Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Mean Dog Story

Today I went to the park with my friend and her kids. Rufio came along. The idea was for him to play with my friend's sons, but he was more interested in investigating the various smells of the park.

After a while of playing off the leash, I clipped his leash back on, so I could keep him near me while I nursed Daisy on a blanket. I knew I wouldn't be able to go get him or mediate his interaction with people while nursing.

An elderly man entered the park with an unleashed, small, old, overweight terrier of some kind. I had just finished nursing Daisy and had her sitting in my lap when the dog approached our blanket. He sniffed at Rufio (who was SUPER excited that a dog came up to our blanket) and growled.

I'm used to this kind of canine reaction to Rufio, because his boundless energy can be overwhelming to older dogs. I pulled Rufio back and had him as tight as I could on the leash, but the older dog kept growling and not leaving the area. Daisy started crying.

It went on for a few seconds, and the elderly owner walked over saying that his dog wouldn't bite unless Rufio instigated something.

I laughed and said, "Yeah, he's old and doesn't have any patience for puppy antics, huh?"

At this point, I expected the older dog to leave us alone, but he didn't. With Daisy in my lap and Rufio's harness in my hand, mean old dog kept coming within Rufio's extremely limited area of movement and growling and nipping. The man stood by, but didn't get his dog.

I was getting nervous about Daisy's safety. I pushed the little dog away, and he growled at me. My adrenaline was surging. I was shocked that the old man hadn't retrieved his dog from this lawsuit waiting to happen.

I'm a super non-confrontational people-pleaser, but the words spoke themselves from my mouth, "Can you please get your dog?"

The old man said, "Oh, he won't bite."

My friend, who was watching the situation, said, "He's biting at him right now."

I said, "I'm nervous about my kid being right here."

The old man said some kind of shrugging-it-off statement that I can't remember.

I said, "I'm uncomfortable with it."

I stood up with Daisy crying, and the old man looked at Daisy's shirt, which said "I love mommy" and said, "Do you love your mommy?"

Trying to be polite, I half laughed and said, "Yes she does," as I tried to maneuver calming Daisy and saving Rufio from an angry twerp of a dog.

Then my friend declared it time to leave the park. She took Rufio's leash, while I got Daisy into the stroller. While she had Rufio, the little old dog instigated another growling/nipping thing, and my friend had to pick up Rufio to avoid a dog fight.

The old man kept saying that his dog was only acting like that because of Rufio, which might be true of Rufio's very presence, but let's look at the facts of the situation:

Rufio was leashed next to me.
Old mean dog unleashed in a park that's not an official dog park.
Old mean dog approached us and wouldn't leave the area.
I verbally asked the man to apprehend his dog.
Several adults were present as witnesses.

I'm just saying that if something had happened, I was in the clear to win a lawsuit.

We all kept our calm pretty well, but I was SUPER frazzled on the inside. I'm very grateful to my friend for helping me out. I don't even think the kids noticed how frazzled we were, but the momma-bear in me was on her way to drop-kicking a terrier. Where's Cesar Milan when you need him? That dog had serious anxiety issues that almost got himself a court order to be put down.

Blah! Whew. Okay. Settling down.

I had a great time with my friend despite the crazy dog encounter. People! Am I right?
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