I'm watching my parents' dog, Blue, while they are safariing in Africa for two weeks. Blue is slightly crippled, but is still pretty agile for a dog who has trouble moving his hind legs. My mom got him a two-part harness that has a handle up by his shoulders, and one down by his hips so someone (me) can help lift up his rear end if it starts to slump.
As Rusty, Blue, and I were completing our first lap around the Dog Park this afternoon, Rusty took off to greet and play with at least 30+ dogs roaming around. I caught up with Blue and was picking up the rear half of his harness to help him walk when all of the sudden, a cluster of three dogs swooped past us and more or less ran into a lady about three feet away. She crumples and falls to the ground like a sack of potatoes, and starts screaming like the Grape Lady.
Being right next to this run-by "victim," I asked if she was okay. Without acknowledging my presence, she continues to scream. At this point, I thought she may have broken her leg. Her husband runs up and starts condoling her. She, in a seemingly forced, agonistic tone, demands her husband seek out and find the owner of the dog that steam-rolled her over. The owner of said dog was standing among several of the "helpful" gawkers steps forward with his hand up and leans forward, claiming ownership. Without acknowledging THIS man, the downed woman commands her husband to get the owner's name and number because she senses that there may be a lawsuit at hand.
The husband, instead of confronting the owner, takes off. I notice between her screams that her husband grabs their dog and takes it to their vehicle. Blue, completely interested in the wailing woman, tries to pull himself forward to her, and I gingerly keep him at bay. The run-by dog's owner continues to attempt to engage in conversation with this woman, but her howling drowns out any of his attempts. As Blue continues to pull us forward, I realize that I'm now inside the circle of onlookers. With eyes now seemingly on me, I felt obligated to offer help, despite holding onto a crippled dog.
"Would you like some help up or at the very least some assistance getting you to your vehicle so you can get off the muddy ground?"
"I'd much rather lay here!" she snaps back, between her shrieks.
At this point, I fear a spinal injury! Although she's wailing, she really hadn't been writhing around in pain; she was pretty much still the entire time!
I finally decide that Blue was getting too close, so I begin to back up. The husband returns, still having not had spoken to the owner of the apparent "world's worst dog." The husband then asks the woman, "Where does it hurt?"
I stop and turn around to listen carefully, and I notice all the onlookers lean in to hear her answer.
"My-my ankle!!" she screams as tears begin to flow. "It's definitely twisted!! We definitely need to get that owner's name and number!!"
The onlookers instantly scatter. I continue to move Blue and myself away from the drama. We reconvene with Rusty on the other side of the field. I look back and I notice the husband CARRYING the woman out of the park. WHAT AN EYE-ROLLER!! I haven't seen such over-acting since Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
Dog Park PROTIPS:
- If you not only think it's okay for your little, punt-able, 10lb. dog to jump up on your leg but also think it's cute, just remember that Karma can be an ironically hilarious bitch. The owner of the 175lb. Great Dane probably thinks the same about his dog. Don't just ready yourself for someone else's dog to jump up on you; EXPECT IT.
- Even if every single dog at the dog park is "the most well-behaved dog on the planet," once they're in mid-romp in a pack of five other dogs, obedience pretty much goes out the window. After all, the reason you bring your dog to a dog park is to socialize it and let it blow off some steam. It's a fenced in park; let your dog be a dog for a couple of minutes!!
- If you bring treats to a dog park in order to "help train your dog," expect yourself to be leveled by a pack of dogs faster than Miss Drama Queen who has an ankle problem. Remember, dogs have great noses.
- Leashes aren't necessary at the FENCED IN dog park. Dogs on leashes are 10 times more likely to get harassed than unleashed dogs, because the leashed dogs are tethered to their much slower owners, leaving them no opportunity to escape or have fun. If you insist upon using one, I suggest walking your dog on the path just OUTSIDE the fence.
- Dog parks, at any given day or time of year, are muddy. Don't wear nice clothes to the dog park. I also suggest not wearing white.