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7:23 a.m. - 2006-08-28
Bad Dog Day part 1

This week was a bad week to be a dog taking a walk in a state park. One would think that no week would be a bad week to be a dog taking a walk in the park, but this is not so, just as it is not so that there is ‘no such thing as a bad day fishin’ (I have had one) and there is ‘No such thing as bad sex’ (because there is.)

I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that this week was a bad week to be a dog taking a walk in the park because of three (count them, three) separate instances involving dogs in parks in this glorious state that I dwell in. Two of them happened at my local park and another one happened in one across the state. All involved instances of dogs having a less than ideal time in a state park.

One of the ‘bad dog days’ here in my park was two nights ago, when I was closing up the park and came across a straggler. ‘Straggler’ is a nice term for when you can’t use the phrase ‘dunderhead who failed to grasp that the park closes and in failing to grasp that caused me to be late coming home once again’. This particular gentleman had come back from his six mile hike, which he had taken his dog along on, and put his dog in the car. He had put his keys in the car. He had then locked both his dogs AND his keys in the car. The temperature was pretty comfortable and the dog looked calm enough, so it was no big deal to the dog’s safety, which was my main concern.
I found him at the parking lot waiting on a locksmith which he had called about three hours earlier.

“Is it typical for a locksmith to take three hours to arrive here?” he asked me.
“No sir. Usually about fifteen minutes is more likely,” I replied.
“Do you think I should maybe call them and see what is taking so long?”
“Why, yes, sir, I think that would be a good idea.”
“No, sir, maybe you should sit here all night long with your thumb up your unmentionables waiting for a locksmith who obviously tried to find you, failed, and went home.”)

So he calls the locksmith, who had probably stopped at the local topless bar on the way in based on the noise in the background. The locksmith tells him he’ll be there in ten minutes.

Twenty minutes pass by. The dog, which is a shitzu and is ugly and neurotic even for a shitzu, has been calm up until this point. His patience has apparently run out now as he begins to whine and turn little nervous doggie circles. The owner is trying to comfort the dog, whose name is Reggie but who is affectionately called ‘Reggie-wedgie’. I consider this a cruelty to animals issue. The man is making kind of an idiot out of himself with the way he is talking to this dog, what with telling him everything will be just fine and that he should hold on and stay calm. I cannot help but think of what people might say to little Timmy in the well.

The dog owner begins to worry that his dog might go potty in his nice, new Toyota Camry.
“I sure hope you don’t have to go potty, little Reggie wedgie.” He is saying through the closed window.
“I am sure he’ll be fine, sir, after all you just finished a six mile hike”
“Does Reggie-wedgie want a little bit of ex-laxy-waxy? Take a load off, Reggie, and let loose for once. Let your owner know what you think about getting locked in a car! It’s called negative reinforcement . . . it worked on me growing up. Of course, I never took a dump in someone’s car, but hey, there’s a first time for everything . . .”

So the locksmith gets there twenty more minutes later and as per standard procedure with them he looks at the car, selects one long slim piece of metal and is in the car inside of 45 seconds. He charges the guy 40 dollars for this service. I figured this out on paper, and it comes out to $3200 dollars an hour. Of course, if you count the fact that it took him four hours to get there (despite the fact that his home station is only an eight minute drive away) it drops right back down to ten dollars an hour, which seems MUCH more reasonable to me.
Reggie wedgie is so excited to get out of the car that he jumps out, piddles all over the pavement (damn, just a few minutes more, I think, and the upholstery was toast) and then REFUSES to get back into the car.

“Do you mind if we take just a few minutes to calm down before we get back in and have to drive home? I think that my dog is a little sick of being in the car” the man says to me.

“Well, sir, it is eleven o clock and the park did close 2 hours ago, so I really need you to get into the car and go, but if you need to stop just outside the park gate and let your dog have a few minutes to calm down out there then you are welcome to do so”
“Did you even NOTICE that I have a gun? Apparently you did not, because if you did you would NEVER have asked me that INCREDIBLY stupid question. Now get in the car and go home or else Reggie-wedgie becomes an orphan-worphan and I have to fill out the mandated ‘accidental discharge of firearm’ paperwork. Again.”

So the guy wrestles Reggie-wedgie into the car and leaves. It was actually kind of entertaining to watch a ten pound shitzu almost outfight a thirty something year old man, and I am embarrassingly pleased to say that I think good old Reggie wedgie might have even taken a little nippy-wippy of the owner’s handy-wandy.
No bloody-wuddy though, which is good, because blood requires paperwork. Paperwork makes me pissy wissy.

I want it understood that I understand that accidents happen to people and that in my line of work I have to deal with that. It is not the accidents that bother me. It is the ridiculous way that people respond to them that does.

The bad news is that I think Reggie is traumatized for life and may prove difficult to take on trips in the future. No fault of his, of course.

The good news is that this means I might not have to see his owner in the park again.

You have to take the good with the bad. I have learned this if I have learned nothing else.

This rant is long enough on it’s own, so I named it part 1 and I will end it here. I’ll get around to the other two dog stories shortly, given the opportunity.



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