Harper is always excited to go to the Dog Park. The Sunday excursions are less frequent during monsoon season because the weather may not be cooperative but if it is Sunday morning and we’re in the car, she knows there is fun ahead.
There was human drama at the Dog Park this morning which always make the Harper girl a little skittish. She does not like being around people who are shouting. This morning a fine Phoenician matron, dressed like Johnny Cash (because all-back is such a good look for Phoenix in August) except for her camouflage cap, weightlifter’s gloves, and utility belt holding god-knows what, took it upon herself to chastise an elderly gentleman about the subtle meanings of dog/owner body language.
It seems he had failed to pick-up on what she felt should be universally recognizable signals. She had her Pit Bull on a leash while inside the off-leash enclosure which “any moron knows” means he is aggressive and others should keep their dogs away. Pit Bulls, she continued, are even more likely to be aggressive on a leash because it makes them protective of their owners but she didn’t think the other dogs would be safe if she released “Eric” so she kept him on the leash relying on other dog owners “if they have a brain in their fucking head” to steer clear. This was not the easiest thing to achieve since she and Eric had ensconced themselves about three feet from the only water source in the enclosure.
I was more than a hundred yards away but I could hear Miss Manners quite clearly because of the eloquence and passion with which she shared her
invective wisdom. I’m sure truckers passing at 70 mph on the freeway 2 miles to the north were equally enlightened.
I could not hear the older gentleman’s comments. From the hand gestures it appeared he was suggesting he thought her dog was leashed because she was arriving or leaving the park. Apparently he also may have suggested to her that, if Eric was so vicious he could not be trusted off his leash in the ‘off-leash’ enclosure, she might reconsider the wisdom of bringing little precious to the Dog Park. This was feedback Miss Manners did not welcome graciously. She, Eric in tow, followed the elderly man around the park shrieking strings of expletives one does not normally hear outside a David Mamet play. Eventually the man gave up and took his dog next door to the small-dog enclosure. Miss Manners strutted around the park for a few minutes but, finding no one who would give her positive reinforcement for her conduct, staked out a corner of the park for she and Eric. Harper watched from a safe distance disapprovingly. I kept a similar distance and rolled my eyes judgmentally while conjuring up my “What a f%#King #$%*&$” thought bubble.
We left the park to go back and pick up Harper’s Other Dad from Mass. Harper doesn’t understand who “The Baby Jesus” is or why he thinks she should wait in a hot car after visiting the Dog Park instead of going home but the air conditioning was on and it wasn’t too long of a wait so she let it slide.
By the time she got home, however, she was simply exhausted and had to hydrate and nap.