Dog Park Danger
Beware of "charging" dogs.
by John Hilton
From the September, 2020 issue
Kathy Perry "never saw him coming," Nancy Drubel says. "None of us did." Members of a small group of women who regularly meet at the city's Swift Run Dog Park, they had the scare of their life recently when an eighty-pound dog, running at full speed, plowed into Perry from behind. Tossed in the air, the seventy-one-year-old great-grandmother landed so hard that her right ankle was fractured and dislocated. EMTs carried her out on a stretcher, and surgeons had to piece her ankle back together with a plate and pins.
"While the owner of the dog that knocked Kathy down was distraught, we didn't get his name and haven't seen him since," Drubel says. But she believes the dog that hit her friend probably has a history of "charging."
Drubel herself used to own a "sweet, gentle, sixty-pound dog, aptly named Teddy Bear, who had a nasty habit of running into the back of my legs." She always warned people when Teddy was on the loose and urges other owners of "charging" dogs to do the same--or to skip the dog park entirely.
For people who might find themselves in her friend's position, she advises, try to move to the fence line--and never carry children on your shoulders. "If you go down, they will fall far and hard. And remember, sometimes you just don't see it coming.
"If you think that a dog running full force will veer off before hitting you, think again," she warns. "Some won't."
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