It was one of those mornings.
I “walk my kids” at Gorgoza along with our nine month old puppy. Today, my 4 year old wanted me to tell him the story about how I “swam with ducks” in the Gorgoza pond. I faithfully obliged but then wasn’t paying attention to the dog. She spotted a runner and “greeted” her. Of course, not everyone likes a 60 pound dog charging at them and then violently sniffing their back-side.
I was mortified.
While I put my dog on leash and repeatedly said “I’m so sorry”, the woman, who was justifiably scared said, “I have dogs too.” However, her eyes said something different. Her eyes said, “I’m scared. What are you doing?”
I suppose if I was a different person I would say, “This is Dog City USA and you should deal with it!” to the woman we encountered, but I’m not. I was the one on a trail with my dog off leash. I was in the wrong.
I suppose I could look back to the story I was telling my son. On that June day, when he was just born, I was at Gorgoza and a dog was swimming after a mother duck and her 6 ducklings. The owner was oblivious. I tried talking to the owner to no avail. I tried yelling, to no avail. I tried throwing rocks at the dog to stop him, to no avail. So, eventually I swam out into the pod to try and stop him (and almost drowned). FYI, dogs swim faster than most humans. The mother duck eventually abandoned her ducklings and flew away. However, past deeds do not matter. The woman my dog “wanted to play with” doesn’t get or care about that event 3 years ago. My 60 pound dog bounded towards her.
So, all I’m left with is … I’m sorry. I’ll try to do better next time. I won’t always have my dog on leash, but I’ll try to pay more attention to those people coming up on the trail. I’ll try to make sure that my actions don’t impact others. I’ll do my best to come out earlier when fewer people are not on the trail.
While no one was bit or hurt, as often is the case with the traditional story you’ll read in the Park Record, I still feel terribly bad. I’m a firm believer in Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ statement, “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” Today, I “hit”that woman and I feel horribly about that.
I’ll try to do better.