On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Heart dogs, not sure about people

Late morning I took my three labs to the local dog park.  We were the only ones there until an American Staffordshire terrier and a cross breed arrived and the chase was on -- the chase for the 4,000 tennis balls I chucked for the gang to find and return.  A golden retriever joined the fray and we people chatted as we refilled water bowls and scooped up poop.

An elderly man approached the fence, unhooked it and tried to escort his dog in.  "A pack of wolves," he snarled, as mine approached to greet.  He glared at me, a meaner expression than any dog has ever given me.  

"Why don't you use the dog gate?," I suggested, because its double door sally port offers safety until dogs are securely in.  More glares.

Moments later, after his dog dropped a load, the old guy was returning his dog to his car.  "Oh no, not this again," I mumbled as I dove for Brix and Demi, ready to walk through the parking lot themselves.  Brix pulled, I pulled harder and lost my footing.

"Are you okay?  I'm a nurse, are you okay?"  The retriever's mom tried to help me back to my feet, Brix and Demi's collars still in my grasp.

"What was that all about?  Why doesn't he use the dog entry?"

"Oh, he does it every day, he's just a mean old guy."  At the risk of ageism, I'll second that.

I resumed my task of throwing balls and the dogs resumed their task of catching them and dropping them next to my shoes.

Two Cavalier King Charles spaniels joined us.  One, a ten month old female, was particularly attractive to Brix.  When he wouldn't leave her alone I leashed him and rounded up Demi and Parisse.  We'd been there most of an hour, it was appropriate for us to take our leave so the smaller dogs could play.  (Dog park manners, I do my best....)

Another car drove next to the fence.  A woman cranked down her window, stuck out her head and began bellowing, "I'm not going in where there's a pit!," referring to the terrier who had been happily bringing me back almost every ball I tossed.  I didn't say it, but what I was thinking was, "I'd rather spend my time with that pit than with you!"

I leashed up my three, took them through the sally port, locked the gates behind us and walked them to the car.  The dogs in the park were great this morning, but I'm not so sure about the people.

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