In light of the NDAA and the DHS's "see something, say something" campaign, I thought I'd share my day's experience with everyone. I apologize in
advance for it being a little lengthy, but please bear with me.
Today, like every day, I went for a walk in the park with my dog, which is an ACD Red Heeler. Although, this time, I'm also dog sitting another very
large dog, which is a Husky/Malamute mix.
Before I get into the story, I'd like to add that the "regulars" (walkers, fishermen, kids) all know me and my dog. Everyone knows us to be quite
friendly and pleasant. I take the same route every day along the railroad tracks then up on the boardwalk over the lake. It's a beautiful place to
walk and I've been going here with my dog for well over a year. The people I've met and do meet are, usually, very nice. Although (here's the
clincher) there is a sign before the boardwalk that says no pets allowed. Even so, nobody, including police officers, have ever given me an issue
about having my dog on the boardwalk.
So, happily going about my business, the dogs and I begin our walk on the boardwalk. About a quarter of the way across, I hear a man behind me saying,
"Excuse me, miss, did you see the sign back there?"
I knew what he was meaning, so I turned around smiling and said with a chuckle, "Oh, these aren't dogs. They're humans in disguise," and kept
Well, he wasn't amused. Before I knew it, he was beside me asking me why I was above the law. I replied that I come down here everyday and nobody,
including police officers, have ever given me a problem about having my dog on the boardwalk. He then gets really hot under the collar and calls me an
habitual offender and proceeds to block my path. At this point, I'm trying to be as calm as possible while saying repeatedly like a broken record,
"Carry on your way, sir," to which he screams, "F you!" as he took a step towards me. Well, my dog wasn't having none of this. As soon as this
guy raised his voice and moved closer, my dog started barking at him. My dog never barks at anyone let alone pays anyone any attention, but he is very
protective. So, the guy takes a few steps back and yells something about suing me if my "f'n" dog bites him. I told him that he didn't have any
right to cuss at me and that he was upsetting my dog. At this point, he starts walking away while saying that he can talk to me however he wanted
because I was a "law breaker".
The rest of the walk was pleasant and as I approached my vehicle, I see the guy standing across from where I'm parked with a couple of city
enforcement employees. As I'm unlocking my car, he starts yelling, "There's the girl that's above the law! I bet you run red lights, too!" Well,
I'd had about enough of him, so I yelled back something about not making generalizations about people. He then yelled that they had all the
information they needed about me. Well, this really ticked me off and told him that that was fine and I'd appreciate it if he called Homeland
Security on me, too. At this point, the city employees started walking away from the guy, while looking at me and shaking their heads. Seeing this, I
just looked at the guy and told him to stop harrassing me and to go away. After a couple of minutes, he finally walked away, and I got into my car.
As I was putting on my seatbelt, I see the two city employees approaching my car, so I shut it off and opened my door. I started to apologize and say
that I wouldn't have walked the dogs on the boardwalk if they were vicious, but the city workers cut me off and actually apologized to me for how the
guy was treating me! They then told me that didn't take down any of my info and I wasn't going to get a fine. They also told me that they were both
dog lovers and couldn't wait for that guy to leave. They then proceeded to strongly suggest that if that guy starts harrassing me again, that I
should call the cops right away. What a pleasant surprise! We continued to talk for a while about all of our dogs before wishing each other a Happy
So, the moral of the story?
Although there are too many unnecessary laws and regulations as well as those who are on their citizen's high horse trying to police everyone, there
are those who do hold the power and are still good people who have common sense and decency. Not to mention, I made two new friends today.
So, to those who are feeling as though there is no hope and that everyone is going to be considered a terrorist at the slightest misstep, rest assured
that there are those out there who know the difference between minor disobedience and a major infraction that should be addressed. I'm glad that the
city employees I encountered today were able to tell the difference and were on my side. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that
(most) of the officials in my community are sensible people who really just want everyone to get along and be able to enjoy a day at the park.
Happy New Year, everyone!