We’d Gladly Watch A Movie About These Two!

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 24, 2020

I’ve worked with several rescue dogs over the years and have had a lot of negative experiences with other dog owners, especially working with reactive dogs. When I started a business working with dogs, I braced for these experiences to become commonplace.

They have not. I have a few complaints about some of the owners I have worked with, but this little story isn’t about those.

I am out with my favourite dog, an incredibly friendly, energetic, and happy cocker spaniel who I’ll call Miss Fluff. I’ve taken Miss Fluff to a park and she’s desperate for me to get the ball out and play with her. She’s glued to my feet as I do so — it’s a ball on a rope — and neither of us see the newcomer come around the corner until he’s joined her: a lovely, big chocolate lab, curious about the ball. Miss Fluff doesn’t care about him, only the ball.

The owners turn the corner, see us, and IMMEDIATELY call him off. He listens, but I call over that she’s friendly and they give him permission to come back over.

Me: “Will he chase the ball if I throw it for her?”

Miss Fluff is positively vibrating with excitement.

Owner: “Oh, yes. We’ll get out of your hair; don’t worry.”

Me: “Well, I was wondering if we should let them have a little race?”

Owner: “Oh, he’ll win. He’s much bigger than her and he loves to play fetch!”

So, to find out, I threw the ball. It went soaring across the field and Miss Fluff was after it like a shot, the lab hard on her tail. It was close, but she snatched the ball up ahead of him! The lab was having none of it, and he grabbed the end of the rope, and they happily ran back carrying it together.

The other owner and I laughed and agreed to call it a draw, before he went on and the lab obediently followed when called. Sadly, I’ve never seen them again in that area, but the memory still makes me smile, and moments like that have made up for the more inconsiderate and inattentive owners!

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Do You Even Skate, Karen?

, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 19, 2020

My friends and I are at a local lake park. It is fully fenced and you need a key to get in. The key is given out by the homeowners’ group and you have to live there to have one. The park is maintained 100% by a fee taken by the HOA. The fence is ten feet tall and topped with razor wire; these richies really take their muddy lake park seriously.

The park is about sixty by two hundred feet, with a little beach on a small rural lake. The park “belongs” to probably thirty or forty different homes. We are the only people in the park.

There are six of us and we are sitting at a table about a hundred feet into the park, away from the fence, eating and working on DnD sheets, when we hear screaming. I am the “speaker” for my group of friends — we are all about twenty, and they are art/stem students and I am a 6’9″ security guard — so I go up to this middle-aged couple.

When they see only I am coming, they start FREAKING OUT. The man is standing with fists at his side screaming, and the woman is doing this weird dance, making gesturing motions and using the “threatening white lady singsong” voice.

The rest of the group follows but stays back twenty feet.

Karen: *Clapping her hands and smiling* “Okay, time to go! Come on! Go, GO, GO!”

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Karen: *Smiling bright* “You know you can’t be here! You know that!” *Big smile and clap* “Time to go!”

Me: “We can be here. She—” *points to my girlfriend* “—lives here, and we have the key.” *Shows the key*

We have the locked gate to the park right between us and they aren’t making any attempt to come in.

Karen: “Where did you get that?! Doesn’t matter! Let’s go!” *Clapping* “Can’t have you here; you know you can’t be here! My kids play here; we can’t have that!” *Smiles*

Me: “No. We can be here. We aren’t leaving.”

Karen: *Face immediately falls* “Don’t talk to me that way. Get out now. NOW, NOW, NOW!” *Clapping but no longer smiling*

Me: “No. We are here in the middle of the day, not causing problems. We have a key and ID showing we can be here. Do you have a key?”

Karen: “I don’t need a key to tell you to leave! I’m telling you to go! NOW!”

She keeps clapping rapidly at the group behind me and making “come here” gestures with both hands.

The husband appears to be attempting to play “bad cop,” arms crossed over a puffed chest, chin up, watching me through sunglasses.

I speak to my longtime girlfriend, who is the resident here.

Me: “Hey, honey. You allowed here? You want to stay?”

She nods without saying anything to this. Karen’s eyes go to her and narrow. Sadly, this is where things go bad.

Karen: “Oh, really, you live here? You sure about that? You sure you’re allowed here?”

Her smile comes back wider than ever and she pulls out her phone with 911 pre-dialed and shows us.

Karen: “Want to explain it to the police, honey?” *Big smile and direct eye contact*

This is 2005 or ‘06 in a rather rich white neighborhood, and my girlfriend is obviously Middle Eastern. She backs down immediately because, to her, truth doesn’t help here. These people don’t appear to even live in the neighborhood, but she’s sure the cops would take their side anyway.

So, Karen is wiggling her phone at us and waggling her eyebrows. I really, REALLY want to push back on this, because I feel like I could handle the police. Police interaction is part of my daily job as security, and at that age, I foolishly think it would matter. But my friends are really freaked out about the police, so we pack up while the couple stands there smiling, clapping, and sometimes calling out, “Hurry up!”

They wait until we leave and start following us back to my girlfriend’s house. The lady’s phone is out and still pre-dialed. I vividly remember her holding the phone in front of her, displaying it to us whenever we look back at them, with her thumb hovering over the call button the whole way back.

Karen: “Aw, you’re good kids. Thanks for doing the right thing. You’ll understand someday why you need to keep your neighborhood safe! Thanks for listening to us!”

They repeated similar things the whole way back. Then, they stood at the bottom of the driveway and stared us down until we went in the front door and then they both smiled and waved. The husband then took out a small camera and took photos of the house and mailbox, and individual pictures of the license plates for the four cars in the driveway.

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That Mom Must Be Dog Tired

, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 18, 2020

It is a pleasant day and my mothers group and I have taken our kids to the park. We’re on our way back to the house for lunch when we come across a stray dog which is determined to rumble with my dog.

With no owner in sight, we manage to separate the dogs, get back to my house, calm the dog down, and put him in the garage with some water.

I start messaging the number on the dog’s collar.

Me: “Hi! My name’s [My Name]. I found your dog on [Road] in [Town]. He’s okay. We just have him in the garage having a drink of water.”

Reply: “Which one?”

I express to my friends that that was not quite the kind of response I was expecting, having found their family pet, but I continue.

Me: “His collar says his name is Jesse. He’s black and white.”

Reply: “Okay.”

I talk again with my friends about the weird reply and they all egg me on to just call the pound and tell the owner to go there. I think about it but I’m kind of intrigued now, and I want the best for the dog, so I keep going.

Me: “When do you think you can come and collect him?”

Reply: “I’m not sure.”

Again, my friends think this was a ridiculous response and start looking up the numbers for animal control when my phone rings from an unknown number.

Me: “Hello?”

Woman: “Hi! I am so, so sorry. I’m the owner of the dog you found. I left my phone at home today and my twelve-year-old was answering the messages. She just called me and read the conversation out. I’m so sorry; you must think us very rude. I’m just leaving work at [Location] now to come and collect the dog. Is that okay? Thank you so much for looking after him!”

She arrived soon after and collected her dog and gave me a box of chocolates. She had a sulky looking pre-teen in the car with her who looked like she had just gotten a bollocking. Poor kid.

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That’s Awkward, No (Dog) Bones About It

, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 9, 2020

This happens about a week or so after the infamous Central Park Video. For future generations: an entitled white woman let her dog loose at Central Park, and a bird-watching black man asked her to leash up her dog. The woman threatened him by calling the police and saying he was assaulting her, which he wasn’t. This is relevant information, as I am white and Asian, but I mostly look white.

I am walking my dog and eighteen-month-old daughter to our neighborhood park one early morning, and because of the global health crisis, the dog parks, and tennis courts are closed for our dog to play fetch. Luckily, our neighborhood park has two fields, one small and one large. It has become an unwritten rule during the crisis that the smaller field will have the dogs run around in it and the larger one will be for kids and other social distance activities.

When I arrive at the park, the large field is empty, and temptation takes over me. I start to play fetch with our dog in the large field while my child runs around “chasing” our dog. Soon, my child wants a snack, so I put her in the stroller and take out string cheese.

My dog smells the string cheese and wants it. She starts to hover around my child. I distract my dog by throwing the ball, but said dog won’t listen. She wants that cheese. I give up and leash her up, hold the leash tight, and walk toward our ball. My dog tries to steal the cheese from my child’s hand. I don’t pay attention to anything else around me and utter this: 

Me: “You! I’m looking at you! Don’t you think about stealing!”

Then, I see movement, so I look up. Before my eyes is a black gentleman setting up to play soccer with his kids. The color drains from my face. I sputter, embarrassed and meek. 

Me: “I— I was talking to my dog. You guys go ahead and play. I’m sorry.”

The gentleman, luckily, laughs.

Gentleman: “I know you were talking to your dog. Don’t worry.”

I sighed in relief. Then, he asked about my child and dog, and I asked about his. We chatted for a few minutes. Then, I continued on our walk. When we see each other at the park, we wave, and he jokes, asking if my dog is causing any more troubles.

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Nobody Likes A Litterbug

, , , | Friendly | September 8, 2020

I’m with one of my friends who’s committed quite a few petty crimes. We’re out drinking, but we can’t find a bin to throw away our bottles. After some time of fruitless searching…

Me: “You know we can just…” *mimes littering* “…the bottles, right?“

Friend: *Genuinely offended look* “Dude, I may be a liar, scammer, and cheater, but I draw the line at littering. I have standards, you know.”

Me: “Seriously?”

Friend: “Yes. There’s a long list of crimes I’m willing to commit, but littering is not one of them. And drugs. Drugs are bad.”

Honestly, he’s beaten up, blackmailed, and extorted people without batting an eye, but apparently, littering was too evil even for him. Who knew?

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