As the news spread about the four-year-old who fell into the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla pit, we had a bit of a harrowing animal experience of our own. After having dinner with my in-laws, we decided to visit a school playground near their home. We were there for a while and soon, Baby C got bored of the slides and climbing structure. I decided to let her roam around in the field.
She was having a blast chasing me, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something bounding over towards us. It was a dog! He wasn’t a huge dog, probably like a small terrier or collie, but nonetheless, he was headed full-force at Baby C. I swept her up just as he got to us. He looked like a happy dog and wanted to play so (surprisingly) I wasn’t as scared as I probably should’ve been. He was jumping up on me playfully, not really barking. I looked over and his owners were coming through the field, taking their sweet time. I was wearing shorts and started envisioning what bite marks would look like (because, man, dresses/skirts/shorts are my summer wear…LOL), but I stayed calm and tried to remember that most dogs are not vicious. Lucky for us, he was distracted soon enough so he ran towards the playground. My other two girls were there and the eldest ran to my husband for protection while my middle child froze on the structure.
My mother-in-law is deathly afraid of dogs and let me tell you, she was NOT impressed with the situation. She started taking pictures of the dog on her phone. She was threatening to call the police. She was pointing every which way and gesturing at the owners to grab their beast. I could tell she was in full panic mode and was really upset. Hip Teacher Dada stepped in and called out to the owners that they needed the dog on the leash. They waved the leash in their hand, which, was sort of our point. Dog ON the leash, buddy, is helpful…IN your hand isn’t.
We weren’t the only ones at the playground. There were a few more little kids, a pregnant lady, a mom, and a grandma. They were just watching the dog action unfold and didn’t seem as scared of the dog. He took off towards the basketball court as soon as his owner got close, and despite him calling his name, he kept running. Maybe the dog is well-trained, but this was just too much stimulation for him. It’s not an off-leash park either. It took a few minutes for us to calm down, but by then, we were fully ready to go home.
Have you ever had a scary animal encounter? Has it scarred you for life?