The Bad & The Ugly –
Today I took the Fantastic Four, Riggins, Bear, Jax & Dragon up to the observatory via the Fern Dell trail. They all did great, and once we took a time out at the top we started back down. On the way up we had passed a dozen or so dogs and even more humans. My pack had no issues with anyone. Some dogs they ignored while others everyone wanted to say hi (aka sniff butts). There was no growling, no fighting, no lunging, no issues.
On the way down I had gone just a few steps when I saw a women coming up with 3 dogs. She looked like she had stopped in the shade to rest (she wasn’t in the best of shape). As we got closer she started to scream “PULL YOUR DOGS BACK. PULL THEM BACK. PULL YOUR DOGS BACK!” Her dogs seemed fine at that moment. One was crouched down in a “staking” mode but that isn’t uncommon for dogs. The other two didn’t seem to care one way or the other that their mom had gone crazy. I ignored her as I walked past keeping my guys as far away as the path allowed. She kept screaming at me, which triggered one of her dogs to lose his shit and start barking aggressively. Smallish dog … I didn’t think it was a problem as I figured, even with three dogs, she could keep such a small guy contained on leash. Finally, after more outbursts from her, I had to point out the obvious: 1. She was crazy. 2. If she was so worried about her dogs meeting other animals she shouldn’t take them to a public location. Well, that did nothing but throw fuel on the crazy fire. She went, what I would consider, “ape shit.” Looking back she is lucky I was in no mood for a fight because it would have been so fun to fight with her. She started following me screaming that I had no right to have 5 dogs that I couldn’t control (Please note my puppers where pretty afraid of the woman shrieking at them so where keeping as far away as possible, not barking, and not causing any problems … which is actually pretty shocking). It didn’t help that my response to this was that she couldn’t count. 5 dogs? Was she counting me? By then I was far enough away to mumble, “bitch” under my breath before moving on.
30 ish seconds later I let Riggins off leash to trot along beside us without being tethered to me. You know what happened when I let that vicious creature that I couldn’t control free? Nothing. He walked all the way down past many more dogs and many more people and didn’t have a single problem … none of us did.
On the other hand I could hear crazy yelling at more people further up on the trail. I assume she left carnage from her ridiculousness all the way up and down that path. This “incident” had two things that make me insane and start to feel all stabby.
First of all, don’t question my ability to care for my dogs. Don’t you dare. This happens more often than you would think and usually I get adequately pissed off to cause a scene. Once a young man was walking down the street to Runyon with Riggins and me scolding me the entire time about Riggins wearing a retriever bell. I was polite at first and then verbally destroyed him to the point he turned around and went back to his car. RETREAT!!! I care for Riggins and my guest dogs with love and extreme passion. For you to suggest otherwise really chaps my hide!
Secondly, this woman couldn’t admit SHE was in the wrong. Obviously she had gotten in too far over her head bringing her dogs there (BTW she did yell at me that her aggressive dog was a shelter dog and I needed to have more compassion … yah I really need to work
on showing more compassion to dogs … it’s a huge problem for me) and instead of apologizing and moving on she choose to channel her embarrassment into angry toward an innocent bystander. Why? All that does is make more people feel bad. When I walk aggressive dogs, like Bud, I ONLY walk them alone and when passing a dog that looks like he/she will get close tell the owner that my dog isn’t being very nice today so I am going to keep him away from their dog. SEE WHAT I DID THERE … MADE IT TOTALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY … BECAUSE IT IS … I BROUGHT THE AGGRESSIVE DOG … MY RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE IT IS DONE SAFELY.
This happens a lot in life. How many times have you seen something like this play out in the work place? Embarrassment or fear causes us to push blame on others instead of accepting it. It’s so much better to accept, apologize, find a solution, and move on.
The ugly part? Well that chick was ugly … YOU UGLY!
The Good –
I have found a new favorite dog park. The Hermon Dog Park right off the 110 just outside of downtown LA. When I walked up to the park gate I wasn’t really impressed. It is smaller than other dog parks I go to and is all dirt. There is a sign that says it was named one of the best 10 parks in 2009 (or something like that … don’t quote me on those numbers) and my first thought was, “why?” It’s pretty much a big ol’ fenced in dirt lot. Turns out I was wrong. It is really a very nice park and what makes it that way are the people.
Dog park people are weird. I’m allowed to say that as I’m one of them. Each dog park has its own personality and its own “type” of people. Hermon Dog Park, like the area it sits in, is home to many different types of people. My experience is that they are like the Silver Lake dog folks but less freaky and more grown up. That’s a good thing!
I can go to a dog park and not really interact with anyone. There is usually the “regulars” who form a gang at a central location and you enter at your own risk. It’s a lot like high school. Normally I head to a location that is comfortable, stick in my earbuds, and laugh out loud to an Adam Carolla podcast. At the Hermon park everyone was so nice and welcoming I had to take my earbuds out in order to have conversations … I know … wacky. I had invaded their park with 4 dogs (dog parks around here only allow each person to bring 3 dogs so I was technically breaking the rules … not something I suggest doing) and they were nothing but sweet and nice to me and the pups. They get a bright shiny gold star from me!
My previous favorite dog park was the Pasadena Dog Park and it still has a place in my heart. I had avoided taking all 4 dogs there simply because it is full of Pasadena Dog Park people … who can sometimes be a little judgy (don’t tell them I said that). Yesterday I planned to take only my guest dogs to the park but Riggins looked so sad I added him to the outing at the last-minute. Turns out, that day and hour, I had nothing to worry about and the folks at the Pasadena location were super nice and not judgy at all … shame on me for assuming otherwise.
Jumping to that conclusion was my fault. I am sorry. In the future I won’t make assumptions based on sweeping generalizations I make about other visitors of the parks. Have a good night! (accept, apologize, find a solution, and move on … see not hard!)