the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Jerks and their Dogs, or Playground Etiquette Part 2

Took The Max to the park this morning. We did our usual walking/riding in the stroller thing (me walking, Max riding in the stroller, duh). But when we got to the playground part of our usual park routine, we were thwarted. By some jerks and their dogs. Not that I have anything against people who walk their dogs in the park. People walk their dogs in this park all the time, and we see some dogs every time we go there. But most of the dogs are on leashes. And the ones that aren't usually stay on the open grassy area with their owners, chasing balls and frisbees and whatnot. Their owners don't just let them run around willy nilly, terrorizing toddlers.

But not these dogs. These dogs (which looked like labs, one black and one yellow) were running around inside the fenced playground. There was an older couple with two children (3-4 years old, from the looks of them) who seemed to be the dogs' owners, since the woman went to catch the black dog when it left the playground. She was then followed by the man, leaving the children and the other dog completely unattended on the playground. Not cool, people.

Anyway, so the yellow dog kept badgering another woman who was there with a toddler around Max's age and a small baby. Her toddler kept trying to climb back into their stroller when the dog came around. One time he tried to climb up his mother's leg.

Not that the dog seemed mean or anything. It was actually very friendly. But toddlers and strange dogs are usually not a good combination. Max is totally fine around Krull, and he tolerates most large-breed dogs, as long as someone is holding him while they get to know each other. Small dogs terrify him. He doesn't want a small dog anywhere near him. Or a cat. Or any other small, furry critter.

Max had been happily climbing on the big wooden climbing thingy for the little kids, but when the dog came near him, he immediately wanted to be picked up. And the dog continued to follow us around. So Max didn't want to get down and play anymore. Because he didn't know that dog. Why was that dog pestering him? And why weren't its people doing anything about it? I actually walked around trying to find the dog's people, but I didn't see them and assumed they were still off chasing the black dog.

My point is, you have to be careful with small children and animals. So when you take your dog to the park, put it on a leash, and don't let it run around in an area full of kids under 3. Because while some little kids are fearless, others need time to get know new animals before they're comfortable around them. Playgrounds should be a safe space for kids to run around and play. And you know, there's a sign at the entrance forbidding dogs within the playground area. But some people are jerks.

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