© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Ladies and the Tramps

Picture these trio of facts about my local dog park. First, the forested trail where I run Indie has a looping path with forest on the left and a lake on the right. Second, at one point, about 80% of way through, they replace the lake access with a chain link fence. And third, since the park is close to some very nice neighborhoods, some of the folks that frequent it are fairly yuppie.

With that said, here’s the story.

When Indie was about 18 months old we went to the Shawnee Mission dog park early one Saturday morning. As she’s prone to do, she went into hunting mode, casting wide metronoming swaths back and forth across the path in front of me. While we almost never hunt in forests, Indie must have had visions of our Wisconsin grouse and woodcock adventure just a few months prior. She’d range deep into the forest, and they like a streak of grey lightening she’d zip across the path and into the lake to cool off.

As we neared the portion of the trail where the fence began I called her back in. I showed her the fence, kicking it to rattle it’s links. She looked at it, then back at me, and then with a quick ok from me she hurried back into the forest. A minute later she ran from left to right across the path and crashed head first into the fence. Momentarily stunned, she sat down and shook the cobwebs from her head. As she did this a spray of red spurted from her jowls. I called her over, fearing that she’d cut her face or lost some teeth. By the time she closed the distance, her furry chest was stained bright crimson. I knelt down and held her face. No cuts. I peeled back her lips. No teeth missing. Then I pried open her mouth to find the source of the flow. She’d bitten her tongue, a sharp hold had punched nearly all the way through. By this time, the bleeding had pretty well stopped, and Indie, having sufficiently regained her wits, decided that she’d had enough of this examination and she hurried away unfazed but looking quite the worse for wear.

We soon exited the rough, forested trail and reconnected with the manicured public trail. As we did we crossed paths with a poodle and her owner. The neatly trimmed, pompous-looking dog gave my black, white and red setter a few curious sniffs while it’s owner, a pompous-looking urbanite jerked the poodle (which she called ‘Muffie’) away from Indie, turned to me with a look of disgust and posed the following inquiry, “My God! Whatever did you do to that poor mutt?”

What did I do? Mutt?

“Oh don’t worry about killer here. If you think she’s in rough shape, you should see the other dog.”

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>