The weather was gorgeous this weekend, so I took Jacoby out both Saturday and Sunday. We didn’t go far, just to Rolling Bridge and Binford, but both times we had issues with dog owners. Nothing like the Dachshund lady, but still.
Saturday my husband and Angel came with us, and we had a run in with an idiot who figured that just having a leash was good enough. Jake’s on his leash and we’re investigating the rock circle and this lamebrain with a Scotty and a Fox Terrier comes to the park, lets them off leash and starts playing catch. Okay, no problem…until they see Jake. Then they forget all about the ball and come over to bark at Jake. Now, Jake’s really good with dogs, remarkably so, but he’s not used to barking dogs (and these two were barking like crazy at him), so he puffs up and hisses at them. The guy comes over and leashes them, and I’m thinking “Oh, awesome, he gets it.”
Only no, he doesn’t. He neglects to hold on to the leashes (dude, those loops on the end have a purpose, they aren’t there to be decorative), Bernadette (the Foxy) yanks it out of his hand, Finn (the Scotty), follows suit, and the pair of them just run back to Jake to bark in his face some more. Luckily, they didn’t notice Angel, who was in between two of the rocks, out of sight.
It wasn’t really bad, so much as it was thoughtless: “Oh hai, look at my dogs upsetting and being upset by this cat. Gee, guess I won’t do anything at all and just act like nothing at all is wrong with this scenario. Yeah, that’s totes the best way to act here. Finally he got his dogs more or less under control and went to a different area of the park and that was that.
Today it was just me and Jake, and we went to Binford Park. Which for the most part, was also fine. But when we got there, there was a couple with a bully puppy. Very cute, smaller than Jake but offleash so I went over to the far corner of the park, where there’s a big, red-and-white painted buoy.
Again, despite my being vigilant and polite (but choosing a far corner of the park, the puppy comes over to us and proceeds to be really, really friendy. Too friendly, but it’s a cultural difference (cats and dogs greet each other differently), and it takes a lot of the puppy sticking his nose in Jake’s butt before Jake finally has enough, turns around, wraps his tail around him body and hisses at the pup. Which the puppy ignored utterly. Finally the female half of the couple gets the dog, and carries it back to where her husband or boyfriend was and they put on the leash. We are just wandering about, and they decide to leave. As they walk past me, the man passive-agressives, “Wow. That’s really…interesting, bringing a cat to a dog park.”
Yeah, it would be, if I’d brought Jake to a dog park, wouldn’t it? Good thing this is just a general-use city park then isn’t it? Because as only I seem to be aware of, Binford is not a dog park. It’s just a park. And I’m sorry, but just because it’s a public space with grass, that doesn’t mean it’s there exclusively for you to let your dog run off leash.
But I didn’t say all that. What I did say was, “Oh, we come here a lot. Jake really likes it here.” And just dropped the whole issue. But it left a bad taste in my mouth, for a couple of reasons: Binford is not a dog park (not fenced, regularly landscaped with bulb plants (which dogs love to dig up). But his tone was one of a man who feels someone isn’t playing by the rules.
I don’t remember having any problems like this before, when I went to this same park with Gun-Hee. I think I’ll email someone tomorrow about this at the Harborwalk website.