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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dog drama

Huge drama at the park last night.  As usual, kids were playing, and I was walking Roxy off the leash.  She was being good, staying near me.  We did a big circuit, like we usually do.  Towards the end of our circuit, there was a woman walking two dogs on leashes.  Roxy started to run toward them, but I called her, and she ran past them, and ran past me and towards the kids.  I caught up and put on the leash, and we collected our stuff and got in the car.  We fooled around a little, so it was at least 5 minutes, probably more like 10, before we started to drive away.  The woman with the two dogs was walking toward the parking lot, but she was still in the park.  Right then, a man in the parking lot, who was talking on his phone, started yelling at me - "What are you going to do about it? Your fucking dog bit my dog."

I was completely shocked.  I had watched her - I didn't think she even stopped when she passed those dogs, or maybe she stopped for just a second.  And she's never bitten another dog, in all these years (even when she was attacked by Lucy, and by Angela's dog, she barely even defended herself).  And I hadn't heard any sounds at all - no snarling, no yelping.

The guy was big, and acting really aggressive, so I just drove away.  He said he was calling the cops, but I didn't care - I was more afraid of him than them.  Almost as soon as I left the park, a cop car pulled behind me, apparently coincidentally.  I got about halfway home (we live less than 5 minutes away), when he pulled me over.  He told me that he heard the call on the radio with my license plate, and then went back to his car for about 10 minutes. 

At some point, another cop car pulled up, and then another one.  Three cars for my oh-so-dangerous dog, and of course me, public enemy #1 - suburban mom with 3 kids in her Ford Fusion. Caleb was completely freaking out, terrified - he's such a sensitive little soul. 

A different cop came up to my window, he said that Roxy had nipped the other dog's nose, though I still didn't believe it.  He scolded me and acted firm, but he easily could have written me a ticket (for violating the leash law) and didn't.  I got the impression that he wasn't taking it all that seriously.  He said *if* the guy took his dog to the vet, he would be contacting me about paying the bill.  (By then I was geting sort of annoyed - I didn't believe Roxy had done anything bad, and this was starting to be a lot of fuss over nothing.  Why does it take 3 cops? Don't they have better things to do?  Also, that park has a lot worse things going on - I've repeatedly seen kids smoking pot there, and I've passed more than one fire pit in the woods, which is actually quite dangerous.  Why doesn't the county take these things more seriously?)  In retrospect, I wish I had insisted on seeing the other dog's supposed injury.  I never think straight in these situations.

I'm still mystified about what happened.  All I can figure is that Roxy may have run into the other dog - she does that all the time - she gets all excited and spastic.  She's knocked me over a couple of times and run into me several times - one time gave me a bruise on my leg the size of my palm.  She ran into me again just the other day.  Maybe she ran toward that dog and bumped noses with it.  That's the only thing I can even imagine happening in such a short moment and without any fuss from the dogs.

The weirdest part was that I woke up this morning in the middle of the nicest dream, where I was sitting in the park with the lady who was walking the dogs, and we were talking and the conflict was all cleared up.  I can't remember the last time I had a positive dream like that.  All my dreams are anxiety dreams - being lost, forgetting things, being ostracized.  I feel sad and discouraged this morning, but the dream helped me feel a little better.

I guess I have to find somewhere else to go.  I've had Roxy for 5 years, and for the first 4 years, I ran into lots of folks walking their dogs off the leash in the park, and it was fun and friendly.  This is the second incident in the last couple of months with dog walkers (the other was a woman shouting over and over at me, "there's a leash law!")  It's not fun or friendly any more.  And the truth is, the police have my name now, so if someone else reports me for having her off the leash, it could be a problem.  I wasn't too worried last night, but it's not like I want to get in trouble either.



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