Dog Parks – Be Cautious

Dog parks are great places in general, however there are some people who screw it up. Today, we had one of those days.

When we got to the park this afternoon and it felt a little off. There were three people there and 5 dogs. One person grabbed a couple of their small dogs and left (not uncommon, we have greyhounds, so small dog owners are nervous of the greys).

The three remaining dogs were a german shepherd, an english bulldog, and a small poodle thing. The first indication of something off was the english bulldog was on a pinch collar. Additionally, the owner was working hard to restrain his dog. But at first, there were no real troubles except that the little poodle dog liked to squeak and that gets Tate all excited. We know this and we prevent it from getting out of control.

All seems to be going well, a couple of good sprints in, and then it is time for the poopie-dance. As I said, the usual. Of course, after relieving himself Tate likes to get a good sprint in. And what is better than a sprint where he buzzes by another dog, showing off how fast he is.

Tate gets savaged
Tate gets savaged

This is where trouble began. As he blew by the English Bulldog at almost top speed, the bulldog snapped at him. At first we thought nothing of it, but quickly the remaining dogs were scooped up and they hurriedly left. We thought perhaps it was our fault, and Barbara even asked, but they assured us that it was just time to go.

As they drove away, we noticed a big tear in Tate’s side, complete with a flap of skin hanging loose. Crap. Now we know why they were in a hurry to leave, to shirk their responsibility for the damage their dog caused.

Fortunately, we were about 3 minutes from our new vet, and we took him straight there. Shaved, cleaned, inspected, x-rayed looking for big holes, and finally stapled, we took Tate home. $309 poorer as well.

Tate seems to be weathering it well, and we have a collar that seems as effective as the cone to keep him from licking at it. 2 weeks of antibiotics, and a few days of pain meds should do it, but already his psyche is changed. He is no longer gregarious around other dogs. He has become reserved and cautious. I hope this isn’t permanent, as his friendliness was one of his endearing traits.

Time will tell.

But this is the end of dog park for our boys. Too many assholes who neither control their dogs, nor assume responsibility for their dog’s actions. A shame, because there is no better vehicle for socializing a young dog that time at a dog park.