Almost got a 400 dollar ticket yesterday :(
At the river in San Marcos, there is a spot where there is a river bank about 30 feet long, and then there is a grassy hill that goes up from the river bank where students lay out and tan/ drink. Seperating the two is a big pile of rocks that you have to climb over.
The river bank is the designated "dog area". Your dogs can be off leash in the dog area, but nowhere else. This is the ONLY place on the river that has a dog designated area, whereas there are millions of places on the river for families to go to.
Yesterday, Rocky was playing on the river bank with 4 pitbulls, a chihuahua, and 4 other mix breeds that were larger than Rocky. So 10 dogs were on the dog area, rough housing.
Well, what I consider to be two dumb parents brought their child that could not have been older than 2 1/2, right into the dog area! (By the way, the river bank is covered with slime, so it is very slippery)
The kid immedietely spots the chihuahua and grabs at it and it growls at him. The parents YELL at the owner, then continue walking with their child. Next, the kid starts waddling over to Rocky, with his arms extended. Rocky has never seen a kid younger than 3. The kid is inches away and rather than see how he reacts when this little kid grabs his face, I yell "BYE" and sprint off in the other direction, about ten feet off of the river bank into a woody area. Rocky follows me, of course, and I put him in a sit. He sits there and watches the child waddle around all of the dogs, and I keep him there waiting for the dumb parents to go back to the "people" area.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see this awkward looking man in what appears to be a boy scout uniform making a bee line for Rocky and I. There is a bank that is about 4 feet over us, and he stops right there with his hands on his hips staring straight at us.
It turns out to be a ranger. I ask "Is there a problem sir?" And he begins screaming at me. I am a 20 year old woman. This is a 50 year old man in a position of authority. He gets red in the face from yelling at me. "I cant believe you think you can run over here with your dog. There is a leash law, you are lucky you have the river bank to play on. I can give you a 400 ticket right now. What are you thinking???"
Well, of course when the man begins yelling at me, it frightens me. I have never had a man yell at me that way. Rocky goes PSYCHO and jumps up and stands in between the man and I and begins barking at the man in a very defensive way. He still isn't on a leash, and there is no way I am going to get him in a sit and stay while this man is yelling at me. So I say "sorry" then I yell "Rocky" and I ran back to the river bank, where he follows me. I clipped his leash on, and started to leave when an older woman stopped me. "How dare that man talk to you like that! Was he yelling about your dog? We all had to get our dogs away when that couple brought their baby over and it started grabbing them!"
Her dog was the chihuahua. Well, the ranger heard her and walked over and gave her a ticket because her chihuahua's leash was a piece of rope that was only a foot long. (the dog was laying at her feet)
I got in my car, very upset, and watched the officer sprint over to two men that were throwing frisbees for their dog in the woods beside the river. He gave both of them tickets too.
I know I'm lucky I didn't get a ticket, but I am still very upset about the situation. I don't feel like any man should ever yell at a woman that way. Also, I don't feel like I was in the wrong. If the idiot couple hadn't brought their child into the DOG area, none of us dog owners would have had to move our dogs. There is more river ten feet down, where the river bank ends, where people go in.
I understand that in a normal situation, if I was on the river in a non dog designated area, I shouldn't have my dog off leash if he doesn't listen perfectly when I say sit. However, in this case, Rocky knows the boundaries of the river bank and won't ever leave it unless I call him off of it. We only had to get off to avoid the baby.
Honestly, do you think I am in the wrong? I am still upset about it and it was a whole day ago! What would you have done in my situation?
((PS: This particular section is 90% wasted college students, smoking and drinking and too much PDA. The other 10% are dog owners. I have never seen a child in this area before, who would bring their kid there??? There are TONS of family spots all over the river.))
Also, two weeks ago, I was running in the same woods area at 8 in the morning with Rocky off leash. Two officers got out of the car and started talking to me. I told Rocky to sit, put him on leash, and they talked about how good he was. Then I took him off leash again and we continued our run. The two police officers said nothing about me running with him off leash.