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One Walk Three Stories

November 10, 2009

I.
We went to a large nearby park that we had not previously visited. My intent was simply to tire the kids out and to enjoy some fall foliage.
trees

in leaves

rolling

foliage

stairs

exploring

treetops

Mission Accomplished.

II.
Roughly every five feet they had “Dogs Must Be On Leash” signs. It was crazy. Yet when we had been in the park for all of five minutes and had already seen (and been visited and sniffed by) at least 10 dogs on invisible leashes (that means NOT on a leash), I began to wonder if perhaps I had some super-powers whereby I could see (and read) signs no one else could. OK, not really. I was just really confused that so many people would willfully disobey SO MANY signs. Since strange dogs make one of my kids nervous (coincidentally, she was knocked over by a dog not on a leash running at full speed at a park with “Dogs Must Be On Leash” signs when she was 0 and has never quite recovered), and we most distinctly did not come on a lovely leisurely evening stroll to stress ourselves out, I decided to try to better understand the situation.

Excuse me,

I said to a normal-looking woman who seemed familiar with the park.

This is our first time in the park and I see that there are lots of signs about keeping dogs on leashes and lots of dogs off of their leashes. Is this usual?

Yeah. This is pretty much known as a dog park.

You mean, except to the people who put up all the official-looking signs?

Everyone knows this is a dog park.

For dog people. All the dog people feel like it is a dog park and the people people just have to deal?

It’s good for your kids to get exposure to dogs.

Thanks. Not really my intent in coming to a park so clearly labeled, but thanks for thinking about my kids.

And then she whistled her own unleashed dogs out of the bushes to descend on us. Not really, we just parted ways; me with my somewhat worried kids and she with her unlawfully unleashed animals.

I just don’t get dog people. I realize it is a natural tendency to want things your way, but there are actually some good reasons for most rules. While you are very comfortable with your dogs, not everyone is, nor do they need to be. If you want to keep dogs, ensure they have a decent environment in which to live in privacy, don’t unleash them on the public, please.

III.
Of course, I didn’t know where I was going, I was just following the path along as it wound down the hill into some delightful sights. While I did not inherit my mother’s exceptional sense of direction, I could tell that we had eventually rounded back towards the parking lot, so I was hopeful (oh so hopeful) that the path we had followed all along would, in fact, take us back to our vehicle. You see, that walk coincided with Amos’ discovery that he could stand up in the stroller and cause all sorts of problems. The sky also got darker faster than I had anticipated, so I didn’t think I had time to turn around and get back with all of us still sane.

Boy was I sad to discover that the path took us to the bottom of a very steep and unpathed hill and then veered back out into the park at large. But do you think I turned around and walked that wandering path back up to the parking lot? No-sir-ee-bob. I said, “Kids: we are going up.”

I was able to haul the stroller about 1/4th of the way up that hill with Amos in it while Lily and Peter imitated mountain goats and bound to the top. Then I lodged the stroller against a tree…
stroller below
…and carried Amos up to the top of the hill. [I really wish I had remembered to snap another picture from down below because this image doesn’t do the grade justice; oh well.] Then I went back down (am I the only one who finds this the most daunting?) to grab the stroller and haul that up and over the top.

rest

Phew! We needed a rest after that. No one ever said life with Mama was boring, kids!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Hannah permalink
    November 12, 2009 10:49 am

    If that picture doesn’t do the grade justice . . . . It looks very steep to me. And all those tree roots! You almost needed a four-wheel drive vehicle for that. Way to go you! I’d have called the stroller a loss and walked away.

  2. esodhiambo permalink*
    November 12, 2009 7:50 pm

    Ha! Not if your baby was as heavy as mine! I CAN’T carry him round all the time.

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