Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Smidge of Hypocrisy

Not Beauty, but could be.
We had only had Beauty a few days when we encountered our first case of breed discrimination.

Beauty had met a few dogs in the neighborhood and got along with them. We had also been told that she was GREAT with other dogs, so we decided to take her to the dogpark one night. We wanted to make sure she stayed socialized with other dogs, unlike our previous dog, Dax.

I've never gone to a dog park before so I didn't know what to expect. We unleashed her and she took off like a bolt to the other dogs, then stopped abruptly when she reached them. She sniffed, they sniffed, they circled each other, then went romping off. They played tug of war with toys, dug holes, and ran around together, sniffing leaves and dirt.

There were several dogs including a corgi, a huge rottweiler and a sundry of mixed breeds, all of whom were well-behaved and having fun.

Then a man entered the park with his golden retriever. The golden met the rottweiler at the door and before 2 seconds had passed there was a snarling dogfight. The owners separated them and let them meet again with the same result. The woman with the rottweiler left the park, apologizing for her dog's behavior, saying she had never seen her dog fight with another dog before.

The man let his golden go and this time a fight ensured between the golden and a large white mixed breed. Again, the white dog had been in the park with everyone else for 10 minutes or more already with no issues.

Finally the man dragged this golden by the collar over to a bench and sat down, holding his animal back from every dog that came near. Each dog that came within distance of the golden was growled at in a menacing, non-playful way.

Once seated, the man began taking assessment of all the other dogs in the park. At this time there were probably 5 or 6 other dogs with a similar number of humans wandering about. He takes a look at Beauty and asks loudly, "Who brought the pitbull?"

I was not within earshot and did not hear him ask this question, but Lindsey was close enough and heard the entire tirade.

"I HATE pitbulls! Whoever brought the pitbull should take it out of the park. I was attacked by a pitbull two weeks ago. A person shouldn't have to walk down the street with a baseball bat to defend himself from one of those dogs."

All this time, Beauty is happily running about with the other dogs, while he has to hold his golden back from attacking every four-legged creature in the place.

I heard one of the other dog owners say, "Dude, there are kids here. Knock it off." I don't know what was said, if he had sworn during his tirade or had continued his bad-mouthing of Beauty, but no one else in the park appreciated what he was saying. I could tell something was being said, but was too far away to hear and didn't really want to know.

We decided that Beauty had had enough exercise and it was starting to drizzle, so we leashed her up to leave. I looked around and saw that everyone else was leaving the park, too. Every single person.

Everyone but the guy with the golden.

I don't know if they all walked out with us as a show of solidarity, or if the rain was driving them away as well. I would like to think the former.  Rain or not, no one wanted to be left in the park with the attack dog.

I hadn't even thought of how others may view her when we decided to get her. Even with animals, some humans tend to judge based on appearance and not on behavior. Such a shame.


  1. It really is a shame and that man really had no right to outburst in public with a bunch of other dog owners when he had never encountered Beauty or met her etc.

    Sadly Pitbulls do get a bad rap - ever since Michael Vick dog fighting ring and also from other attacks you have heard through the media etc.

    I wish we could all live in harmony - but people are entitled to their own opinions and want to ensure their safety (I am sure there are plenty of pitbull attack articles you can find on google). I just think people are very afraid of them - and it is very sad some of them end up at shelters or end up being put down due to their behavior pattern.

    Keep your chin up! Another massive dog park is near the airport and another one is at Minnehaha Falls.

  2. Anonymous12:34 PM

    Well said Jenny. So sorry for the closed minded, blinder wearing man you had to experience. As a positive takeaway, some days it is the closed minded, blinder wearing people that further open our eyes and our hearts. As usual, you and your family handled with dignity and respect. Bravo! Proud to be your friend. Mary