I had taken Minnie out for an extra-long walk in a new neighborhood, and was walking around one of our local parks to cool off when an off-leash dog charged us, barking excitedly. Minnie said “holy crap!” and scrambled to get behind me.
Minnie is a lousy guard dog; we’ve already established this.
The off-leash dog got behind me too to get at Minnie.
I started turning around to avoid being pulled over by the struggling dogs and the leash.
The stray dog was about 60 pounds. Minnie is about 35 pounds. So Minnie is much smaller.
I’m about 170 pounds. I don’t know if that’s relevant. I’m just throwing it in.
And so we spun around and around in circles with the dogs barking and growling and and bumping up against me, and me shouting swear words and yelling at the stray dog to get away.
Many F-bombs were dropped that day, I can tell you!
I was not too far from a public restroom, and I started moving in that direction, thinking to go inside and barricade Minnie and me in there somehow.
A young man came running over and I thought that was his dog and I yelled at him to get his darn dog away from me and put it on a darn leash.
I did not say “darn.”
It wasn’t his dog. He was just being a good Samaritan.
And he was a dog-whisperer too. He got the stray dog calmed down fast. The stray even rolled over on his back after a couple of minutes.
Poor dog. Poor good Samaritan. Getting yelled at by the strange foul-mouthed man in the park.
And now everything was calmed down. The stray dog was quiet. The good Samaritan had one arm draped over the stray’s shoulder. I stood about five feet away, with my back to the wall of the public bathroom. Minnie was next to me.
I didn’t want to go anywhere, in part because I didn’t want to abandon the young man with the stray dog, and in part because I didn’t want the stray dog following us and resuming hostilities.
The man’s wife came over, along with his two little kids. He asked her to get a rope from the car, which she did, and fashioned a makeshift leash.
The man and his wife conversed in mixed English and Spanish. They seemed to be Mexican-American. I’m throwing that in here because of the stupid bigotry against Mexican-Americans we’re seeing from the Embarrassment in Chief in the White House and other assorted morons. Here was a Mexican-American who did a good deed for a stranger.
During that time, I called the cops. 911. “There’s a stray dog roaming around the park. It charged me and my dog!” I said.
“What is the emergency?” the operator said.
“Um, that was pretty much it. Stray dog. Charged at me. Off leash. Owner not around. Dangerous.”
We went back and forth like that and the dispatcher said they’d send a car but there were four calls ahead of me. Which seemed reasonable, but did leave us in an awkward position.
The police wanted to know if the stray dog was wearing tags. The dog was not. No tags, no collar, no identification of any kind.
It seemed at that point that the most useful thing I could do would be to get Minnie away from there, and so I did. The man said he’d wait for the police.
We walked back to my car. I took Minnie home, checked on her to be sure she was ok, let Julie know what had happened, and then went back to the park with a spare leash we had around the house.
I came upon the man and his family loading up their car in the parking lot. He told me the police had been and gone, as had the dog’s owner. I shook his hand and thanked him for his help, and he said you’re welcome and then I left.
No doubt he was telling his children never, ever to use the kind of language they’d heard me use at that dog.
As I was driving off, a police officer returned my call. He told me they’d been there and resolved the situation.
So what happened to the dog? Honestly, I don’t know and as I drove off I didn’t care anymore. I’d spent far too much time on the fiasco, and was very, very hungry for dinner even before the dog charged us. I just wanted to get home and eat.
My guess is that the dog is home. Either the owner got there before the police and picked the dog up, or the police took the dog away but the man at the park told the dog’s owner what happened, and the dog’s owner picked up his animal from the shelter.
Either way, I fear things will end up badly for that dog and maybe someone else the dog encounters. The dog had no tags and no collar. That suggests that the dog’s getting loose may not have been a freak accident. It suggests the owner is careless and irresponsible and the dog will get loose again and maybe it won’t have such a happy ending next time.