If this were a movie, it would open with me doing a walk of shame through the dog park, Tigger the Dog tightly held by the collar. Both of us trying not to make eye contact with the judgmental dog owners watching and pulling their dogs away from us like we were a bad smell.
But it’s not a movie. It’s my freaking life. And in my freaking life, this totally happened:
Yesterday, Tigger the Dog (TTD) and I went to the dog park. When we first moved to Nashville, we went to this park twice a day but since our move, it’s been ages. It’s a pretty cool dog park; lots of trees, freshly mulched levels, a zig zag path running to the bottom of the park and lots of benches and tables throughout for dog folks to sit on and watch their babies play. Unfortunately, most folks just hang out in the center, on the path near the water fountain, near the site of the incident.
Now TTD is a ball dog. She will chase a ball down, bring it back to you and - the one trick she knows - put the ball in your hand for another throw. When we first entered, I’d picked up a new bright yellow slime free ball but TTD was all over the place, sniffing here, checking out everyone's rear ends and all the strange smells on the ground. She was too hyper to play ball with me so, I bounced it a few times while wandering the path from one end to the other. Finally she calmed down, all the immediate butts had been sniffed, and over she came, ready to play ball with me. I took the tennis ball, made eye contact with her, to make sure she was paying attention and then I threw the ball down the hill. Hard.
RIGHT INTO THE FACE OF THIS GUY STANDING FIVE FEET FROM ME!!!
I don’t know his name. I didn’t get it before and I sure didn’t get it after so I’m going to call him Bob. I took the ball and threw the ball right down the hill RIGHT INTO BOB’S FACE! I hit poor Bob in the face, right between the eyes. HA-RRRD!
Mortified I start apologizing. And apologizing, over and over again. I can’t say I’m sorry enough times. The old guy on the bench right behind us yells out “I got that on tape.” Not helping, old guy! Don’t know his name either. I’m calling him Ass.
I’m waiting for the ground to open up but nope, I’m still standing there while the fifteen or so folks, including Ass, are watching me and poor, battered Bob. Bob, is doing his best to look manly, not cry and not to rub the large lump on his head where I NAILED HIM RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES WITH A BALL!
TTT, obvious to the drama and feeling none of my embarrassment, is waiting with the offending ball in her mouth. She drops it in my hand and, not knowing what else to do to make this situation better, I throw it down the hill. Not hitting anyone this time. TTD brings it back. I’m still mortified and make lame small talk with Bob. “My husband always makes fun of my aim.” I say, throwing the ball again and again. “I’ve actually hit a post and had the ball hit me in the face.” I awkwardly laugh, hoping that might make him feel better about me. There is no response from him. This can’t get worse, I think. Just throw the ball a few times and then we’ll leave.
And then it does.
It gets worse.
TTD brings me the ball but misses my hand. The ball falls on the ground and is quickly snatched up by Bob’s dog - I’ll call him Fido. I nervously giggle. “TTD, you dropped the ball. Now, I’ll have to play with Fido.” Bob tells me Fido doesn’t play ball. He just likes to keep the ball from other dogs. I awkwardly laugh again. Bob doesn't. Bob tries to get Fido to drop the ball. Fido won’t drop it. Bob tries again. Fido keeps chewing. Bob reaches down and grabs it out of Fido’s mouth.
And all hell breaks loose.
Fido turns and attacks TTD. They both start growling and snarling and then it’s teeth shiny and snapping, and it goes from fun and games in the dog park to a full on dogfight in seconds. Bob reaches down and tries to separate the dogs that are a mess of fur and teeth at his feet. I manage to grab TTD’s color and pull her off and away. The other dogs that came over to check out the action and bark “Fight. Fight. Fight.” calm down and wander away. Bob says, “I hope your dog has all her shots.” I turn to look Bob.
Who is BLEEDING!!! From a dog bite! From MY DOG!
I am now flaming red and just a babbling mess of apologies and utter disbelief. I assure him she’s had her all her shots. That this has never happened before. That I’m going to die of shame. My hand actually goes over my heart as I’m prattling on. Bob takes full responsibility. He did grab the ball from his dog Fido and Fido did start the fight but I am horrified by whole situation. I try to give him my contact information but he doesn’t want it. I can’t stop staring at the large drop of blood the size of a red pinky nail on his arm thanks to my dog. And the large bump between his eyes thanks to me. I apologize one more time and, tightly holding TTD’s collar, I walk the walk of shame to the gate. The other owners call their dogs away from us as we pass. I hook up TTD to her leash and leave, walking as quickly as I can to the car.
And then, because this is who I am, as I'm quickly walking to my car, I trip and half fall, half slide down the hill stopping myself mere millimeters away from denting the flashy car at the curb. With my head. Folks from the park are still watching. Awesome end to the visit, I think, as I pick myself up, load TTD and myself into our car and drive away. And I have no doubt in my mind, had I made contact with my head on the panel of that shiny, very expensive looking car, it would have been Bob and Fido’s car.
I am still blushing from the humiliation and TTD and I are both currently on time-out and on a self-ban from the dog park. Until everyone has forgotten what happened. Or moved away. Or died. And, most definitely, until Bob and Fido’s restraining order against us has been lifted.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me