Some days having dogs means being the pariah.
I know my dogs temperaments, their sociability, or not. And I have to remember that other people don’t, the same way I may avoid another dog that looks a bit scary to me, but some days it’s just a big personal knock down.
I walk my dogs twice a day, at least–or they drive me nuts. Plus, I need the exercise too, but today what I really needed was to sip my coffee sitting down, not with leashes wound around my arm, a dog poop bag dangling amongst them while trying not to spill my coffee–oh, that would be bad. So, I did the bad thing–the illegal thing–I took the dogs, on a short leash to sit down inside the playground, the only place where there are benches. (Apparently, only mom’s get to sit down, not the elderly, the infirmed, the park walkers & strollers, just the moms–& sometimes dads.)
I sat at the farthest bench away from the playing kids, and wham the minute by toosh hit the bench a gaggle of mom’s began squawking amongst themselves–catty and loudly, about how dogs don’t belong in the playground. I instantly got up and left. I know they don’t belong here, still, it was mean, and it hurt.
We wandered out into the park, but the dogs can’t be off leash, even in the vast emptiness, even though a drunk was sprawled out on the lawn, asleep. No one calls the police on them, only the dogs. Sigh.
We walked on, my coffee sloshed & I gulped along the way. The dogs sniffed endless lawns, and peed on everything. There was poop–& I had bags! Still, I have been yelled at by home owners, indignant. One, woman stormed out of her house one day to yell at me while I was leaning over with the bag, “How dare you! I would NEVER let my dog poop in someone else’s yard.”
I want to say, “Where should they go? Your neighbor’s lawn? Or the one across the street? It’s a fucking lawn for Christ’s sake! I’m picking it up. Get a new hobby already!” Sacramentan’s and their lawns, it’s a strange attachment.
Some people are not necessarily pleased but shout out, “Thank you!” as they walk by as if I were doing it for them personally–as if I wouldn’t do it if they weren’t looking.
It’s the price of living in a cramped urban space. I get it. And there are plenty of dog owners who don’t pick up after their dogs–who are dangerous, or unpredictable, who really don’t’ belong in the playground ever, but today, I just needed a bench, under a tree, so the dogs could sniff around and I could take in the breeze, the birds and sip my coffee in peace.