Since I moved and lost my yard a year ago, I’ve taken my dog to the dog park nearly every day. We only miss the dog park if it’s raining very hard or if either one us is very sick. Out of a year, we’ve probably missed around a dozen days. That makes me a regular.
Being a regular at the dog park means you get to know other regulars. The vast majority of the people who go to the dog park are friendly, regular people. But for every three of them, there are the outliers, the weirdos. This post is about them.
Crazy French Lady
Crazy French Lady has been given many names by many people, but I’ve always just called her Crazy French Lady. CFL is from just outside of Paris. She speaks English pretty well, but with a very thick French accent that makes it difficult to understand her sometimes.
She has been going to the dog park longer than I have. She was there the first day I went and she was there last night. She goes every day, multiple times, and stays for hours. She is almost always there whenever I go.
Last time Male was in town, I dropped him off at the airport at like 7am on a Saturday and stopped at the dog park on the way back. CFL was there. She was also there when my dog, forgetting that we had already gone that day, begged me to go later at the normal time.
She knows every dog and every person, and if she doesn’t know you, she will act as unofficial ambassador when you walk in. She will tell you the rules. If your dog poops and you don’t make a move to clean it up within five seconds, she will alert you, by coming over and saying “your dog take a crap,” and point at the offending pile.
She’s nice enough, but she is very opinionated. If she doesn’t agree with something you or your dog is doing, she will march right on up to you and tell you all about it. She cannot abide unaltered dogs. If you have the nerve to bring an unfixed dog to the park, she will tell you all the reasons that’s a bad idea. She gets into more arguments with people than anyone else.
She does mean well though and she really does have the best interest of dogs in mind. I’ve never gotten into it with her because my dog is relatively well-behaved, fixed, licensed and I always clean up her poop. I’d like to keep it that way.
I wrote about the ringleader before, but then, she was called Too Nice. When she started coming to the dog park, she was overly nice to everyone. That didn’t last too long. She was saccharine sweet until she had collected enough followers.
Once she had “a crew,” she took over. They commandeered my normal picnic table, sitting around it in such a way that no one could sit there unless they made room. Too Nice became a complete bitch to anyone not in her crew. She went from greeting me from across the dog park with a friendly wave to shooting me dirty looks to ignoring me completely. Crazy French Lady was part of her crew.
Then, The Ringleader, her husband and her dog just disappeared. Her crew drifted apart and things went back to normal for a while. Last week, they reappeared. Her husband, who was never part of her ridiculous reindeer games and was always friendly, told me that their dog tore her ACL, had surgery and had to spend months recovering. Now, they’re back, but The Ringleader has to start all over from scratch. Waah.
There’s a 20-something boxer owner who has started coming recently. Every time the boxer sees my dog, he beelines right for her. He adores my dog. It’s not entirely mutual. My dog will grudgingly play with him, but she never starts it.
The boxer’s owner hates my dog partly because she plays hard, and partly because my dog is a mutt and not a boxer. Every time another boxer shows up, she tries to force her dog to play with it. Most of the time it doesn’t work, because dogs don’t care about breeds. They want to play with who they want to play with.
This woman is a breedist. She will make snarky comments to her dog about my dog, making sure I can overhear. “Don’t play with that mean dog. Why do you want to play with a dirty mutt, when there’s another boxer here? Play with the boxer.”
Because I don’t respond at all to passive aggression, I refuse to stop my dog from playing with hers because a) my dog means absolutely no harm and b) her dog always starts it.
Cueless has some sort of deficit when it comes to picking up on non-verbal cues between humans, like tone of voice and body language. She really just doesn’t get it.
The other day, I had a crappy day at work followed by my dog refusing to stop eating mud at the dog park. I would tell her to stay out of the mud, she’d move and a minute later, she’d be eating mud again. I was extremely annoyed.
It was right at this moment that Cueless came in. Another regular said to Cueless about me, “Don’t mind her, she had a bad day at work and she’s annoyed by her dog.” Most people, upon hearing this, would say something like “I’m sorry to hear that. Do you want to talk about it?” Not Cueless. She proceeded to ask me about it. “Oh, did you get fired?” What? No! But, it didn’t stop there.
She let the following words dribble out of her mouth: “Did you get molested?” WHAT?! What the ever-loving fuck kind of question is that to ask someone who is clearly annoyed? Then, she said, “Was it something really bad or just a regular crappy day?” I simply said, regular crappy and walked away before she had a chance to ask me any other ridiculous questions.
Natasha is so called because she looks just like Natasha from the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon:
She’s also Russian, and as it turns out, her name is actually Natasha. Natasha is a very serious lady with three Afghan hounds:
And two Chinese Crested:
She has five dogs and they’re all kind of ridiculous. It’s strange to see her walking around with all of them. Natasha made me second guess my judgment. I assumed that she paid for all of those dogs from breeders since you don’t see too many Chinese crested or Afghan hounds in shelters, but as it turned out, they are all rescues.
But, the strangest thing about serious Natasha is that she’s a stand-up comedian. One of the regulars went to see her perform and said she wasn’t half bad. I just can’t picture it.
The inventor is so-called because he’s an idea man. He’s always telling us about an idea he has for this or that. He said it wouldn’t be too difficult to invent a robot to take dogs on walks. He then went into a whole spiel about how it could be done with a bunch of technobabble.
The Inventor decided to enter a contest last year to film a Doritos commercial for the Super Bowl. He was sure it was going to win. It didn’t. I saw the results and it wasn’t very good. I don’t think we’ll be seeing dog walking robots anytime soon.
Kung Fu Lady
Kung Fu Lady didn’t always have that name. Before that, she was just called Demon’s Owner. Demon is an aptly named massive black dog with a bad personality. He weighs easily 100 pounds and I can sometimes swear I see his eyes glowing red. He is constantly starting fights. Even just his presence is enough to set all the other dogs on edge.
He’s a scary dog mostly because his owner cannot or will not control him. Half the time, she’s off at the other end of the park on the phone far away from her demon dog, so when something does inevitably happen, she can’t get there in time. Not that it matters anyway, since she can’t control her dog.
One day, Demon got into a fight with another dog. The Inventor was right there, so he pulled the dogs apart and shunted Demon off in-between the two entrance gates, like so:
When Demon’s owner finally got there, she yelled at the Inventor. How dare you touch my dog!! The Inventor said that he was trying to keep her asshole dog from killing his dog. It escalated. The Inventor tried to walk away, but Demon’s owner followed, screaming epithets and threats. She threw a punch at the Inventor. It went a little something like this, but without The Inventor even needing to duck; she just straight up missed him:
And then, things just got silly. She started in with the worst kung fu I’ve ever seen. Air punches and kicks hitting nothing to absolutely no effect. I really wish I had thought to get it on video. The most damage she managed to inflict on The Inventor was knocking off his baseball hat.