Monday, February 22, 2010

Trapped in the Closet: Dog Park Edition

Well, this should result in something great:

Things have been scary on a neighborhood list serv this week. There was a report of a large dog -- one post says it's a puppy, about 70 pounds -- that was attacked in Elysian Park by a loose pit bull and badly hurt. The pit bull was described as a brindle, its owner as looking a bit like Danny Devito. According to the puppy's owner, the pit bull's owner basically fled the scene, walking away quickly and leaving the injured puppy without asking questions or giving his own contact information. The puppy's owner has asked for help in identifying the pit bull and its owner.

The attack quickly led to an extended song of fear on the list serv: Dog owners who fear for their safety and the safety of their dogs. One woman says she has a .22 and is considering bringing it with her to the park so that she can shoot a dangerous dog if it tries to attack one of her four dogs. Another woman says she already carries a stun wand. Someone asked where to get one. At least two maybe three say they pack pepper spray, but one person says it's hard to use.

I feel sorry for anyone at that dog park with a brindle dog of any breed or who looks remotely like Danny Devito. In the dark. At a distance. With a hat and sunglasses on. Or anyone who has a dog that looks like a Pitbull. Which you may have to judge as the dog runs past and you're fumbling in your purse for your gun.

Yep, something good is going to come of this. It always does.

5 comments:

smartdogs said...

Yikes! One more reason to avoid dog parks...

Heather Houlahan said...

I'm particularly spooked by the one who brings four dogs to the dog park and is going to kill any dog that "attacks" one of them. Because I'm sure she's faithfully attentive to all four of her beasties and what they are up to at all times.

Pepper spray is just a good idea. But not if you are a paranoid.

Janet, Gus, and Gracie said...

Bad things happen sometimes - bringing a .22 to a dog park to shoot a "dangerous dog" probably will make more bad things happen...

Why would you take your dog somewhere that you felt the need to have a stun wand, pepper spray, or a .22?

Rinalia said...

@Janet, Gus, and Gracie: I can't control the misbehavior of other human beings. I take a different route every walk and risk encountering loose or poorly tethered dogs. This is in neighborhoods as much as in local parks. So, I do carry pepper spray with me. I carry a stun gun that I would only consider using on an animal with one of my dogs in their mouth. I used it once to scare off a loose dog (the sound of one discharging is very loud). I use common sense, of course, and my first, second and third inclinations are not to unleash the hounds of hell on some loose dog. But, I think, in my situation, it's prudent to realize that there are good chances that, no matter where I walk, someone may have a dog loose. So, that's my lengthy reason for carrying pepper spray and sometimes a stun gun - they're back up to a lengthy backup system. :) (I would never carry a loaded gun).

Susan said...

Sadly, I will be bringing pepper spray to the dog park. There's a dog walker who is not supposed to use the park and the last time he was asked to leave he had two thugs confront the dog park volunteer and accuse him of assault and call the police, all the while calling him racist and anti-gay epithets. He then got on our listserv and started spewing vitriol with racial, sexist, anti-gay attacks, threats, vulgarity, etc. I didn't know about the incident but responded that if he had to use that language to support his opinion then his opinion probably lacked substance. (our park bars dog walkers and has a 3 dog limit - he brings about 11) He then sent me a private email threatening me. Not everyone has a yard but the crazies are out there.