Incident in the Park
Cuticle Mayhem

As Rosie and I drove into the dirt parking lot adjacent to the Thousand Oaks dog park, Rosie was nose-out the back window, sniffing and barking at other dogs. We headed for a space adjacent to where a lady with a walker was exiting her car with her Australian Shepherd - a 10-year-old reddish-brown one, slightly larger than Rosie that we had seen in the park before.

Suddenly, the Aussie yanked the leash away from the lady and charged Rosie, who was framed in the window like a Vermeer painting (still barking). The Aussie hit my car with a thud! and dragged her Australian claws across the paint.

I slowed to a stop and asked the lady if she was okay. She was holding her hand as if she needed a band-aid. She didn't answer but shook her head "no." Rosie and I waited for her to take the Aussie into the park, but she stood there softly moaning and holding her hand. "My cuticle," she groaned. (Yes, that's exactly what she said. I'm not making this up.)

Finally, we gave up and hit the park. Behind us, a bystander embraced the wounded grandmother.

Later, I ran and caught up to the lady in the park as she stood leaning on her walker, still clutching her wounded cuticle. Again I asked if she was all right. I kind of expected her to ask about the damage to my car. After a long pause, she looked at me defiantly and said: "Your dog called my dog a bad name."

Rosie received a time-out and no treats for four hours.


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