Metal chain. Pink. Leather. Long. Cotton. Blue. Retractable. Short. Leashes. They come in many sizes and varieties yet they always seem to be the invisible kind whenever I visit the park. Before baseball took over my life yesterday I decided to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful spring day in Memphis. I had many options to choose from; I could go to the zoo, go downtown and walk the bridge across the Mississippi river, go to one of several parks, but I finally decided to head over to my favorite disc golf course to play a round or two. The first few holes I wasn’t doing too great, one over par on each of them, but on whole five I finally hit my stride, parring that one and in position to par the next. As I approached my disc lying a few feet from the basket I noticed two fairly big dogs running towards me, something that unfortunately is not an uncommon occurrence at this disc golf course.
The past four times I’ve gone over there to play disc golf there have been large dogs running around and on almost every occasion, I am approached by them. I wrote a while back about being attacked by a german shepherd in a restaurant in Paris and ever since then I have been extremely wary of large dogs. To be clear, the park in which I play is not a dog park, there is no fence keeping the beasts away from the people. Yesterday as I saw the dogs running toward me I looked around for the idiot owner who should’ve been chasing madly after them or at the very least yelling for them to come back, but he was doing neither. He just walked along lackadaisically enjoying his morning in the park content to let someone else deal with his dogs. It’s his world and I’m just living in it right? What pissed me off even more than this idiot human being who could use a good dog attack to put him in his place was the city employee sitting in his car watching the whole thing unfold. Just as every time I go to this park there are dogs running wild, there is always a city of Memphis employee car sitting hidden in the parking lot, being paid our tax dollars to hide until his shift is over.
It’s not like a big park where park rangers are necessary to keep the peace. Aside from me, the dog owner and the slacker employee were the only other people there. There is a city law here that states all dogs in public areas should be kept on leashes at all times, so with this in mind I turned to the white car with the city of Memphis logo on the side and raised my hands in frustration, begging for him to do his job, but he did nothing. I thought about yelling at the dog owner but my dislike of confrontation kept me from doing so, something I regret as I sit here writing this. After playing just six holes I left the park, too angry to continue, and more than likely too afraid. I just wish that people here cared as much about the other humans that live here as much as they care about their dogs being able to run free in public places. Is it too much to ask for people to show a little bit of human decency in their day to day lives? If that’s not possible then could the people employed by the city to uphold the laws actually do their job to make the city a better and safer place? I can only hope that one day the city employee will be enjoying a nice day in the park and will be brutally attacked by an unleashed dog. Maybe then he’ll take a more proactive approach to his job.