Unintended Consequences

The last Saturday of September 2017 is going to be a surprise for Bernie and Chris. Instead of going to the usual exercise area, I will take them to Scottsdale. There is a huge grassy park there. It had been a couple of years since they had both played and worked in that park.

Worked? Yes, the park was the home of Toni’s Sit Means Sit training ground. For a solid year, I had driven more than forty miles three times a week to train Bernie and Chris. It took a year to train Bernie. And then another year to train Chris.

We went on Monday and Wednesday at six in the evening. It was dark in the winter months and still light in the summer months. On Saturday our classes were at 8:30 in the morning, so it was daylight all year.

Although it had been two years, my passive dogs became alert when we were about two miles from the park. By the time I pulled into the park both dogs were whining and practically shaking the car with their combined body weight shifting back and forth in the back seat.

I let them out, and they raced away and started to play.

That’s when I got busted.

It was less than ten minutes when a white pickup pulled up, and a man got out. He was in a park uniform and had a ticket book in his hand.

He was cordial enough. He complimented on my dog’s obedient behavior. As soon as he pulled up, I recognized “authority” and called Bernie and Chris to me. I told them to sit/stay, and they obeyed.

While they were playing, and depositing their poop, I had been going to their piles and picked up their leavings. The man noticed all this good owner behavior.

Our chat lasted about ten minutes. I surrendered my driver’s license and answered his questions. I remained calm because I felt his entire demeanor was cooperative and helpful. I would get a warning, not a ticket.

And that’s what happened. He told me there had been many complaints of dogs running loose. He said that even if I had an electronic leash, the city didn’t recognize it. All dogs must be on a leash. Specifically, it must not be longer than six feet. In other words, the owner must have their dog until total control at all times.

With our business done, he left, and I took Bernie and Chris to the car and put them in the back seat.

Today’s exercise period was over. It would be the very last time I would ever visit this park.

Why was I here in the first place?

That is the subject of the next blog… My visit with Toni and a few of her students.

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