Recently, a friend asked me if I ever took our eight-year-old black lab, Edgar, to the dog park.
“I used to,” I told her. “The dog park isn’t a great place for little kids, so we don’t really go anymore.”
This statement is true; dog parks are full of exuberant pooches, and small children can be knocked over easily by wayward tails or dogs chasing balls. Not all dogs are comfortable with kids and their loud voices, abrupt movements, and they way they all smell faintly of cheese. I’d rather throw the ball to my 90 pound pooch in the comfort of my own backyard, where the only dog poop I’m going to step in is his, and where I don’t need to worry about my kids getting clawed in the face by a pup “just being friendly.”
“Besides,” I told her, “dog park people are weird.”
I’m still surprised that statement came out of my face. First of all, I am “dog park people”, or at least I used to be. Now I’m in an even kookier group, because now I’m “kid park people.” You may call them “parents.”
Really, dog parks and kid parks are the same thing, and so are the people who frequent them. Check it.
1. You are known only as your dog/kid’s parent. “Oh, there’s Edgar’s mom.”
2. You’re annoyed with the bigger kids/dogs, and wish they would stay on their own side of the park.
3. Someone’s peeing on a tree.
4. There is an 94% chance any dropped food will be gobbled up before an adult can fish it out their kid/dog’s mouth. See also: dropped trash.
5. Even if you make your dog/kid go to the bathroom before leaving home, they’ll still have to poop at the park.
6. You can stay for twenty hours, and your kid/dog will still be reluctant to leave.
7. If other parents bring treats, your dog/kid will beg for some with pitiful, pathetic eyes.
8. There is at least one Jack, Lucy, Max, Molly, and Jake.
9. Between parents to babies and dogs to dogs, there is sooo much butt sniffing.
10. There is that one person showing off with a perfectly behaved kid/dog, making everyone else look bad.
11. You’re terrified of accidentally running over someone else’s kid/dog in the parking lot.
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