As you know, I used to be afraid of big dogs. I only had to get within a block of a strange big dog, and I got panicky. This was a leftover from many years ago when I was badly scared by a dog, and it took me a long time to get over it.
In this respect, as in many. others, Portland has been good for me. Most of the dogs here are friendly, well-behaved, and just mellow critters. One of my favorite things about Laurelhurst Park is watching the dogs play in the off-leash area. Early yesterday morning I went for a walk around Laurelhurst, trying to work out some details of the story. The weather has been dry, so the park’s sprinklers had run most of the night, trying to keep the grass green. This made some good sized puddles, which the dogs were enjoying.
One woman with twins toddlers in a stroller and I were chatting. “See that dog that keeps going all the way down into the puddle?” She smiled. “That’s mine.”
Then this evening, we decided that since it was finally cool enough that we would walk over to Sunnyside Park and play badminton. This was our second time playing this summer, and we were so much better! We had fun whacking the birdie around, flailing less and hitting it more.
Across the park were some fellows who sleep in the park most on nights when the weather is good. They and their dogs were hanging out. For a while it was fine, but then they let the dogs all the leashes and it started to get uncomfortable.
While we were sitting on the grass to rest, the dogs came over to see what we were doing. They weren’t mean, but got very close and were not following directions, from us or their owners. I got nervous around dogs for the first time since I’ve lived here.
When we had rested, we thought about playing some more, but the idea of the dogs chasing us spoiled the fun. Sadly, we packed up and headed home
I know that no place is perfect, and one short bit of discomfort won’t ruin a day, but I am sad that for just a few minutes, I had that panicky feeling about dogs again. I will go visit Laurelhurst today and chase the bad away with some good.