responded to hesitant folks by reassuring them that he was friendly and probably just wanted to lick them!! Yeah, that's just what people want to hear to reassure them. Thanks for being so understanding.

2/13/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

I would have asked them to leash their dogs, but it would have involved getting close enough to them to risk having some kind of ugly incident between their dogs and mine.

You know I'm overly cautious, but the truth is that there is no way that, in a fight between Mrs. Wigglebottom and any other dogs, anyone is going to believe that Mrs. Wigglebottom is the aggrieved party.

I didn't know you'd been bitten. Shit, I bet that makes her desire to put you in her mouth even more scary. Sorry.

2/13/2005 12:13:00 PM  

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