Day 49 – Off-leash police

18 02 2010

I need to apologize (does this count?) to the lady in the park today who was the victim of all my frustrations… I squeezed in a 3-mile run just before school was out and just before it started snowing.

Grey skies and cold wind were ushering in the snow clouds, so I bundled up in a few layers and leashed my lab Lottie for the duration – her longest run yet.

On the first park loop, two boxers came bounding toward us. I’m sure they just wanted to play, but I had to stop running and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We live right on a large park where dogs must be on a leash according to the posted signs. I tend to politely remind strangers of the rule when their dogs are frolicking freely.

It’s not that I don’t want the dogs to have a great time. I am a huge dog lover and would have several more if I had a larger yard and/or a farm… and a more willing husband. My dog would LOVE to be off her leash too. But you can’t run wild in a public place where kids are playing and runners are trying to run. I shouldn’t have to fear lose dogs and their intentions. There are enough worries with the coyotes.

So I mentioned to this boxer lady that the park rules required her dogs to be on a leash. “Oh – they’re usually not so excited,” she told me. And I explained that I lived by the park, which is not a dog park, and would appreciate her leashing her dogs or taking them to a dog park instead.

“Well, I’ll just inform the other people I see here with their dogs,” she said…It went on for a few rounds like this with her telling me that other people do it, so it is ok. Enough. I told her that people commit murders every day but that doesn’t make it ok! A rule is a rule!

I actually said this – out loud – to a total stranger. And I probably could have chosen a less extreme example, but I was not so quick in my angry state. So I am sorry for being so rude in the end, although I am still shocked by this woman’s attitude. Kind of like arguing with a police officer when you know you were going 55 in a 45 zone.

A leashed Lottie and I ran on at a much faster-than-usual pace thanks to the pause to lecture the law-breaking lady. Lucky for all involved, the boxer gang had left the park by our second loop. And I started looking forward to tomorrow morning’s calm, quiet, indoor Pilates class where everyone obeys the “No drinks in gym” sign, and I will not have to cause such commotion!

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