SOUTH­ERN-FRIED RE­TRIEVER

Thornhill Post - - Paw & Order -

We had a golden re­triever named Ma­son for 15 years, and al­though we loved him and he was a big sweet­heart, we also had some mo­ments that were frus­trat­ing, to say the least. Many of those mo­ments were prob­a­bly a re­sult of us not know­ing much about how to train a dog prop­erly at the time, but here’s what hap­pened one day at Trin­ity Bell­woods Park. We were in the of­fi­cial leash-free zone in the lower bowl of the park on a beau­ti­ful day. We were liv­ing down by the Ex­hi­bi­tion grounds at the time and had walked to the park. Ma­son spent an hour run­ning around and play­ing with other dogs, so I as­sumed he was nice and tired. I started walk­ing up the hill to leave, and my mis­take was that I didn’t leash him up right away. We got to the top of the bowl and I turned around to put his leash on, and I could see he had a hard gaze off in the dis­tance. I started to look around to fig­ure out what he was fo­cus­ing on, and way off in the dis­tance I saw a mom with her child hav­ing a lit­tle pic­nic with some Ken­tucky Fried Chicken. I im­me­di­ately said, “No way Ma­son, come here, man.” As I took one step to­ward him, he darted off like a shot out of a gun. I ended up run­ning af­ter him as fast as I could, all the while scream­ing, “Ma­son! Come here! Ma­son! Stop!” I’m in a full sprint, and he’s still not lis­ten­ing to me, and I re­al­ize that noth­ing is go­ing to stop him. He ar­rived at this beau­ti­ful mo­ment be­tween mom and daugh­ter and shat­tered it all by slid­ing be­tween the two. He knocked the tod­dler over and snatched their chicken. I was mor­ti­fied. I fi­nally caught up to him, man­aged to put his leash on and turned to the mom — who by this time has picked up her cry­ing daugh­ter and is try­ing to con­sole her — who looks like she wants to punch me in the teeth. I felt ab­so­lutely ter­ri­ble, and I was strug­gling to find any words to say to her. I fi­nally blurted out, “I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry. Can I buy you more?…” and be­fore I can fin­ish my sen­tence she curtly re­sponds, “Just leave. I get it, I’m a dog per­son, but I just need you to leave right now.” Fair enough.

Mike Good and his golden re­triever Ma­son

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