Monday, June 1, 2009

Don't Fence Me In

Technically it's not even summer, but things are starting to unravel at Dog Park. Crazy Guy has already made an appearance. Now I learn that an otherwise mild-mannered Dog Park favorite is biting other dogs. Also, last week a woman had to call the police because a DP regular was verbally harassing her about her leashed pit bull. Leashed. What is going on?

Yes, it's hot. And it's dry. Allergies are bad And the economy sucks. Decent tennis balls are scarce. (Yesterday we found a ball that even Muzzy would not pick up. What's up with that? It must have rolled in something even too gross for a dog. I can't even imagine.) And more and more people are coming out to Dog Park, so there is less real estate for everybody. People and animals feel fenced in. Still, there must to be a better way than lashing out. 

Yet, at the same time, I have noticed that Dog Parkers are more sociable than ever. I used to go to Dog Park and walk around and maybe run into someone and have an occasional conversation. Now there are many interesting people to talk to—and about. Instead of walking individually or in pairs, we walk in big clumps, like school children on field trips, stumbling through a nature center or an interactive museum. Yack, yack, yack. There's so much to say. And while I think it's great that there are so many smart, funny, friendly people at the Park, I often find all the socializing a little overwhelming. I can't think my thoughts when I am trying to follow the thread of a conversation about wine or grocery stores or American Idol while also keeping an eye on my girls. And maybe that's the dogs' problem, too. Maybe the biter is just trying to say, "Do you mind? I'm thinking here." 

So I will do my best to give everyone a wide berth in our crowded harbor. No offense. No, uh, fence. 

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