Sunday, July 31, 2011

Must love dogs.

I love cats. They are fluffy and independent. And they purr. I want to snuggle them and invite them into my home. Dogs, I like from a distance. I'm glad they exist on our planet, as they are attractive animals. I am pretty dog neutral about them getting close to me. And am anti-dog if they are aggressive, jump on me, or lick me.

Today the swim was full of dogs.

I headed down to the lake around 10 am. There was a fund raising walk going on in the park, so there were people thronged on the path. A lot of them with dogs. A group of about 15 people and 6 dogs had stopped, on the swim beach, to let the dogs swim. Seattle Municipal Code prohibits animals on swim beaches. This park has a HUGE dog off-leash area including a dog only swim beach! And, just 30 feet or so down the shoreline there was easy water access where the dogs could legally swim. And yet this group had their dogs swimming in the one place in the park they are expressly prohibited from swimming. I started forming words to confront them about it, when the, of their own accord, headed back to their walk.

So I took off for my swim. A quarter mile or so in, there was a man on shore throwing a ball into the water for his dog. The dog would swim out and get it, then bring it back to the man on shore. A wet game of fetch. However, as I swam past, the dog decided to bring the ball to me. It took the man calling him 6-8 times, before he returned to shore. I used to have problems when I'd trail run in Green Lakes State Park outside of Syracuse, with off leash dogs who would rather run with me than walk with their humans. I have said that open water swimming is the trail running of the water. I guess this was just further proof.

My turn-around for this swim was the dog-beach in the park. That makes it a short mile swim. However, I was dogged out, so I turned around a little short. I didn't want another dog encounter. Lest you think I am too hard on the dogs. I fully maintain that there is no such thing as bad dogs, only bad humans who don't train and protect their dogs.

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