Creative Writing

Human Breeds at the Dog Park

A few unique specimens from the diverse subculture of dog park regulars.

Urbanites of all kinds are drawn to the fenced-in splendor of our city’s off-leash areas to enjoy the outdoors with their furry companions. Within the diverse subculture of dog park regulars are many distinct types of people. Here are a few unique specimens.

The Overdressed Hottie
She strides into the muddy, gravel-covered field in suede wedges and a teal wrap looking like she’s ready for cocktails and dancing in Belltown. Why is she wearing nice clothes here? Is she dolled up for a Tinder date? Does she have an important job interview after this? Or does she just not own a pair of old tennis shoes and stained sweatpants like the rest of us? We’re all standing around in our sodden dog park gear waiting for a manic mastiff to spatter her chic ensemble with slobber. It’s only a matter of time.

The Pup-arazzi
There he is in the middle of a scrum of frolicking mutts, swinging around a giant camera lens with the poise and professionalism of a National Geographic photojournalist. We have so many questions. What are these pictures for? Will they be published somewhere, and if so, shouldn’t he ask us to sign a release or something? Is he some kind of a pervert? Does he even have a dog?

The Poo Police
We’re all responsible adults here: I’ve got three bags in my pocket, just in case. But I’ve also got texts to answer and Twitter interactions to monitor and I’m not always gonna see everything that happens out there in the grass. Sometimes one of my dogs will choose to deposit his spoor in some far corner of the park, way out there across the minefield by the fence where no one ever walks anyways. And maybe I’m staring at my screen waiting for a GIF to load because the reception out here is crap. That’s where this guy comes in, gesturing to the distant crime scene and pointedly asking if I “need a bag.” No one likes him.

The Odd Couple
She’s a woman who likes to keep to herself at the dog park, standing off to the side beneath a tree listening to feminist podcasts and sipping her mid-morning chai. Unfortunately, her Labradoodle doesn’t share the same passion for solitude; he’s dashing about wildly and humping every dog in sight. Each time she’s forced to run over and decouple her randy galoot from his current victim, she blushes with deep embarrassment. She offers mortified apologies to everyone forced to witness his barbaric assault. Everyone is laughing, which only makes it worse.