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Letter: Lack of Concern at Park Disheartening

After a bad spill at Baron Cameron Dog Park "I had a few dogs stop by and check on me, but no one came by to offer assistance."

On Sunday, November 11, I took my dogs to the Baron Cameron dog park where a group of dogs that were running through the park—as they are right to do—hit me with full force behind the knee, knocking me down.  But this isn’t about the behavior of dogs or my injury; it is about the lack of kindness or concern I received from my fellow dog owners.

In a lot of pain, I knew something bad had happened to my knee.  I was initially stunned and I stayed on the ground for quite a while. I had a few dogs stop by and check on me, but no one came by to offer assistance except for a gentleman stopping by to ask if he could keep the dogs away. 

I would have assumed that someone would have been curious about the woman sitting on the ground at the dog park hugging her knee for quite awhile.

I was very close to a bench and had to ask the people sitting on the bench if they could get up so that I could sit on the bench once I managed to hobble over. No one offered to help me stand or get to the bench. It’s disheartening to think that so many people showed so little concern. 

I called my son to pick me up.  After he rounded up our dogs, I leaned on him as we staggered out of the park.  I have taught my son that it is our responsibility to always help someone in distress; unfortunately, he did not have any models to emulate at the park on that day.

Paula Parker

Reston 

DGeorge November 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Sometimes, if you need help, you have to ask. It sounds like this was an ambiguous event that did not appear to be of a serious nature. My experience has been that strangers will walk through fire to help someone in need.
M.R. November 29, 2012 at 04:45 PM
We stopped going to this dog park long ago for a variety of reasons. First, I'm really sorry you were hurt, and that no one seemed to really step up. Sounds like you are on the mend though? These things happen. I have no idea how exactly this situation arose or where you were standing, but here a few things my husband and I have noticed through the years at baron cameron and why we don't waste our time there anymore. 1. Don't stand in the middle of the park...the dogs are running around in a pack as dogs want to do, balls are flying, frisbee's, etc. Stand along the fence and stay alert. We never understood why people stood RIGHT IN THE CENTER and dogs had to run around them in crazy 8 patterns. 2. Don't stalk your dog around the park. I would see owners constantly stalk their dog around the park, intervening in completely normal dog play situations. Dogs can pick up on your anxiety..
Bart Astor November 29, 2012 at 06:20 PM
As a daily visitor (mornings at 8) I can tell you that what you experienced is not the usual. For us there, it's just the opposite. We have formed friendships and we not only take care of each other, we all take care of each other's dogs. I hope you feel better and I hope that your experience doesn't turn you off to going to the park. MR is right, though. People tend to congregate in the middle, exactly where the dogs are running. It's especially bad on weekends and after work hours, as you probably realized. My two dogs cherish going to the park and when we don't they're incredibly disappointed. But it's not a crowded time and the dog owners are wonderfully responsible. People should remember that it's a DOG park, not a people park. We're there for our beloved dogs and we want to encourage them to play and socialize with other dogs. Let's leave space for them to do that and let's also be mindful of when something gets a bit too rough. And, please folks, keep track of your dog and pick up after him/her.
puppielove November 29, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I hope this experience doesn't put you off people entirely. We can be trained. Really we can. I know that when I take my dog to the dog park I am far more concerned with what he is getting himself into...people are a complete afterthought. I think I should start paying attention to the two-legged visitors as much as the four-legged ones.
Java Master November 30, 2012 at 03:53 AM
I have learned the way that, on ocassion, some people's capacity for either rudeness or complete indifference to their fellow man is practically boundless.Sorry you had such a bad experience at the dog park. Humans should know better.
DC December 06, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Stop making excuses. Someone was hurt and no one present offered to help. We are the people side, right?

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