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The dog park is a world full of drama and alliances. The old women gossip as they sit on benches in the sun. The younger people with their big, powerful dogs on thick leashes stand in another corner. Older couples bring their pets in as they stroll on their Sunday, and sometimes, like the dogs, not everyone gets along.

Today there was a fairly large pack of pups in the park – from a tiny Chihuahua named Lula – a tiny thing that snarled at anyone that came near, to Zeus – a two-month-old German Shepard that already outweighed his owner. Other than a few normal snarls, everyone was behaving quite nicely, until a man walked in with another dog and warned everyone else to stay away and shut the middle gate – requesting half of the park to himself, which included the entrance. Luna isn’t a threat to anyone and was currently being squashed by a golden retriever puppy named Duchessa (Duchess) who is humorously training to be a service dog, so no dog park drama for me.

But as we were leaving, (everyone walking their dogs to the gate because of this other owner with the aggressive dog, as he still yelled after another person that had chided him for his poor behavior (oh, Florentines), it was the owner of the little Boston Terrier that uttered the silencing statement.

“The stink of the owner always will rub off onto the dog – much more than the other way around”, he cautioned in extremely polite Italian as he carried his purple-leashed Viola out of the park. The man sneered in our direction but stayed quiet as the gate clanged shut behind us.

I wanted to give him a slow clap.



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