Common courtesy.

Ever want to muzzle someone?

My phone was pressed to my ear as I talked with a business contact.  I was standing in a dog park with my two Whippets, Leo and Bliss.

Bliss began to bark.  Bliss only barks for the equivalent of the most direr "Code Blue" type instances.  She immediately got my attention.  Her cause for concern: a wolf-looking dog baring down on us in that slow, creepy way.  We were in his sights.

I gathered up and leashed both Whippets. The wolf got closer and his mate, a sleek, black Great Dane, joined in - stalking us.  I looked in the direction of their owner. "Please call your dogs," I called out.

He made a half-hearted effort.  I repeated the request with more urgency in my tone.  Taking flight was no longer an option; the distance between prey and stalker was too narrow.

"I am calling them." was his (lame) response.

"Can you be more assertive? My dogs are frightened," I asked.

A nose distance now from his dogs and increasingly frightened myself, I said, "Get your dogs on a leash NOW!  I am scared."

We visit the park four times a day and have since October 2008.  I didn't know this fellow or his dogs.  The same could be said of the owner and the pit-mix that hospitalized Leo last August.

You know what the jerk said?  "Lady, this is a dog park."

Anything but a gentleman, he may have had the last word but I didn't catch it.  My back was turned after a volley from our camp about common courtesy being common courtesy anywhere.

2 Responses to “Common courtesy.”

  • Cynica Says:

    My cat and I were nearly attacked in a vet’s waiting room, when a huge airedale slipped out of his collar and charged us. I screamed and tried to curl around my cat to protect him, while the cat went into growling battle mode to protect me. The dog’s owner just said, “oh, calm down,” and made no attempt whatever to restrain the animal, who was six inches from my face when the vet grabbed him. Kitty and I were hustled into a consulting room, while the vet told off the owner and told him not to come back until he’d gotten that dog trained. The only apology I got was from the vet–the bastard with the dog acted much like the one you encountered.

  • Trix Says:


    Thank you for sharing your story. I could picture the scene a little too clearly – down to your cat’s protective growl. My Whippet Leo has been aggressive a few times – towards other dogs – generally when he’s on a lead). I lean toward trusting his sense of who to steer clear of with regard to both people and animals!

    Last year I grew rather fond of of two cats belonging to a friend I roomed with part-time in Tulsa. What is your cat’s name?

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