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