Jan 282013

I haven’t posted in a long while, nearly half a year. I’ve been busy with Thomas, his growth, development and needs have been amazing!

He is walking everywhere, climbing, running, asking what everything is (in his own way) and generally exploring the world as he should be. So please excuse the long absence.

I was spurred to post today because I took Tommy to the park, along with our german shepherd dog (which I never do). We’ve had quite a lot of cold and wet weather lately and the last few days have finally been warm and dry so a nice park day in the morning seemed like an extra treat.

We get to the park, toddler in arms, dog on leash and basketball in Tommy’s arms, this was quite a production getting out of the truck, let me tell you. I wanted to take some pictures and send them to mommy, but just didn’t have the coordination or a spare hand. We arrived and were alone, so we walked to the playground, Tommy climbed up the stairs to play on a slide. I stayed below with our dog, Cooper. Now I should explain that Cooper is about 100lbs and very lovable, but he gets excited around people and taking him to the park was somewhat an experiment. I want him to be comfortable at the park and around more people and was hoping that an easy 45 minutes would transpire.

A few minutes go by with Tommy playing and a dad and two little girls come to the playground. Both girls are under three years old and the dad is probably my age. They seem hesitant about my dog and ask if he is friendly. I say yes, assure them I have him on leash and in my control and they play on the playground. Out of the corner of my eye I notice some dogs running around on the baseball field, off leash. The dogs aren’t causing any trouble, but there is a leash law in the city and the park has signs up informing everyone of the expectations on leashes. I don’t really think anything of this as the dogs are about 100 yards away.

Tommy decides to climb to the tallest slide, one I cannot reach because I am on the ground with our dog, Cooper, I get a bit nervous as Tommy has never gone down this covered tube slide and he has a tendency to drag his feet and get stuck on slides. The fact that he was six feet above me in the air may have also made me a bit nervous as well.

As I was fretting over Tommy being so high up and contemplating going down the big slide, the I heard the other dad tell his daughters that they were going to leave and go to grandma’s house. Now they had only been there five minutes or so and I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t the cause of their poor park experience, so I apologized if I had ruined their park day. The other dad said “No, I just don’t feel comfortable with that pit bull and other dog running off leash.” So he and his daughters left, hurriedly. Cooper and I climbed up the playground to get Tommy, as he was apparently unsure how to get down and was getting unhappy. While we were at the top of the playground we watched the dogs roam all around the park, covering the whole area. Not really bothering anything, not being agressive.

I gather up Tommy and Cooper, and walk over to the woman eating her lunch who seems to be the owner of the dogs and ask if she is indeed the owner.

Me: “Hi, do those happen to be your dogs?”

Her: “Yep, all three of them.”

Me: “Do you happen to have leashes for them? A family just left the park because they were scared about dogs off leash.”

Her: “My dogs don’t bother anyone.”

Me: “They seem well trained, but there is a leash law and that family was worried about their safety.”

Her: “I didn’t see anyone, I don’t see any kids.”

Me: “They’ve already left.”

Her: “Well I come to this park all the time and it has never been a problem.”

Me: “Regardless of how often you frequent this park there is still a leash law. If you want your dogs off leash you can take them to one of several dog parks that the city has.”

Her: “I don’t like dog parks, too many dogs.”

Me: “The park is for fair use by everyone so they can feel safe doing so, which means keeping your dogs on leash while you are here.”

Her: “You are not my mother or my father and cannot tell me what to do. People like you are why we have so many problems.”

Me: “I’d just like your dogs on leash while you are here.”

(This goes back and forth for another minute or so)

Her: “We’re leaving.”

Anyways, she did leave and I was a bit riled up. All I want is for fair use of the park by everyone in a safe environment. I did not mean to be such a jerk, if I was. I had my dog on leash, I had my son to worry about but other people were leaving because her dogs were off leash and they were too concerned to go talk to her about it (with young children).

Please share your comments and concerns in the comments………


  4 Responses to “Parks, Dogs, Rant”

  1. You did the right thing! Dad

  2. Your feelings are justified, and those towns have leash laws for a reason. I have three dogs and they become very upset and defensive when a dog off leash approaches them. They are unsure of what the other dog is going to do, and it worries me as well. I have heard horrible stories of people’s dogs being attached by other dogs who were not on leashes. Now that I have a daughter, it makes me even more uncomfortable when there are dogs wandering around not on leashes. We have a fenced in yard, so we don’t take our dogs on many walks now for their safety. We feel bad, but we don’t want anything to happen to them. And when we take our daughter for walks, we put her in her stroller if there are any dogs off their leashes. I think it was very bold of you to go up to the woman and try to talk to her.

  3. You were right…..and I adore dogs. However, leashed dogs are safer dogs.
    Many breeds are predictable, a few are not. However the intrusion of unleashed pets put your child in potential danger. I’m glad you talked to her, but she is obviously oblivious to her selfish attitude. Did you say one was a pit bull? Yeah, that might have provoked me to call a local patrolman to talk to her.
    My son in law was attacked by a German shepherd as a toddler, he survived, and the money from the lawsuit was enough for him as an adult to buy a car. And a home…….
    People need to think.

  4. Late comment, but I agree with the other comments. She thinks you’re the problem, but everyone else thinks she’s the problem. I wonder if she’ll go tell her friends about what happened and be honest about it. A toddler was mauled to death recently in GA by 7 dogs in her own backyard that were her family pets. They consisted of a female pit bull, and 6 pups. I love my dog, and he is great with my daughters. However, I will never allow him to be with them without supervision.

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