I was kicked out of the dog park because no canine would vouch for me.
The cop was pleasant but firm as he ushered me out the double gates. A Chocolate Labrador and some sort of curly Doodle looked on briefly, then turned away, fearful of getting involved. Or more interested in splashing in a large puddle.
COP: “You can’t be in here without a dog.”
ME: “I have a dog. Just not on me.”
COP: “A dog’s required for entry. And a permit. Do you have the permit?”
ME: “I’ve an old Blockbuster Video card. Well, not on me.”
COP: “You can buy a permit online or from that self-pay station there. Can’t help you with the dog.”
ME: “No one can. He’s a terrier.”
COP: “Well, bring him next time. And a permit. Here’s your ticket. Enjoy the rest of your day.”
ME: “Wait! A ticket?”
COP: “For parking without a permit or a dog. It’s just a warning. You don’t have to pay it.”
ME: “Shouldn’t my dog? He’s really the brains behind this operation.”
COP: “Yeah, I see that.”
As a humor columnist, I often go to a dog park for inspiration much the way food reporters attend restaurants and crime reporters hang around the White House. I’ve been sniffed, growled at, and peed on – generally by dogs – but never banished. And I don’t think that dogs would approve.
From a Giant perspective, charging for permits to use a dog park is reasonable. Staff is needed to maintain the grounds, fill poop bag dispensers, ensure fence integrity, refill poop bag dispensers, clear debris, install signage about proper disposal of dog poop, empty trash cans, install secondary signage pointing to primary signage, refill poop bag dispensers….
OK, a lot is about poop.
Dogs relegate such budgetary oversight to Giant Municipal Leaders. But it’s exactly that sort of voter apathy that has reduced Canines to the status of second class citizens. Well, that and eating grass until they vomit.
Plenty of blame on both sides. Giant Elected Officials need to include dogs in dog park-related decisions. And Canines must willingly don the Choke Collar of Civic Responsibility. Only through negotiation can the political playing field be leveled without being chewed up, then puked.
GIANT COUNCIL CHAIR: “Now, in reference to Ordinance 164-C, ‘Kicking Dave Out of the Dog Park’, the chair recognizes…
(Consults with vice chair) “Does that read, ‘Minzy’? Am I saying that right? MIN-zy?”
SHIH TZU MINZY: “Thank you, Madame Chair. If I may hop up in your Chair?”
TERRIER MIX: “Minzy, your conceding ground already! I warned you about that!”
GIANT COUNCIL CHAIR: “Oh, you’re a cute girl! Who’s a cute girl?”
GIANT VICE CHAIR: “I think she’s a Shih Tzu. They’re smart, too.”
GIANT COUNCIL CHAIR: “Smart girl! Yes, you are! Oh, yes you are! What’s this sweet girl want, huh? What’s she want?”
SHIH TZU MINZY: “Madame Chair, I speak for those voiceless many who can but howl. We, the Cranshire Avenue Dog Park 48 beseech you to allow park access to all Giants – even those tragically bereft of Canines.”
GIANT COUNCIL CHAIR: “It’s like she’s trying to talk. So adorable!”
GIANT VICE CHAIR: “I had a Schnauzer like that. Snuffins! Actually, Mr. Snuffington. He could say, ‘I love loons’, clear as a bell.”
GIANT COUNCILMAN: “Damn fine dogs, Schnauzers.”
SHIH TZU MINZY: “Madame Chair, you’re making a mockery of these proceedings!”
GIANT COUNCIL CHAIR: “Oooo! Such a scary growl. Who wants a belly rub?”
SHIH TZU MINZY: (Dreamily) “I love loons!”
TERRIER MIX: “Minzy, you’re losing our case! Focus!”
GIANT VICE CHAIR: “And who’s this tough guy? Are you Minzy’s little friend?”
TERRIER MIX: “I am her counsel, sir!”
GIANT VICE CHAIR: “I’ve a cookie. You want a cookie?”
TERRIER MIX: “I love loons!”
To any dogs reading this, if you plan to run for office in 2020, hire a political consultant. Now!
Sleeping between Giants welcomes your comments. Probably…