On a recent weekend, I went over to Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School with my dog. They have a huge field and the only other people on it were a father playing soccer with his very young daughter. My dog is active, so I throw a ball with one of those extended arm flingers, and she retrieves it. I made sure myself and my dog and the path I was throwing the ball in was far from the father and daughter so as not to disturb them. After about five minutes, the father, who had all the room he could possibly need to play with his child, purposely moved closer to where I was playing with my dog, so they were now in the area that my dog and I were in. I could tell he had an axe to grind. He turned to me and said, “This isn’t an off-leash area. Can you put your dog on a leash?” I could see from his body language, before he even spoke a word, that he was itching to make a point. I replied, “Come on. We’re not bothering you. There’s nobody else here. You have plenty of room. Let’s just share the space.” But he responded with, “But your dog shouldn’t be off leash.” I explained to him that I was being careful not to throw the ball near him or his daughter and that we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all if he hadn’t moved purposely closer to where my dog and I were playing just to prove his point. However, my attempt at reasoning with him was to no avail. He responded with, “Put your dog on a leash or I’m calling the cops.” I told him, “Go ahead.” I continued to throw the ball some more for my dog and unsurprisingly, no cops came. After a short while I moved on.
Dog owner Jamie Bussin at Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School