or, why most dog owners are idiot assholes and therefore I should screen every one of them before they get entrance to our dog park.
Actually, our "dog park" is nothing like the traditional small fenced-in squares of dirty ground in Portland, it's a big expanse of city park with river access, trails, several sport fields, and a frisbee golf course. It has areas that are off-leash all the time, and some that are on-leash in the sports season so that the soccer kids don't get checked by a border collie or lab going after their ball. It's a godsend for me, as it's big enough that I can run a good three to four mile route with my dogs off-leash the whole time, we can swim in the river, and meander down the river trail without running into traffic, livestock, or other hazards.
However, there are always a good helping of stupid people in the park, and usually I run into one of them on my morning runs. I forget that idiots who ought not to have their dogs off leash figure it's safest to do so when there is less traffic (AKA, 8 in the morning on Sunday). So this morning, I'm running Griff and Zoe and three men with five dogs come towards us on the bark trail. One tiny but fierce little pitbull makes a beeline for Griff and starts snarking at him. She's a bitch, but she's not serious, and he's smart enough to ignore her. However, three of her male dog gang companions decide that they hate Griff's face, and all descend on him at once. Seriously. I growl like something really scary for them to knock it off, and two back off at the sound of my very possessed voice, but one nasty looking mutt refuses to heed Griff's sideway stance and averted eyes and insists on readying himself for the attack. Finally, I realize that the three grown men in charge of these evil-hearted creatures are just. standing. there. While I'm wading in to the fray, readying my leashes to swing if the jerks try to jump Griff. I snarl thru gritted teeth for them to get their dog, now. I send Griff on forward, and then realize I've got to go back to get Zoe, who is frozen with all five dogs around her. Except for the bitchy pit, none of the dogs even looks askance at Zoe, who is of course the uber-submissive.
Not one of the stupid men tried to help, corral their evil harpy dogs, or apologize. They all looked at me with a slack-jawed bemusement, akin to someone very slow who's just been asked to calculate the velocity of a moving projectile, to three significant digits.
I am annoyed, to say the least. Mostly because I've seen these dogs before act exactly the same way. This wasn't a one-time incident, and it wasn't normal dog grumpiness. The dogs are obviously 1. not trained, 2. sent into pack mentality due to being in a group, and 3. owned by idiots. Luckily, Griff decided not to get snarky back, which was wise and for which I am really grateful. I've seen these people before, and another of their dogs, a border collie, tried to attack Griff but was luckily restrained by a woman that was with them.
I really hate how dumb people are. Just because it is legal to have dogs off-leash does not mean any dog, with any sort of attitude towards other dogs. And there is no way in hell I'm going to stop going there, as it's acres and acres of land and river, the only place in Corvallis that is ten minutes from home and appropriate for dog-romps.
I may, however, start carrying DirectStop, and people better watch out. I'm liable to spray them instead of their dogs.