Jacoby and I went out on Saturday to Rolling Bridge park. When we got there, there were two terriers running around offleash. They pretty much ignored us, and when they started towards Jake, their owners would call them and they’d run back. Not a problem, but I wasn’t in the mood to deal with them, and I’d actually seen a cute little grassy area on the other side of the cove near the Post Office guard house and the Red Line trainyard on our way to Rolling Bridge. It had more sun and the grass was unmown and full of clover, and it was far too small for dogs, so we could hang out and not be bothered.
Or so I thought.
I set our things in a back corner, close to the fences at the base of a tree. Jake started exploring and eventually went up to a patch of longer grass near the sidewalk, which was adorable because he sort of slithered into it on his belly like a snake, and when he did that the grass was almost tall enough to cover him.
So I laid down on my stomach and took a bunch of photos of him in the grass. We were having an awesome time lying in the grass when suddenly, a lab-collie cross – not on a leash, of course – came running up. No people in sight. He saw Jake and me and started to come up to us.
This was a big dog (he looked a lot like this), and I was flat on my belly in the grass. I wasn’t sure if I should move or not, so I yelled “NO” in a commanding voice. The dog seemed perplexed. For a second, the scene was frozen.
Then his people (a man and a pregnant woman, who I think was carrying the leash) came around the corner and everything started moving at once. The dog moved towards Jake, I started to get up, the people kept walking, the dog went to grab Jake, and I lunged towards Jake and sort of covered him with my body and started shrieking at the dog’s owners. “Could you keep your dog on a leash? This isn’t a dog park – this isn’t even a park! There’s a leash law in Boston! What the hell were you thinking!? Seriously, what the hell?!”
(Hey, I had just seen a big dog make a move towards Jake. I was just envisioning the dog dragging Jake off, Jake hanging limp in the dog’s jaws, rushing to the emergency vet…yeah, I was totally freaking out.)
And the people just sort of fumbled around like they were sleepwalking. The man went to grab his dog, the woman tried to deal with the leash, and they kind of wandered off, all without saying a word to me. No apology, no admission of guilt…nothing! I mean, I can almost see letting your dog off leash in a park, maybe, but on the WAY to the park? Near a road where Post Office trucks go zooming by? Yeah, no.
To give you an idea, here is a Google Earth shot of where we were in relation to Rolling Bridge Park and Dorchester Ave. The X is the bench where a homeless guy was sitting, and the # is where our pile of stuff was:
It’s not even about Jake being a cat. I could have been in the park with a smaller dog, or even a little kid; this dog was running around loose and his people did not have him under control. I know we’re lucky nothing happened, but nothing SHOULD have happened! We’re in a little grass patch, not even a real park! My animal is on a leash and under my control. We were doing everything right, minding our own business, and it almost went horribly wrong.
I actually called Animal Control today and spoke to Mark Giannangelo. He’s going to look into it, so we’ll see what happens. He did sound concerned, and he said he would see about getting some signage.
These are a couple of the photos I took just before the dog charged up.