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On any given day I take my labrador puppy for a walk and we often end up at the dog park a few kilometres away. The dog park is one of my, and my dog’s, favourite places to go. It is so enjoyable to watch dogs all run around with each other, sniff each other all over and generally just have fun. The joy in the place is palpable and you can’t help but leave feeling happy after watching them.

However, on a number of occasions when I have been to the dog park I have seen it end in tears. One of the basic rules at the dog park is that you must supervise your dog at all times. Because things can go wrong very, very quickly. If you can imagine 20 plus dogs of all breeds and sizes together in an enclosed space, well things are bound to go wrong at some point right?

Anyway, the other day I was at the dog park and I was standing watching my dog to make sure he didn’t get up to any mischief. He is usually pretty good and runs around, but unfortunately he sometimes likes to hump another labrador that frequents the same dog park. When this happens I have to remove him from the other dog as it is not on to allow your dog to hump another dog. While I was watching him I was also watching a boxer that was bounding around. He was having the absolute time of his life. Then another boxer entered the dog park. For some reason the friendly male boxer suddenly turned into a not-so friendly dog. He began chasing the female boxer around like he was hunting for prey. He eventually caught up to her, and pinned her onto the ground and started to growl and bite at her throat. Other dogs, including mine, ran up to see what all the fuss was about. I ran forward to get my dog away and to help. The owner of the female boxer pinned on the ground, managed to get the male boxer off his dog, and took his dog away. Other dog owners quickly got their dogs away or left the park all together. But where was the owner of the male boxer when this was happening? She was 100 metres down the other side of the park talking on her phone. She didn’t even realise what had happened because she was too busy talking on her phone! And the terrible thing is is that I have seen this numerous times! Where owners think that the dog park is some kind of drop-off doggy care and they can leave them there to do whatever they want. On another occasion I saw a puppy get attacked by a husky dog and it got a massive cut on its nose, the owner was 100 metres away talking to a friend when this happened. On another occasion a Rottweiler was being incredibly aggressive to other dogs and the owner was also nowhere to be seen.

What is happening in society when people are taking no responsibility for things? When they think that this is acceptable behaviour? What would happen if the dog attacked a dog so badly that it killed it?

I feel that this is bad manners/etiquette but it seems to happen everywhere. On the same day that the boxer was let loose I went to the movies where a couple proceeded to talk throughout the entire movie. They were asked to be quiet a number of times but still continued to talk and talk. It ruined my experience completely. Didn’t they learn any manners when they were growing up? Why do they think they have the right to talk throughout a movie like they are at home, instead of in a movie theatre where people have paid a lot of money to see the film?

So why is this happening? Why do people not have any basic courtesy anymore?