Monday, November 21, 2011

Dear Fellow Patron...


Dear fellow 24 Hour Fitness patron,
While I appreciate that your dogs are “doing their job” as living alarms hanging out in your car, they are extremely aggressive.  It is an excessive challenge to wrestle small children and babies into a vehicle while crazed German Shepherds lunge from neighboring vehicle’s windows.  Please look at nearby vehicles in the future, check for infant seats or child boosters, and park farther away.  As a responsible dog owner, I know you’ll understand.
Thank you.

Oh the feelings that were induced with this incident.  A visceral fear, an anger that any-mama would understand.  It's the second time I’ve exited the gym to see this vehicle parked next to mine under rare shade of the gym lot. I stared down the slightly smaller canine in the back seat, but the larger one wouldn’t calm, I actually raised my hand as if to strike and watched the reactive animal become even more agitated.   A gentleman with an air of Police Officer in (my guess) an un-marked car witnessed the entire scene.  
He asked, "Are you okay?" 
I replied, “Yes. I think so. But I don’t like it.” 
“I don’t either,” he said.  
“I’d like to say or do something, but it’s a parking lot, I mean, really [gesturing to space] what could be done?”  

It actually flitted through my head to mask my fear—incredulous my internal dialogue became, “what?? of course I’m scared and I should be!”  The man in the vehicle offered me some mace, I refuse because I understand that the dogs are doing what they’ve been trained to do, to react with fight or flight anger.  I am not a basal animal, and I can respond with greater thought and compassion.   I had to wait a few moments before I wrote the note though.

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