Dog Park Danger

When most people think of danger at the dog park, they think of dog fights or people getting hit by a joyful yet oblivious dog running at top speed. Yesterday I encountered a different kind of danger – one of the worst kinds for me.

You see, while I probably wouldn’t be classified as homely, I definitely have frizzy hair, a nose with a slight bump on it from being broken long ago, and I’m pretty short (5’2″ on a good day). The one thing I did have going for me was great teeth (thanks, Mom and Dad!). I’ve never needed braces, I’ve only had one cavity, and only two wisdom teeth have needed the ole’ yank, so I guess you could say that I’ve been lucky in that department…until yesterday.

As I was leaning over to pet my foster dog at the dog park, a rambunctious Boxer/Dalmation mix came out of nowhere and jumped up on me, slamming his head right into my front teeth. I was tasting dirt, or what I hoped was dirt. But no, it wasn’t dirt…it was fine bits of my teeth! I couldn’t believe it – this dog had broken BOTH my front teeth – the only part of my face I really liked!

Luckily I was able to get into the dentist immediately, and my dental insurance covered the fix. They bonded my teeth, and I guess they are kind of as good as new, although I’m still feeling a loss for those little bits of my real teeth that are scattered somewhere at the dog park. My husband has a chip in his front tooth, and the bonding always breaks. I really hope that is not the case with mine.

While this was obviously an accident, it could have been easily prevented. The dog had been with its owner for two years. Why hadn’t she trained him not to jump? This is a serious problem on trails around here and at dog parks. We have wonderful off-leash hiking access, but those without dogs often complain that they are jumped on. I always thought it was a dirt issue, but now I see that people can actually get injured as well.

Should this woman be held accountable for her dog? How? Had I not had insurance, it seems she should have paid for my medical bills. Also, I lost half a day of work, which is a problem because Happy Tails Books is overwhelmingly busy right now. There are two morals to this story: 1)Don’t lean over when large, jumpy dogs are near, and 2)Train your dog not to jump, or you may be the one paying for someone else’s dental work.

One thought on “Dog Park Danger

  • September 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

    OM gosh! I didn't ever think about that until I got an Aussie. The first thing I did was to get a trainer to work on the herding issues and he brought up the importance of training a large dog not to jump. This is a very important post. Thanks Kyla!

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