Dog parks are dirty…nay, I’d go so far as to say filthy…places. They are an enclosed parcel of grass that has been urinated, pooped and slobbered upon by hundreds of dogs. They seem to fall at the bottom of the city park grass mowing schedule, so they are often full of ankle-tickling, chigger-housing grass. They are a germaphobe’s nightmare. Anyone who goes to the dog park and expects to say clean should head back to the rubber cement bottle and take another whiff.
However, there are certain things that should not happen at the dog park. Allow me to give you an example.
Magic hour at the park. I’m strolling with my headphones in, idly searching for a podcast while marveling at the beautiful blue sky and the setting sun casting a golden green glow onto the trees. All is right with the world. Then, in the space of 5 seconds, it all changes.
First, I notice a shadow behind me. Odd, I think. That better not be a human, because if it is, that’s creepy.
Then, as I turn to check, I hear faintly through the headphones “RANGER! Ranger, NO!”
As I complete the turn, a warm stream of pee splashes my leg. My gaze falls on Ranger, a cheerful brown and black dog, who scampers happily off into the sun, light on his feet and lighter in the bladder.
A woman runs up to me, horrified shock mixed with what I don’t want to think was laughter on her face. “Oh my god. I’m so sorry.” I stare at her, then back at the pee drenching my pant leg, and all I can think of to say is:
“I’m so, so sorry.” And here it comes. That thing dog owners say when their dog misbehaves, that somehow makes being peed on worse. “He’s never done that before.” Oh really? What are you saying, lady? That I attracted this indignity somehow? That I look like a tree or some other thing that your dog thinks should be casually PEED ON?
“It’s all right,” I mumble, still in shock, feeling that icky warm/cold cloth against my leg.
“It’s really not all right,” the woman says, and we’re left staring at each other, me in 100% whole-hearted agreement (no it is NOT FRICKIN’ ALL RIGHT!!!), but unable to come up with any kind of response. I mean, seriously. What would you do? You’ve been PEED on. At the dog park. By another dog. In public. I sincerely hope some of you can come up with something I should have said/done, because all I could do was shrug and laugh weakly and make some crack about maybe I shouldn’t stand so still.
Because apparently I resemble a fire hydrant when I do so.