I had a very different post planned for our usual Mirth Watch Thursday, but today (Wednesday as I am writing this), I had the worst walk I've ever had with my dog.
Not even sure where to start.
As you know, my friend and I walk with our dogs (Rita, and Rita's best friend, Dakota the boxer) at Fiesta Island (FI) at least 3 days/week. On the weekdays we usually know almost everyone down there. There are a couple of dogs that our dogs don't like, or that don't like our dogs, and we steer clear. Sometimes there's a bit of noise and a skirmish, but no one ever gets bit and it's always fine.
Well, now that school's out and it's summer, there are a lot more people down there. I'm constantly checking out the other dogs and assessing Rita's body language, etc.
We were just about finished up with our walk and had run into another friend who comes to FI pretty much every day with her 4 huskies. At the same time two men (big, older men with big walking sticks) and 3 dogs were coming the other direction. They had a timid puppy with them, and Dakota ran at it showing teeth. Dakota is very good about listening to her mom, but before my friend could even yell "Sit, Stay", the one man raised his walking stick and hit Dakota across the back with it, breaking the stick. (Luckily, he had the smaller of the 2 sticks. The other stick was thicker and could have inflicted some serious damage.)
My friend started yelling at him - as you might be prone to do when a stranger beats your dog. She yelled, "You didn't even give me a chance to call my dog off!" And she starts trying to explain that her dog has never hurt another dog. But both men just went nuts on us, yelling about how their dog was "attacked" and calling us every name in the book.
I yelled at them to
calm down. I kept repeating "Calm down! Calm down!" And every time I would say it he would just scream louder and come closer. He then got in my face and called me a "skanky f***ing whore." (Um, yes, because I told him to calm down. The nerve that a woman would tell him what to do!)
Now, anyone who knows me knows I hate confrontation, but they were bullying us. And I'd had enough. So I
got back in his face and yelled "You are not going scream over the top of
us and call us names and bully us off the beach. F*** you." And he reared back and HIT ME
with his walking stick. He slashed me across the side/back of my thigh.
Meanwhile, our other friend is yelling at them as well to stop being idiots and to go away. Someone says, "Call the cops." Mr. Beater Moron screams, "Yes, call the cops because I'll have them make it so that dog never comes to this beach again." Um... yeah, not gonna happen.
So our other friend gets her phone and calls 911. And (I didn't realize any of this was happening at the time) he went over and spit
on her. So she slapped him across the face. (Not hard - she said her hand basically grazed his gross beard.)
While all this is going on, I see some other friends of ours (a husband and wife) in the distance. They come walking up and the husband is telling these jerks that they saw the whole thing and "way to act like a man, beating women and dogs." As you might imagine, they did not take super kindly to this. They start calling him all kinds of names too and, um, questioning his, er, manhood in all sorts of colorful language.
I told our friends to just walk away cuz there's no reasoning with morons. So, they left saying, "You have our cell #s. Call us if you need a witness."
Also, while all this is going on, the "attacked" dog keeps running over to say hi and play with our dogs. I said, "Gee, I see your dog is really traumatized by that 'attack' he suffered!" Told the guy he obviously doesn't understand dogs and he screamed at me that "he's owned more dogs than I ever will." Because trying to reason with morons is a futile pursuit, I did not point out to him that (a) this was not a fact he could have possibly known and (b) not relevant to understanding dogs. Whatever, moron. I just rolled my eyes.
Meanwhile, 3 cop cars pull up (luckily we were right by a parking area - there are back stretches of the park that are a 20+ minute walk from the parking) and 4 uniformed officers start coming our way. I was a bit worried how Rita would do with the cops. She did bark at them a bit, but I told her it was okay and gave her a treat and then she was fine and let them approach her. They held out their hands and she sniffed them and was fine. (Phew.)
So, the cops get our story; they get their story. The cop tells me that Mr. Beater Moron admits he hit me (although he says it was a "tap") and that he realizes it's not acceptable behavior. The cop says I can press charges and they'll take the guy to jail right now. But, he says I'll have to come along, and they'll need to take a picture of my leg. (I was wearing yoga pants and he hit me high up on my thigh. I'm thinking, "Great, I'm going to have to go stand there in my underwear while someone photographs my leg??" Plus, even though it was still hurting - I knew there probably wouldn't be a bruise there yet.)
The cop said if I had been visibly wounded they could have just taken him away, but since it wasn't visible, I would have to press charges and there would be a trial, and there would have to be proof of grievous bodily harm. I'm assuming a bruise doesn't constitute grievous bodily harm, and just not wanting to put myself through all that, so I said I would drop it. I asked if they could at least give him a ticket, a warning, or something. Unfortunately, nope.
But... the cops told the morons that they are not allowed to carry their sticks down to the beach anymore. The cops also told us that if we ever see them again with their sticks we can call 911 and report them.
Afterwards, I went up to my friend who had called the cops and told her I was letting it drop. She said, "Good. Because before the cops got here he [Mr. Beater Moron] threatened that if you pressed charges against him, he was going to press charges against me, and I don't really want to get hauled down to jail."
I don't know if he really could have done that, but at least she was glad with the decision I made.
I'm not sure I made the right decision. I don't think a bruise would stand up as "grievous bodily harm," but at the same time, it makes me quite literally sick to my stomach to think that these assholes think they can hit a woman (in public, in private, anyplace - but especially in PUBLIC with witnesses) and there are no consequences. [I looked it up when I got home - even for "simple assault", in other words no "weapon", you have to prove the person "attempted to commit a violent injury upon another person." Is a bruise considered a violent injury? I dunno. So, yeah - there kinda are no consequences if you hit someone - as long as you don't hit them tooooo hard. Awesome, right?]
I feel sorry for their dogs. I feel sorry for any women who might be in their lives.
The ironic thing is that just 30 minutes or so earlier, my friend had been telling me how they went to her nephew's high school graduation the night before and a fist fight broke out between some people in the audience. I'd said, "People are so on the verge of rage all the time." Little did I know that I'd soon have a raging asshole screaming in my face and actually hitting me.
It really sucks because it makes me not want to go back to the beach again. But I have to go, because the bullies can't win. If we see them again (please let us never see them again!!!) we will give them a very wide berth. There is no dealing with irrational people.
And besides, even if I didn't go there, I'm just as likely to have some sort of run-in with a neighbor or loose dog on the street or at a dog park. I have a few friends whose dogs have been attacked while out on a walk or at the dog park. If you start thinking about the "wait ifs" you'd never go outside again.
Sorry this was so long-winded. I'm still just stunned. Family members aside :) I've never been hit by someone before. I see the idiocy that goes on every day on TV "talk" shows and "reality" shows and I think that some people have become conditioned to think it's acceptable to scream at each other and start hitting.
I was thinking I'd ask y'all, "Tell me where there's a place we can move to where there are no idiots. I'll go." But I know no such place exists. Well, maybe the moon... Anyway, I'm going to retreat into a book for the rest of the afternoon.
Hopefully this will remain as the "worst walk I ever had." It could have been a lot worse. I'm glad they hit me and not Rita. She's afraid of strange men to begin with, and men with sticks (or anything that looks like a weapon) just makes it that much worse. It would have set her way back if they hit her instead of me.
Also, if they hit her, I probably would have completely lost my s**t.
So, how about you? Have you had a "worst walk ever"?
On a more pleasant note ... don't forget to go leave a comment and enter the giveaway for a trio of KONG treats. Morons or no morons, the dogs need their treats!