Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Scuffle at the Dog Park

Jumpy Dog.

That's what I call this dog. It's real name is P.J. I assume it's for "Pretty Jumpy". I know I'm wrong.

I know the dog is a puppy. I know it doesn't mean to scare Katrina, but the owner never, I mean, NEVER, corrects the dog when it jumps on Katrina (or any other small child). I always have taken the time to explain to Katrina that the dog is a puppy and doesn't want to hurt her, it just wants to play because they're both the same size. However, it doesn't always help and Katrina is always scared of this cute little dog.

As we we're driving into Dog Park this evening, I noticed that Jumpy Dog was there. I was by myself tonight so I explained to the kids that if the dog jumped on them, they were to say, "NO!! NO JUMP!!!" This is what I have to say to the dog nearly every time I see it as it either is jumping on me or my kids.

There are no rules that state that children are not allowed at the Dog Park. They are allowed with "strict supervision". I always supervise my children. Especially Katrina. I always read the rules. I always follow the rules. Always.

The first thing that happened this evening when we entered is that Zoe had to poop (why she doesn't do this at home is another story). Katrina and I went to pick it up and as I went to put it in the garbage can, I turned around and discovered Katrina on the ground with Jumpy Dog on top of her. Jumpy Dog's owner was not around. I believe she was watching from the sidelines as I was the one who had to pull her off of Katrina and tell the dog "NO!" Katrina was traumatized. I felt bad because I had made the mistake of thinking she was right behind me as I walked to the garbage can. When Jumpy Dog's owner finally came to retrieve her, she said nothing to either me or Katrina. I explained, once again, to Katrina that the dog was a puppy and wanted nothing more than to play with her. She didn't want to hurt her at all. She thought Katrina was her friend.

I kept Katrina within an arms length at that point. Jumpy Dog tried again to jump on Katrina when we picked up Gigi's poop (again, *sigh*). I grabbed Jumpy Dog at her harness and said, "NO JUMPING!" Her owner never said a word to me and never got her dog. The dog was distracted by another dog.

The third time Jumpy Dog tried to jump on Katrina, I was still an arms length away. I grabbed it by it's harness and told it "NO!" again. This time, Jumpy Dog's mom got pissed.

"Maaaaaaaaam", she said.

I turned around. I assumed she meant me. She's in her younger 20's and I must seem old to her.

"The rules state that there are no children allowed."

"No", I said. "The rules state they are allowed within strict supervision. "

"Well, your daughter is 10 feet away."

Wrong. She was within arms length, obviously since I was able to prevent her from jumping ONCE AGAIN on my daughter.

I stated to her, "It would probably do both you and your dog good to teach it not to jump on people. No one likes a jumpy dog."

Her reply: "Well, she's only 4 months old. I can't help it."

I said, "I can tell. You don't give a shit." The woman has NEVER said anything to her dog when she jumped on Katrina or other small children. I swear she has a chip on her shoulder.

"EXCUSE ME?!?!" She was so offended.

I repeated myself, "It would probably do both you and your dog good to teach it not to jump on people. No one likes a jumpy dog."

She left within 5 minutes.

I re-read the rules. In addition to "supervising your children", it also stated that the owner was responsible for controlling her dog's behavior.

She admitted to me that her dog was a puppy (4 months old) and that she "can't help it" if her dog jumps all over me and/or my children. Maybe she shouldn't come back until she can actually control her dog.

BTW, does a dog at 4 months old have all it's required shots for Dog Park? I could have sworn Zoe was 6 months old before she even had her rabies shot. I could be wrong.

I'm really looking forward to next time we see her. ;)

This is my social life? This is the first time I've been out since I don't know when.


ec said...

you crack me up Heather.

anyone who's dedicated to training their dog CAN help it if they're doing the right things - which obviously she's not.

Lynne said...

Oh wow -- have I been there! It is such a shame that a few can ruin a nice dog park experience for so many, isn't it? I cannot believe the kind of behavior I've seen at the dog park that I go to with my three dogs. I feel for you, because you want your kids to enjoy all kinds of animals, and to not be afraid of them.

You are right. A 4-month old puppy has no business being in an off-leash dog park for any number of reasons, shots being one of them. If that lady wants to bring her puppy to the dog park, she should have it on a long lead if she wants it to get some exercise, or a 6' lead if she uses the dog park for training (hey -- there's an idea! Ding! Ding!) But she should NEVER bring a dog to a dog park that does not have a solid recall to "COME!" or "DOWN!" or "OFF!" That's just so incredibly irresponsible. It makes me so angry when I see stuff like that.

You are absolutely right -- the woman and the puppy should not be there until the dog has gone through a significant amount of obidience, and it's had all it's shots. What a nightmare for you!

Anonymous said...

Heather...I am so with you on this one. I can't believe that woman didn't stop her dog. I have had a few run ins with people who don't keep their dogs on leashes or have any control over them and the dogs have ran over to try to jump/chase/ or attack our toy poodle(who by the way is on a leash). And this is in a regular park where their is a playground and walking area and cookout places. The scariest time was when I was 8 months pregnant and I was walking our dog and all of a sudden I see two big dogs running toward me and I grabbed my dog real quick and they started to jump on me trying to get to my dog. Talk about stark raving mad....Okay, didn't mean to rant. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

by the way...Katrina is so darling in her pics. I hope she is okay from the dog park experience.

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