Friday, 13 November 2009

Dog owners...the parks aren't just for you.

I'm always amazed at how selfish dog owners who use the parks in this area are. Earlier this week, my amazement reached new heights as I walked with a friend and our tots in Shrewsbury Park.
We were on a leaf hunt to do some collages with the kids so were walking around the wooded area near the car park area. On two occasions, dogs come bounding up to us with no owners in sight. I'm not fond of dogs so had a bit of a panic snatching up my tot and blocking her from the dog. Amazingly, the dog owner didn't bother to apologise and even more mind blowing was another dog owner came up to me and said that the dog was harmless and wouldn't have hurt us. What is it about dog owners that makes them so blind to anyone else's feelings? There have been numerous stories of dogs who have attacked kids and adults. But this isn't the point. I have the right to walk around the park without some hound running at me and my kin.
On the second occasion, the dog ran up to my friend's tot and nearly knocked her over. This dog then went on to lick the balls of another dog....lovely :S Again, the dog owner did not apologise and just said that it wouldn't have hurt her. My friend was understandably upset that this genital licking mutt had jumped up on her 2 year old daughter.
I understand that dogs need to be out and about and am not suggesting they shouldn't use the parks. But god, I wish the selfish owners could all be locked up. We won't be going back to the park as now I fear that the tots may fall in dog poo or be mauled....and what makes me really sick is that that's probably what the mutt loving jobless gits want.


hilly said...

although dog owners cause a lot of problems in parks, this is entirely explained by the fact that they, along with teenagers, are the main users, which increases the probability of encountering an anti-social dog walker/teenager, just by the maths. if enough small children went to the park, eventually one of them would try to lick something they shouldn't, and their parents wouldn't give a monkeys! in fact dogs have quite a lot in common with babies because the domestication of wild animals (wolves in this case) involves arresting their development so they never progress beyond the childlike playful face licking stage...

if anything, their sheer numbers and regular visits make dog walkers vital to upkeep of the parks, as they act as the eyes and ears of green spaces, and are usually the first to notice when something has gone wrong. for example it was a dog walker that caught a flasher in my local park. essentially, the parks need the dog walkers, and as a result 'some' of them get a bit defensive when their adorable pooch with bad personal hygiene, blood curdling snarls and flesh ripping canines licks a small child's face without so much as a bye or leave.

MRS said...

I can understand if the dogs bounding across the park are those hideous chav accessories Staffordshire bull terriers and the like but you can't seriously expect dog walkers to have their dogs next to them at all times! They do need exercising. Just like for people with no children who dislike your sticky fingered toddler coming up to them. I have a child and there is no way you can keep them next to you at all times. I am a v considerate Mother who does not let her child misbehave in public but there have been moments when he has grabbed people's clothing on trains or attached himself to people on planes. It happens and I should imagine you would not be impressed if someone asked you to tether your child to you. Same as I can imagine most dog walkers would not be impressed to be told they are irresponsible for allowing their dogs to run across parkland.
Now on the matter of dog owners who let their dogs foul all over the place, they should be shot. On a pavement or in the park - pack it up and bin it. I don't let my child poo in the park.

Plummy Mummy said...

Hilly - funny response. :)

MRS - no I don't expect all dogs to be tethered. There were dogs in the park that felt no need to come bounding up to us. My moaning was two part - firstly if you have a dog that is apt to run at children, then yes I think it should be tethered and secondly, if said dog does run at children then at least apologise to parents/child and also understand why parents/child should be upset. On both the occassions the dog owners did not apologise even though the children were visibly upset.
As for my child, I would be mortified if she stuck any sticky fingers on strangers. I would expect the stranger to be upset and I would apologise to them. I wouldn't tether her to me but I would explain to her that she mustn't touch people she doesn't know. Having said that, haven't been through an looking forward to that now that we have our baby passport.

Steve said...

Well said Plummy Mummy! Yes MRS people DO expect you to be in control of your dog and to apologise if it scares or leaps up at people. If you can't manage that, keep it on a lead.

Anonymous said...

if you don't like dogs stay out of the park, keep your child on reigns or in the garden.

Plummy Mummy said...

Anon - if my child was antisocial enough to leap onto strangers and scare them then I would indeed be tempted to tether her somewhere. But I reckon that might get me in trouble with the law. Thankfully as of 2nd Nov, if you have an antisocial dog, that you allow to jump on people and for which you don't apologise, then you could find yourself slapped with a dog control order.
As for keeping out of parks, probably not a bad suggestion until there are enough poo bins around so dog owners can have somewhere to leave their dog's mess rather than all over the green grass.
There is a list of parks where dogs are allowed off the lead and even more importantly for me, where dogs are NOT allowed on the greenwich gov website: