DONE WITH DOG PARKS
I'm done with dog parks. There are just too many people who are ignorant of the rules that apply to everyone who enters a dog park. The rules are clearly posted at the entrance, but no one ever bothers to read them or if they do, they seem to think the rules don't apply to them and their dogs. Of course, if you possess any common sense and are a responsible dog owner, you don't really need rules to inform you of proper behavior. It doesn't hurt to read them, anyway.
Yesterday at Glenbrook Dog Park, Beau was attacked by two of the dogs I just wrote about in my last Pets & Their People column, Australian cattle dogs. Beau is the friendliest, most laid-back fellow you'd ever want to meet, and whenever he visits the park, he likes to have a good belly-up roll in the grass. Well, he should never have exposed his belly to these dogs. They apparently perceived that as some kind of signal to attack, and attack they did. In an instant they were on Beau, snarling and biting. I was beside myself. No one had any time to react before the attack. Beau was at a disadvantage being on his back, but he managed to get back to his feet and gave good account of himself. I tried to keep the dogs at bay with my walking stick. Wish I'd whacked them with it, or better yet their dumb-ass owner who did nothing while all this was going on. He was too busy reading under a tree. He finally came over to call off the dogs, commenting that it was Beau's behavior that had caused the problem. Excuse me, Beaus' rolling on his back is considered a sign of aggression? In what alternate canine universe?
Another lady I'd been talking to earlier was there with her small Maltese. She also was very concerned about the incident since the killer cattle dogs had also gone after her dog, which could have been truly disastrous. She noticed some blood specks on Beau's side. I found no wound there, but it looked like Beau's ear had been torn slightly. Either that, or the blood was from the other dogs. Beau may have nicked one of them in the skirmish while trying to defend himself.
Either way, I was furious and told the guy park rules dictate that he should take his aggressive dogs out of the park immediately. Dog parks are no place for vicious dogs like his, and dog fights are not what we come to dog parks for, at least I don't. He did not leave the park after I told him he should and did not even leash his dogs after this incident.
If there are going to be dog parks in Sacramento, then someone should be responsible for policing them and making sure everyone, and I mean everyone, follows the posted rules and is always in full control of his/her dog(s). Keeping the dog parks in good condition with working water fountains and well maintained, foxtail-free grounds would also be beneficial. That way pets and their people are safe to enter the parks. Until then, I'll have to find safer places to exercise my basset hounds (exercise basset hounds, an oxymoron). Apparently, scofflaw morons like the one we encountered are mostly hanging out with their attack packs at the dog parks, forcing the rest of us to avoid them so they can have the space all to themselves.