Stories from the Dog Park

Weird things happen at the dog park.  And I’ve been collecting them. Seen as a list, it’s kind of amazing that anyone has a dog.  Why put up with this crap?  And picking up his crap? And sometimes having to wipe the crap from his straggly butt hair? Am I grossing you out?  Good.  At least I’m not the only one gagging.

Want more gory details of life with a dog in NYC? Read on.

1. The Infant Feeding Mom
– Every morning, this mom shows up with her infant in a stroller.  She then proceeds to take out several jars of baby food, (non-organic, I might add!) and spread them out on the bench so she can feed her exactly-at -the-right-level-for-dogs-to-sniff-her baby and eat her baby’s food.  Except when the dogs do sniff the baby, and do go after the food she goes ballistic.
“Your dog! Your dog!”
Well, yes.  IT”S A DOG RUN, LADY!
How ‘about this? Feed the baby on the bench OUTSIDE the dog run, and then come in?
Brilliant. I know. You’re welcome.

2. The My Dog Doesn’t Like Anybody People – I say people, because there are SOOOOO many of them. What’s up with that? Just yesterday, an Irish Setter almost set off a doggie riot when he got into it with a pair of yellow labs.  Yes, yellow labs.  They don’t get into it with anybody.
To be fair to the owner (not that I have to be fair, it’s my blog) she got him and took him out right away. But this is a dog who is ALWAYS getting into it.
“Is your dog a puppy? He doesn’t like puppies.”
“Is your dog a male? He doesn’t like other males.”
“Is your dog four-legged? He doesn’t like…   Well, you get the picture.
Face it, lady, your dog doesn’t like other dogs.  And guess what?  Maybe – just maybe – it’s not like I’m a professional dog trainer here – but maybe that means that perhaps the dog run isn’t your best bet?  You know with all those DOGS that go in there. How about a nice long walk instead?

3. The I Can’t Control My Dog Person
There are a lot of teeny tiny people out there walking humungous dogs. Which might be fine in the country, you know, where there aren’t many people, but not here in NY, where, if you have a humungous dog who likes to lunge, walking him down the street will mean several chances to test your ability to reinsert your shoulder into your arm after its been dislocated.
One day this summer, I was walking my 15 pound dog out of the dog run.  A teeny tiny woman was walking towards me with two HUGE rotweiller’s.
“Could you!  Could you!!!!!?!?!?” she was apoplectic.
I was confused.
Could I what?  Not walk? Not have a dog? Not slug her for yelling at me for no apparent reason?
“Could I….?” I left it to her to fill in the blank!
“Your dog! Your dog! I mean really! Could you?!” she was SCREAMING.
I was still confused.  Because maybe I wasn’t clear: my dog weighs 15 pounds, and she is walking about 300 pounds of combined dog. And I’M the one who needs to do something?
“So sorry. I didn’t realize your dogs were so vicious.” I said nastily. (see, I admit. I was nasty.) But not as nasty as she was:
“You’re the vicious dog! You’re the vicious dog!” She ranted.
And that’s when I realized…ohhhhh she’s a nut job! That’s OK, New York is filled with those! I picked up my dog and walked away.

The “My Dog is My Child” Woman
“Is he your only dog?” the woman of a certain age asked me, petting my pooch.
“Yep. Just him.” I answered.
“Oh, you should get him a companion. He’d like that.”
“I’m sure he would.  But I just can’t do it.  I’ve got two kids! Two kids, one dog.  Works for me.”
“Well that’s just ridiculous!” she said.
“Excuse me?”
“He deserves someone as much as you do!  That’s just selfish.  You’re a selfish, mean woman, that’s what you are!”

Moving on.

Only it’s hard to move on when there are people who bring their dog’s favorite ball to the dog run and then freak out when another dog runs after it. Um.  They’re DOGS.  That’s what they do.
Or when they say that their dog is NEVER aggressive unless another dogs tries to get their ball. In which case he’s a foaming-at-the-mouth uncontrollable monster.

There are people who insist that their dog is just playing, while your dog – pinned under theirs – is whimpering and looking at you with terrified eyes for help. People who smoke at the dog run. People who let their dog poop directly in front of your table at the sidewalk cafe. Yes. Yuck.

And still, I wouldn’t give up my dog for anything. He’s annoying.  He sometimes smells.  But he’s the only one who is ALWAYS happy to see me when I come home. The only one who cries whenever I leave.  And yes, the only one whose poop I will ALWAYS have to pick up.

Can’t have everything.


  1. says

    Love the stories. My favourite at our local dog run (in the ‘burbs) is the people with itty-bitty dogs who freak out whenever another dog comes near them. I mean you’re at a dog park – were you not expecting there to actually be other dogs there?

  2. says

    WOW I am SO thankful we have never ventured to the dog park! I’m bad enough with people and their kids that cannot control, me and out of control dogs and there is going to be a major scene!

  3. says

    It’s a good thing I live in the burbs with a huge yard for my GINORMOUS yellow lab to play in. Not sure I could be nice to all those not-nice people…or the my-dog-is-my-kid lady.
    My dog would know I was ticked off and eat one of those little yippy dogs for a tasty snack for me!

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