Dog Park People

Owning a dog is quite possibly the best part of my existence, barring my future wife I guess. She doesn’t let me sleep with my dog anymore, so I’m not sure who’s first or second in the rankings anymore. We’re not going to get into the intricacies of this love triangle though.

Everything about having this dog improves my life. I get up early in the morning and I go on a 30- to 60-minute walk everyday. I come home and someone’s excited to see me. I even love watching my dog learn. Like today, she ate a bunch of grass and then threw it all up, and she waited at least another 20 minutes to try eating the grass again. Such a smart pup. Sometimes she sits in front of swinging door to our kitchen and just waits to get hit in the face by it. She knows she gets a lot of pets if she gets hit in the face. Like I said, for a dog, she’s got a super high IQ.

The one thing about having a dog that is the bane to my existence is having to go to the dog park. And I go 4-5 times per week. I do what I have to do for the dog. She’s got too much energy for only walks, so if I don’t want her to chew shit up, she has to run around like a lunatic for an hour or so. Don’t get me wrong, I like watching my dog run around and play. I imagine it’s similar to bringing your kid to the playground. You like watching them play in the jungle gym, but you can’t stand the other parents and the other kids.

At least with the dog park, the other dogs aren’t really the problem. Of course, some dogs are dicks and some dogs start fights more than others, but they are animals so what can you expect. The problem for me is the other dog owners. There are normal dog owners. Those are the dog owners that I usually have zero interaction with. The dog owners I’m constantly talking to, are the ones who want to tell me about what I should be feeding my dog, how I should be raising the dog, or the person who comes over to you and talks about you in the third person to your dog but never actually has any conversation with you.

I recently had the weirdest experience I’ve ever had at the dog park. Some people may say that I’m in the wrong here. But let’s find out what you guys think.

This dog park that I happen to go to is tremendous, about an acre and there is a big pile of wood chips in the center of it, and I’ve noticed that the wood chip pile slowly gets spread out over time. It rains a lot in North Carolina, like every fucking day. So sometimes the dog park is muddy. I assumed that someone from the town comes in and spreads it out, after it rains to ensure the dog park is usable. This is not the case.

Last week, I drove home from work and went to the dog park, and I guess it happened to rain a lot in Raleigh that day, and because I work so far away, it didn’t rain by me. Usually, I won’t take her to the dog park after it rains so that I don’t have to give her a bath. But here I am, I have my headphones in and I’m walking into the park. I’m not really paying attention until I get inside, but I notice that there are a bunch of people with shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows spreading out all of the wood chips. I realized that these were the dog owners, not people from the town.

I would say 75% of the people were helping, including a woman who looked at least 75. Obviously, I did not help. If you thought I was going to be roped into raking a park that I literally pay taxes for, you were way off. Maybe, I’m wrong. Maybe I should’ve been a part of the community and helped out. But I wouldn’t have been doing it for the right reasons. I would’ve been doing it strictly so that I didn’t feel awkward. So, I weighed my options, feel awkward for an hour or do manual labor for an hour. Thanks, but I’ll stand here and feel awkward for an hour.

I wish I wasn’t this way but I am. It’s a town park so the town should take care of it. It’s not as if it is in a little town with no money. It’s a fucking major city and I’m paying to live here. Clean it up Raleigh. One of these guys that was helping spread out the wood chips, and I’ll call him President of the dog park, has also built a trench now that goes from the center of the dog park all the way to the wooded area to try and drain the water.

President of the dog park is an idiot because the trench now drains the opposite way, because obviously this guy isn’t an engineer, he’s an idiot. There’s just a big hole in the center of the dog park that is now a mud pit. Real fucking genius. President sits in the biggest chair of the dog park everyday like he runs the place. He only welcomes specific people into his group, let’s call those people, The Cabinet.

So, Mr. President and The Cabinet, all sit in the middle of the dog park in the good seats while us other schmucks sit on the fringe. Now, that I’ve seen this, I’m well aware that when I have kids, this will be the same place I sit at the playground when I watch my kids play. I’ll be the guy on the outside while all of the top notch parents sit in the best benches and figure out how to run the playground. I know where I stand socially. I stand alone with the other loners. For better or for worse, these are my people.

Published by Your Cousin Vinny

I'm just a guy, who really is trying to figure out what the move is.

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