Dog ownership leads to a lot of unpredictable moments; this makes for good storytelling. If you have a dog, or know a family with a dog there are often great “tails” of things taking a sudden turn for the worse.
I remember years ago taking a small group of dogs to a local off leash park. Sherwood Park is a beautiful piece of the country side in the middle of Toronto. There is an area for children to play on beautiful climbers, slides and swings plus a wading pool for hot summer days. There is even a shaded picnic spot for families or couples to enjoy a picnic.
The dog off-leash area is a gorgeous wooded area with a figure eight of dirt trails with trees on either side. There is a river that runs south of the off leash all year around. Many dogs make a bee-line for the water to cool off or to have fun.
The off-leash park has signs pointing to its entrance and rules for dog owners and walkers to follow. Once you enter this area dogs are free to run at will and explore. On occasion runners come through, or people taking short cuts to work.
On one particular day it was a bit muddy in spots so I was on high alert; I wanted to try to avoid stepping in slippery areas. As I rounded the corner I could see a couple in their twenties in a loving embrace combined with some kisses. My heart skipped a beat when I realized the woman was wearing all white with her back exposed to my dogs running and playing. I called the dogs to come back my way and they slowed down to look at me. The woman started talking to the dogs in a happy excited voice and I knew things would not play out well.
One of the smallest dogs decided to jump and slide down her crisp white pants. Seriously it would have been the best “Tide” commercial ever! I was horrified and the couple were amazing saying they realized they were in an off-leash area where dogs run at large .I offered to pay for her dry cleaning but – Murphy’s Law – had no money in my dog walking pouch. She was very nice and said it was not necessary.
Another “dog tail” of things taking a turn for the worse occurred at my local bank. All of the branches of my bank encourage owners to bring in their dogs while they do their banking. Usually a dog cookie is offered by a staff member, and the monotony of doing banking becomes a pleasurable moment for both the two and four-legged.
I popped into my bank with two dogs to use the bank machine. While I began my transaction the “greeter” at the bank asked if both dogs would like a cookie. At the mention of the word both young dogs got excited and were eager to get a treat. They were so excited they could barely sit for their cookie. The bank staff crouched down to pat them both.
I kept peeking over my shoulder to see how they were doing and was horrified to suddenly see small pearls bouncing across the tiled floor in tons of different directions. The greeter had not even noticed that the thin gold chain of her bracelet had broken by accident by one of the dogs jumping around in enthusiasm.
I tried desperately to help her retrieve the rolling pearls. She was only concerned that no one slipped on one and fell down. I felt terrible and offered to pay for – what I learned to be a sentimental – bracelet to get fixed. She was very kind and said it was not necessary that accidents happen and that she had offered them the cookie etc. I left with a head hanging low; of course the dogs had no clue.
Fortunately these encounters are few and far between and make for great story telling. Owners often open up to each other about their “tails” of woe.
This post has me thinking. Have you ever experienced an unexpected “adventure” with your canine?
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