Midtown Post - - Life -

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

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