Thursday, April 10, 2008

Old Foes

As lovely as the park has been as of late, I can't help but feel Duncan and I have been robbed of the peace and quiet we found there all winter. The fields where we've romped and played and rolled have been overrun with kicking screaming kids in soccer and lacrosse garb whose parents can't seem to find the common decency to pick up and recycle their discarded water bottles. Almost daily the entire park is turned into one giant garbage dump full of deflated balls, spat-out plastic mouth guards, crushed soda cans and more cigarette butts than I can count. It's disheartening, but because Duncan and I love the park, and because it allows us to feel somewhat heroic, more deserving and superior, we try to clean up as much as we can.

This afternoon as the snow began to melt we headed to the park, which was blissfully free of children and their wretched parents. It was cold and windy but the park was ours! We could run wide circles and Duncan could tend to business without feeling the reproachful eyes of coaches and disapproving mothers on us.

Apparently we weren't the only ones who felt that way. After crossing the street and inspecting each of the trees on The Mound for squirrels, we caught sight of our old foes, The Shepherds. They were, of course, off leash and running wild, far ahead of their owners (again, I need a better word for "owner." Keep those suggestions coming!). I stiffened up and tightened my grip on Duncan's leash. We paused for a long moment, just outside of the trees in plain view. I thought they'd leash up the dogs once they spotted us but they did not. They paused at our appearance but merely pushed on, heedless and without consideration.

It wasn't quite the walk I wanted, keeping my eye out for the beasts, and without my cudgel I felt vulnerable. Thankfully the walk passed without incident but their appearance on such a day was reminder that Spring can pose as many dangers as the dark winter months.


kevin said...

BOO HISS, to the Shepards and thier enablers.

lizh said...

I know your feelings..
I hesitate as well and hate the sight of any unleashed dog. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a bad incident to enlighten these negligent 'owners' as to something that could easily have been avoided.
Steer clear if you can..unfair, I know, but safest for Duncan.

Lori said...

UG! Them again! There used to be this Dalmatian mix around the corner from us, always roaming at large. He was shaped like a Shepherd with upright ears but was white with black spots like a Dal. When we'd pass (and we had to, in order to get to our park) he'd come charging out and harass us. No sign of him this past weekend, though. It's been a couple of years since we did any dog-walking, so maybe he's "gone" now. We also pass the house of Deke and Stryder, two goldens, the family that adopted our Sassy when we had to re-home her. They got Stryder after Sassy died suddenly (at only 4 years old) from kidney failure. I remember her running in their hill-top fenced back yard, one of the few hilly spots in the area, chasing squirrels.