Okay, I’m a bit riled up right now and need to vent. Today I took Kora to the dog park. It’s not an official dog park, but neighbors in the area of this large park get together every day at 4:30pm to let their dogs play. It’s been going on for months and we just started going a few weeks ago.
The great thing about this dog play time is that you get to know the dogs who show up. It’s usually anywhere from 5 to 10 dogs. Today, Kora and I were the first ones there. A little dog, Sadie, a chihuahua, showed up next. Typically it is medium to larger dogs that have been there. I’ve never seen Sadie there before. A third dog, Mischa, a regular, showed up next. Mischa, a medium-sized dog, started to get into it with Sadie. Mischa’s owner was still walking over and I went over to try to break it up, but I wasn’t about to get my hand in front of a dog going at it with another dog since I don’t know Mischa well. Finally Mischa’s owner came over and the fight was broken up. Sadie was fine and the owners took her away.
Shortly thereafter, after a few other dogs arrived, Mischa and Kora (my baby) were in rough play. It was nothing to the extent of Mischa and Sadie and although I was headed over to break it up, I wasn’t concerned for either dog’s safety like I had been for Sadie. Bill, owner of Lilly, had a Chuck It stick. He hit Kora and Mischa with it to break them up. In my opinion, Bill hit Kora pretty hard with it. Fast forward to a few minutes later when Buddy the beagle shows up and Mischa goes after poor buddy – again, pretty hard. Finally, Mischa’s owner decides today is not a good day for the dog park and takes Mischa away. Clearly Mischa is the common denominator in these altercations.
So, as soon as Bill hit Kora, my mom instincts kicked in. I told him, “Do NOT hit my dog.” I said that I did not think it was warranted with how they were playing at that point. I can understand if it was a real altercation like with Mischa and the other dogs. And, I can understand if you want to hit the aggressor, but I don’t feel that Kora deserved to be hit. I don’t hit Kora like that. Ever. Bill then asks me if I have kids. I lie and say “yes”, somehow thinking that if I say “no” it will prove his point in some way. He then asks if I spank my kids at which point I say we don’t need to discuss this any further. He takes this to mean I don’t spank my kids and goes on about how it’s important to spank kids. He later talks about how dumb dogs are.
I keep repeating, “Do NOT hit my dog. If that is how you treat your dog, that’s your business, but do not hit my dog.” Finally Bill stops trying to engage with me and we leave it at that. Kora enjoys the remainder of the hour at the dog park, as does his dog Lilly. The tension is in the air, but I’m not having Kora miss out on her promised play time!
Have you ever had trouble at a dog park? Do you think I was wrong to react the way I did? I know I was coming from a place of emotion and surprise. I do think that if it’s a situation where the dogs are hurting each other, it’s okay to intervene. But, this was not anywhere close to that, in my opinion.
Thanks for letting me vent. Thoughts? Experiences? I think maybe I was more traumatized by the event than Kora. I need to go breathe and snuggle with my now-tired baby girl.