Monday, March 17, 2008

Bad Judgement

While visiting the park with the two tots and their Nana the other day, I witnessed parenting at it's finest.

While walking to one of the slides with The Babe in my arms, I pushed his stroller. Nana and Little Man were ahead of me, as Little Man was too excited to wait for us to get to the slide. I observed a woman in front of me pushing a stroller with a small baby inside. As she pushed her infant she struggled to maintain control over the large leashed lab that pulled her. When I say this is a large dog I would guess this dog weighed more than I do; it was a small horse. The Babe could have asked for a ride on the dog rather than the Merry Go Round. In a split second I thanked God that I had chosen to hold The Babe rather than use the stroller. The mom in font of me was jerked away from her stroller as the leashed dog leaped at a much smaller version of himself walking by. The mortified woman begins to scream profanities to her dog while yanking his leash. The owner of the victim begins to kick the aggressor while bystanders grab their children out of harms way. A man with his young child yells to strangle the dog. There is no stopping this train wreck. Nana takes Little Man away; but I can not help but watch. It was like a test of human socialization and psychology. The poor puppy is screaming and bleeding as the "dog that has never done this before" clamps down on his neck like an alligator would pull prey under the water to drown it. I get away after what seems to be an inappropriate amount of time to be away from Little Man. I wanted to make sure he is not traumatized. After all, just last week he witnessed a kitty meet it's maker.

Daddy arrives at the park with our picnic dinner. As the five of us dine on park fare we see the owner of the "bad dog" as Little Man named him. Not only is she still there, she is crying on a ledge while her dog walks around inspecting and smelling other park patrons. What is wrong with this picture. First things first. Where is her baby? Second. What in the world is she still doing there. As if the glares and whispers wouldn't send me on my way, the thought that it could have been a child would send me to the pound.

So she finally leaves with her dog in tow. As I watch her leave I see a woman with a young girl of about two in her arms. She is calling for her older daughter, about 4 years old, to slow down and wait for her. When the eldest does not hear or chooses to not listen to mommy, the woman runs to the girl and says "don't be stupid dumb dumb" listen to me. Am I being too sensitive based on the dog attack or is it fair to say that speaking to your child like this may begin to have an affect on their self esteem and ability to socialize or remotely excel at simply tasks. I don't mean to offend anyone that calls their kids stupid but if you do, would you be offended that I even care?

** I learned this particular dog was a Newfoundland/Lab mix. This post is not in any way to insinuate that all dogs are aggressive; just that some owners have no common sense (owners of animals or children for that matter)


A Buns Life said...

Speaking as someone who has two 100 lbs dogs.....I DO NOT take them to the park unless Dave is going as well, because I can not handle the dogs AND the kids by myself. I won't even take one dog by myself. I know MY physical limitations, and whether my dogs are the sweetest animals on earth (which they are), I can't control other people or their animals and I won't put my children or others in harms way just so my dogs can have a fun romp in the park. They can wait for daddy to be with us. I'm glad you all were ok.

And shame on ANYONE who would call any person much less a child stupid or dumb or any other demeaning name. That DOES do permanent damage to to ones self-esteem no matter what age, but especially to a child. That makes me sick to my stomach.

Nissa said...

That is so terrible! Why wasn't animal control called? I still can't believe she would hang around after her dog mauled another & endangered children!

And no, you're not being overly sensitive. Calling a child names is horrendous.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

1. People talk to their kids all the time in appalling ways . . . I'm convinced this is why so many kids are so poorly behaved.

2. People totally underestimate tehir dogs all the time and think that their dog wouldn't ever hurt anybody when they clearly can and do.

3. That woman is clearly an idiot. I'd be calling the cops on her arse.

Huckdoll said...

This sort of thing happens on our lake seawall and it scares the crap out of me. Even though the dogs are on leashes, MY toddlers are innocently wandering around and I see these huge dogs pull the owner around, you know? It totally freaks me out.

I agree with law student on number one. Huge exclamation points!!

Kimmylyn said...

My stomach got sick that she would call her child a stupid dumb dumb.. some people are just clueless.

Ok, Where Was I? said...

What an odd story. I'm totally with you. Makes me cringe to think of someone talking to a child that way.

Christine @ Serenity How? said...

Oh my goodness. What a scary mess - and so sad. I feel terrible for her poor child.

Cheffie-Mom said...

I am not shocked but disgusted. One thing I work against is any abuse (verbal or physical). I really love your blog and would love to chat with you. I have a new blog called "I Overcooked My Family" which honors and celebrates children! I would love to hear from you.