Wednesday, May 14, 2008


About a week ago, after a really bad day at work, I took Satchel out to Fort Mason for our usual weekday post-work romp.  Instead of being the usual relaxing to amusing time, it was about as stressful as the day at work I just escaped.  There was a guy chastizing a woman about not disciplining her dogs correctly.  I am of the opinion that if a stranger starts yelling at you about something you can just walk away, since why would you bother to engage with someone you don't know who is behaving in a hostile manner unless it's someone you know and it's an issue you need to resolve.  I came late so could not judge whether he was justified, but it was unpleasant and so I shifted myself away from the rest of the owners (and started commiserating with another one who felt uncomfortable).
After the woman left, a large dog named Memphis started chasing Satchel.  Memphis definitely comes on a little too strong, but calling him aggressive is probably a stretch.  He gets in other dogs faces, but he'd never bite another dog.  He definitely makes Satchel uncomfortable, and during this chase he ended up stepping on Satchel's toes.  Satchel let out his usual wail of mortifying pain and ran over to me, seemed sad for a split second, and then started sniffing the butt of a nearby Tibetan terrier.  But angry guy started yelling at Memphis's owner.  From my perspective, Satchel plays chase with big dogs, he gets stepped on, he lets anyone within a four mile radius know it via a sound that puts Jamie Lee Curtis in her heyday to shame, and then he's fine, so it's no big deal.  But this angry guy lit into Memphis's owner as if he had been personally wronged.  Another owner standing near me said quietly, "I don't understand, it's your dog and if you're not upset..."  I finally left more stressed than I had been before.
This morning, I ran into angry guy again.  I didn't recognize him, but as he started petting Satchel he said, "Weren't you at the park a couple of weeks ago?" and then admonished me that I hadn't been more upset about some guy not disciplining his dog for being much bigger than Satchel.  I finally said, "Yeah, I didn't think it was such a big deal," waved a bag of shit in his face and continued, "I need to go throw this out now," and walked off with my annoyance from the first encounter reengaged.  Some people don't seem to realize the whole point of dogs is to have less stress in their lives.


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