By Urban Anomie
The dog park is a great place to people watch. You get to see the same people day after day. Sometimes new people show up, sometime long lost friends return at whim. And what’s really great, is you can leave those relationships at the park . . . like relationships of convenience.
During the last four years at my park, I’ve encountered a number of people. And because I have no life and nothing better to do, I’ve compiled a list of the types of people you might find at the dog park:
Oh jeez. Here she comes. No matter which way you’re headed, the rest of your time at the dog park will be with her. That would be bearable, but she’s the type who can’t handle it when there’s silence for more than thirty seconds. She always has to be talking. And when you stop reciprocating, she begins talking to her dog, as though it’s for your benefit. There is no escape.
Angry Neck-Tattoo Lady
Friendly enough on a good day, but is prone to violent outbursts which manifest themselves as screaming at her dog, shredding politicians, or throwing large sticks. Frequently walks with IPod headphones in ears. Did I mention she yells a lot?
This one’s always good for a laugh. Her dog will be nowhere in sight, and doesn’t listen to a word she says, but she has the audacity to point out that your dog pooped, even when you are in the middle of picking it up. Seriously.
They hold hands, and they keep to themselves. Generally pleasant to be around, and integral to the dog park eco-system.
Silence of the Lambs Guy
There’s something about him you just can’t put your finger on. He’s handsome and charming in a psychopathic serial killer sort of way. When he talks, he moves directly into your personal space and stands within centimeters of you, before ensnaring you with the intensity of his gaze. Has a high-pitched toothy laugh where he never breaks eye contact with you, and is always at the park alone despite claims of a wife. Watch out, this guy no-doubt wants to trap you in the dungeon in his basement where he can carry out unimaginable sadistic acts.
Yoga Pants Lady
Whether it’s 30ºC or -25ºC, she’s always wearing black yoga pants. It remains unknown whether she can feel her legs or not. Always a pleasant sight to walk behind.
Sometimes they’re friendly and will talk to you, sometimes they walk with their nose towards the ground and breeze right past you. You never know what kind of day it’ll be until you see them at the park.
Miserable Sack’o Shit Guy
Hates his dog, hates your dog, hates his wife, hates the colour of the grass, hates oxygen, hates clouds, hates people, hates life. Is married to The Cling-on, but thankfully only comes with her to the dog park on the rare occasion, and usually on the weekend.
Wears pajama bottoms a bit too often. The novelty of cuteness wore off long ago.
Runs the length of the park, never stops to talk, dog usually keeps up or is on a leash. Focused, gets priority of the pathway. They inspire you to take up running, but you never do.
Your New Best Friend
You don’t know what you’ve done to deserve their undying loyalty and friendship, but they’d take a bullet for you. You would not do the same for them.
Ms. ‘Hates You For Some Reason That You’ve Yet To Figure Out’
One day you’re friends, the next day she snubs you. You can see her whispering to the person walking with her while you approach, you can tell she’s cold when you do interact. But none of this bothers you, because your whole life doesn’t begin and end at the dog park like hers does.
New Baby Lady
She was gone for around six months, and now she’s pushing a stroller. Your dog and hers are still friends, so everything’s cool. How come everybody wants to see the baby? It’s kind of ugly if you ask me. Gollum-like, if I had to describe it.
Homeless Guy Who Lives In His Van
He may not actually live in his van, but I have a strong suspicion that he does. For some reason, he is your dog’s absolute favourite person. Maybe it’s his warm, soothing Scottish brogue. Maybe he massages pork fat on his skin to combat the affects of Calgary’s dry air. Who knows?
Antisocial Single Guy
IPod, sunglasses, designer clothes. Never makes eye contact or talks to men, always lingers around women to make awkward small talk. Gets comically pissy when dogs jump up on him. Kind of a dick.
Expert on Dogs Person
No matter how well trained your dog is, no matter how happy you are with your dog’s training, you are doing something wrong. While she’s always judging you, she waits until your dog makes the smallest transgression before the criticizing begins. Note: It is a riot when two expert personality-types clash.
‘Sizing You Up as a Mate’ Single Lady
She’s on the prowl. Lots of these frequent my dog park. Likes to ask lots of questions about trivial stuff. I think she keeps a database.
Always has six to eight dogs with her, and usually the same dogs. She has them under control, but you get the sense that she hasn’t picked up all her dog’s poop, especially considering they’re running all over the place and in different directions.
‘Do you have a spare poo bag?’ person
Oh fuck off, already! If you forget once or twice, fine: I forgive you. But every single time? It makes me wonder if they only makes a show of picking up dog poop when someone else sees her dog go.
Surely these creatures must belong to somebody, but I highly advise NOT making a snow angel on the grass in this park . . .