Leash Your Animals and Shut Your Filthy Mouth

I can’t believe I’m back in the Pit for the second time in a week. Grr. I can’t believe for the second time in a week, I’ve had to call 911 on some nutbag. Am I wearing a psycho magnet somewhere that I can’t see?

Mr. tlw, Baby tlw, Spunky the Wonder Dog and I spent the day in Connecticut. I had a little business to attend to, and we visited with some friends. In the afternoon, we decided to stop at a park, walk the dog and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air before heading back into the city. We stopped and got some snacks and had a lovely time playing and feeding popcorn to some birds. Baby tlw got to enjoy watching little kids trying to play tennis.

We were getting ready to leave when a couple of women arrived with three large Weimeraner dogs. Spunky immediately started barking because one of the weimeraners was making a beeline for me and baby tlw – we had our backs turned at the time.

I turned around to see what had doggie tlw so alarmed, and saw the weimeraners and saw that they were not leashed. This was a public park. In addition to baby tlw, there were at least half a dozen small children around, and numerous adults. There were no paths, just some grassy areas around the tennis courts.

The two dog owners were moseying along behind the dogs, who were all over the place. Spunky was barking his head off, and one of the weimeraners kept veering toward us, letting out single, deep-throated barks. Baby tlw got scared and started to bawl. Mr. tlw picked Spunky up (he’s just a little Bichon Frise) and took a long circle around the Weimeraner, making his way to the parking lot.

I was trying to follow suit, but the Weimeraner was still close for comfort, and the other two were nearby – too nearby for me to feel anything but cornered. People who were on nearby benches started gathering their things and moving elsewhere. Other people with dogs, who were also responding to the off-leash animals with either excitement or trepidation, were trying to pull their dogs in to heel, or started leaving the area in the opposite direction or walking around as far from the roaming animals as possible. But baby tlw and I were kind of stuck, and I was getting a little freaked out.

Mr. tlw had, by now, gotten to the car and pulled it up as close to where we were as possible. He got out, but couldn’t really come close because of the dogs.

Finally, one of the owners got near enough for me to call out to them. “Will you please get your dog and leash him? He’s frightening my baby.”

The owner continued to take her good sweet time, oblivious to the fact that everyone around was clearly alarmed.

“There’s nothing wrong, he won’t do anything.”
“I don’t know that. He’s a strange dog and he needs to be on a leash. All of your dogs need to be on a leash.”
“They’re tame dogs. I’m being responsible.” I noted that this response was given at a much louder tone than necessary, and this trend continued.
“You cannot have dogs off leash in a public park. Your dog keeps coming over here, he’s making my baby cry, get him under control!”
“If you’d stop screaming he’d leave you alone.”
“All the more reason that you need to get him under control. Neither of us know what he’s going to do.”
“We’re responsible with our dogs!” (At this point, the screaming owner’s companion came around and grabbed the dog who was closest to me, but the other two were still wandering free.)
As I began walking toward the car, the woman started yelling at me, very aggressively and nastily. “Just because you don’t like big dogs, what the hell gives you the right to start yelling at me about my animals? I have every right to be here with my dogs…”

Now I had moved from freaked out to angry.

“Look,” I said, “this has nothing to do with my like or dislike of large dogs. Your rights end when you break the law. Responsible dog owners follow the law and leash their dogs in public places. Especially public places full of children! It’s not only required, it’s safer for the animals and for everyone around. You cannot be sure what your animals will do when they are not under your control.”
“My dogs are always under my control.”
“So you were perfectly fine with your dog running up here while you were still in the parking lot, barking at my family, frightening my dog and my child and making us all feel so unsafe that we’re leaving the park, along with everyone else around us?” I gestured back to point out to the woman that there was no longer anyone on that side of the park except the people were safely enclosed in the fences surrounding the tennis courts.

At that point the woman went ballistic. Every other word out of her mouth after that was “fuck” with a few “bitch” and “bullshit” type words thrown in for good measure. Then she went off on some tangent about there being a war and how I needed to “chill the fuck out.”

Excuse me? I’m wrong? I’m the one who needs to chill out? The one who was menaced by a 75 lb. strange animal while holding my infant in my arms?

Oh no, I don’t think so!

I got in the car, but I was red hot with anger. Baby tlw was still completely freaked out – she really didn’t like that big barking dog, and of course, her mother being screamed at by some out of control psycho didn’t help matters at all.

The woman, her friend and the three dogs, still unleashed, went over and started playing in a grassy area adjacent to the tennis courts. Having done so, anyone in the tennis courts who didn’t want to get near the dogs wasn’t going to leave until the dogs did – there was no other way out.

So I pulled out my phone, and called 911. The police showed up, and I told the officers that I had just had a screaming confrontation with the woman because she refused to leash her animals, one of which was dangerously close to myself and my child and barking at us.

The woman was fined and ejected from the park, and told that if she was ever found with her animals unleashed in public again in the city, they animals would be confiscated and she’d face criminal charges.


As far as I’m concerned, the police are batting 1000 these days.

But really, what’s the deal? This woman was not young nor dumb. When she pulled up and saw dozens of people around, why on earth would she leave her dogs unleashed? This was not a suburban kind of park with walking trails and wooded areas where a dog could ostensibly roam without ever encountering people. We were within a stone’s throw of a childrens’ playground, for pete’s sake! And there was nothing to prevent the dogs from running out onto a very busy roadway.

I hate to imagine what the response would be if one of the animals – as fine and supposedly well-trained as they are – had bitten a child? Would the inevitable destruction of the dogs and lawsuit that would follow be worth it?

It just made no sense, especially coupled with the filthy-mouthed, irrelevant tirade. I just don’t get why someone would or could be so ignorant, confrontational or completely lacking in common sense.

As for me, I really need a week without anything more that’s 911 call-worthy, police action-worthy or Pit-worthy. I’ve had enough!

I adore dogs.

I really can’t stand bad dog owners, and there are far too many.

You did the right thing. Just because the dog’s owner is comfortable with her dogs running around, doesn’t mean that everyone else is. If I had a baby with me in that situation, I would be scared too. Kudos to you for actually doing something about it by calling the police, it was the correct course of action.

oh and of course kudos to the police for actually taking your complaint seriously and taking affirmative action. It’s good to hear a story where the cops actually help the citizen, even when there’s not been a murder or robbery. Good job to the cops.

Yes, big applause to the cops. I’d name the force, but truthfully, we were in one of those urban suburbs and I frankly don’t know the name of the municipality in question. The officers were kind and took control of the situation – they were forceful enough to keep filthy-mouth chick in control without having to get up on a high horse. Very nice work from them.

The thing is, every unfortunate time their is a dog mauling around here, the owners are always quoted as saying “I never though he would do anything like that.” I have yet to see the owner of a dangerous dog say “yeah, I figured he’d do that some day.”

Gee, what a surprise. An unreasonable person who doesn’t give a shit about anyone else. You don’t see one of those every day.

Thats great that the cops came and actually did the right thing.

Good for you, and good for the police.

One question, though:

Why do you say this? Your story would lead me to believe exactly the opposite.

Yeeks. I’ve been feeling horribly guilty for the last day about something slightly similar.

My dog was in my yard, with my 13-year old daughter, and she was on a leash (the dog, not the daughter.) She has played in the yard with my daughter many many times, and we live on the corner lot… which means there’s often a lot of foot traffic. Gracie, our Mastiff, is a BIG dog, over a hundred pounds, and gentle as a lamb. Usually. Yesterday, for some insane reason, she decided to take off after a poodle. She has seen this poodle countless times walking past the house, in the company of the poodle’s mom - a lady in a wheelchair. The lady’s walking companion quite understandably panicked as Gracie bore down upon her and the poodle, and she screamed, which frightened the poodle, who took off running. Gracie took off too, dragging my daughter behind her.

I ran outside, in my jammies, hearing the yells. I was able to capture and contain Gracie fairly quickly, and the lady’s companion was able to retrieve her poodle. I know my dog’s body language, and I know all she wanted to do was be friendly with the poodle - but the lady, the companion and the poodle had no such knowledge of Gracie’s benign intentions.

My biggest fear was that the lady in the wheelchair had been frightened or hurt by my moose of a dog. Fortunately, that was NOT the case, but I received a fairly harsh lecture from the companion that my dog was just TOO GODDAMNED BIG and if I couldn’t control her, I had no business letting her in the yard with my daughter. At that point, it was hardly reasonable for me to object, as I obviously COULDN’T control the stupid dog. Never mind this was the first time EVER that Gracie failed to obey me or my daughter instantly. I was mortified, angry and very very guilty. Gracie is back on the no-pull harness AND the shock collar :frowning: And the WryGuy has been informed that he WILL fence our yard in.

All that to say, tlw - I sympathize and I want you to know that I agree your dog owners were acting irresponsibly and rudely and they deserved what they got. Please accept my apologies on behalf of stupid dog owners everywhere.

When the post office trained me to deliver mail they told us never go near unchained dogs. They can be unpredictable when they feel their owner or property is threatened. The other thing they told us is NEVER take the owner’s word for the friendliness of the dog. I was only bitten once. It was a dog that didn’t live at the house. The homeowner opened the door to get the mail and a little tiny kickme dog jumped out and bit my knee. His owner was completely shocked. They always are. But there are so many things that can make us all grumpy. He could have been car sick, maybe he had a sore paw, or maybe because i lacked cultural understanding of dog I did something completely unforgivable.

I have seen dogs that could be taken to a park like that and would have stayed at complete heal probably no matter the provocation. The kind of owner that has put that much work into those dogs is likely to follow the rules of the park, because they know there can always come that one time the dog acts on information we dont have.

Well, it was a little detail I left out of the story – various decals, stickers, the license plate frame and the license plates themselves on the woman’s car seemed to indicate that she is an Ivy League educated member of the teaching profession. So ignorant, yes. Dumb, no.

(Emphasis mine).

tlw, I think you may have that last bit the wrong way around. Ignorant, no, lots of book-learnin’ there. Dumb? As a post. :stuck_out_tongue:

Emphasis mine. Crappy coding, also mine.


Carry on.

I have a very friendly but very active dog. She’s made me VERY aware of how other people can respond to dogs that like to run around and bark.

I never let her off leash unless I’m SURE that there’s no one around that will be bothered by her. I don’t want to be one of the folks that make other people resent dog owners.

tlw, I’m sorry those dopes scared you and your family, and I’m glad you sicced the cops on them.


I would have done the exact same thing. I hate idiots with animals out of control…“oh, he won’t hurt you, he’s a 120 lb. teddy bear…” UGH! I want to hit these morons.

I’m glad the lady got ejected from the park and fined. Stuff like that pisses the hell out of me.

And to scare a baby…what a bitch. I’m glad you got results.

We had some prick in my parent’s neighborhood who would walk down the street, EVERY NIGHT, with three unleashed dobermans. He’d strut with his shirt off like he was the fuckin’ messiah. I never saw anything happen, but the tension was unbelievable.

There is nothing scarier than an uncontrolled animal. People who behave as if it’s OK are sadistic, if you ask me. It’s a big power trip to watch everyone cower (is that spelled right? I’ve never typed it before).

These people just don’t think. The other weekend, I’m reading the paper on my porch with my lab/shepard mix tied to the porch for company. Along comes a jogger with a little mop-dog unleashed at his ankles. Until the doggie spots mine, at which point in time it runs up to her and tries to make friends.

Now, my dog is usually friendly, and was in this case, so maybe the doggie picked up on this and this is the reason why it came up to say hello. but my dog’s friendliness is a very structured thing, there are rules to it. The main one being “If my master is within 5 feet of me, he’s in control of the situation and I can relax. But if he isn’t, then I’m guarding the house.” Yes, we’ve empirically measured that 5 feet.

I shudder to think how much of his dog the jogger would have gotten to carry home had I been inside refilling my coffee and made the horrid mistake of leaving my dog chained on my porch :rolleyes:


Once I overheard my boss (contractor) tell a college educated temporary employee : “for a smart guy, you sure are dumb”

My first assumption would be that she just bought the car…

Especially having multiple unleashed dogs in public - really dumb and inconsiderate.

I’d never think of doing this, even with 30-pound Bubba the Love Sponge.

This made my day. Brava, tlw!