Marilyn and I walk our hounds in a park close to my home just about every week. The City of San Marcos has strict but reasonable leash laws. It has also provided four off leash parks for people who prefer to run their dogs off leash. The park where Marilyn and I walk Franklin, Hattie, Odie, Bingley and Magic is NOT an off leash park and is posted as such.
This morning was cloudy and cool--ideal weather for dog walking. The dogs were frisky and happy to see each other.
As we were strolling, discussing recent placements of kennel dogs in "forever" homes and dogs who need "forever" homes, Bingley let out a distinctive whine. It means: I see something I really want to chase, or, I see another dog. Sometimes it means both.
Across the width of the park, a woman was walking a large Boxer. All five of our dogs went on alert, and we did what we always do, changing the direction we were walking to maximize distance between our two packs and the new dog.
But just at the moment we thought sufficient distance had been achieved between our dogs and the Boxer, the Boxer's walker removed its leash and let it run.
Leashed dogs--especially leashed dogs whose main joy in life is running and who can out-run any other breed--become quite agitated when they see another dog running free when they are restrained.
We prepared to leave that section of the park.
But the Boxer's owner had a further "surprise" for us. She turned her dog, who began to run directly at Bingley and Magic.
I called for her to leash her dog. She was very angry with me for such presumption.
I called for her to keep her dog at a distance from my dogs. She told me to send my dogs to training school. Her dog, she said, was "perfectly trained."
Her dog was charging my dogs.
Marilyn, ever quick witted, performed an evasive action with her pack which distracted the Boxer while she engaged the Boxer's owner in further "conversation".
Eventually the Boxer and its owner left the park so that the owner could "research" San Marcos leash laws. She refused to believe that it wasn't permissible for her to run her "perfectly trained" dog off leash since there was an "open field."
I trust the Boxer's owner discovered that the park in question is,indeed, only for leashed dogs. I trust that next week we will not encounter her or her Boxer.
Only Marilyn's quick thinking and intervention saved Bingley, Magic and me from something I can't bear to picture.
As Marilyn said after the incident, Some people shouldn't have dogs.