As we got out of the car at the dog park on Sunday, I could see a brown and white dog eagerly watching us from inside the enclosure. Annie spotted her right away and seemed to want to play with her, too. The dog was jumping up and down, reminding me of Chico, the hyperactive dog I had to give away. This dog was female, about Annie’s age and size, with extended nipples as if she has had a litter or two. She had a pit bull face. That didn’t bother me; my dogs are half pit bull, too.
I had only gotten Annie through the first gate when this other dog, Reina, joined us in the space between the gates. The dogs sniffed each other and seemed all right. But as soon as we got inside, the dogs went nuts and started fighting. I tried to pull Annie away, but the other dog kept advancing. Suddenly I felt pain and screamed. Reina had torn a big hunk out of my black pants and left a four-inch-long scrape and bruise on my inner thigh. She was still attacking my dog. “Get your dog!” I hollered to the owners, a young couple who were just sitting on a log doing nothing.
In a minute, the dogs stopped fighting and started acting like they wanted to play. I let Annie go. They ran together a bit. Annie stopped to poop, the other dog thumped her on the butt with her paws, and they ran some more. Okay. But still, my pants, my leg . . .
Another woman arrived with a smaller white dog. Again, the jumping, the sniffing, and the attack. Reina grabbed the little guy around the throat and didn’t want to let go. Again, the owners did nothing. Annie had gone off on her own, exploring other sections of the dog park, but as the other dogs started to relax, she approached them and I followed. Closer up, I could see the white dog had blood on its neck. “Hey, she drew blood,” I said.
Another woman drove up, this time with two small dogs. I put Annie’s leash back on. There was Reina, jumping at the gate again. The woman asked me if the dogs were safe. Yes and no, I said, holding my pup tightly. I pointed Reina out, showed the damage to my pants and my leg and said I was taking my dog out of there.
Which I did. The other woman left, too.
Annie and I walked around the nearby college where I peeked in all the dark windows, seeing tables, desks, a piano, boxes, long hallways. We were both kind of shaky. I could feel the cool air blowing through the hole in my pants and the red scratch beneath. I wanted to get fresh clothes and put some antibiotic ointment on the wound.
I was so angry, and I still am. Reina is a beautiful dog, but I keep thinking about Chico and how dangerous he became and how much I miss him. You can’t let an aggressive dog attack other dogs and their owners. If it does, you owe them a big apology, at the least. Those two never even said they were sorry. An apology and maybe even an offer to replace my pants (which were old, but I liked them and had to throw them away) would be in order.
Whether you have a pit bull or a chihuahua, if you can’t trust it 100 percent, don’t let it loose in the dog park–or any other public place. Nothing horrible happened this time, but when a dog draws blood, it is not okay. Don’t spoil it for those of us who just want to have fun on a Sunday afternoon.