The Dog Park

“I hate them, almost as much as the people who brings them,” he grumbled. His greying eyes half-squinted, half-glared at the scene outside. The low guttural exultation left clouds on the window behind the blinds.

A tiny bark was followed by a louder bark. He smashed his cane against the window frame, shaking the vertical plastic, and yelled, “Shuddem up!”

Outside, a couple turned their heads, but they just smiled and waved at the grouch. They turned back to their chatter, lattes in hand, and barely paying attention to the dogs running around them. 

He lifted his phone from the telephone table beside him and dialed a number.

“Thank you for calling Harmony City Council. Your call is very important to us. Please select the extension you require. For general enqui-”

He smashed his finger down on the keypad and waited. The hold music made him grind his teeth. 

“Good morning, Mr Alsop,” a tired voice on the other end said.

“Not a good morning, sweetheart. Not a good morning at all.”

“I understand, Mr Alsop. I’ve explained to you. Your complaint has been registered. We have to follow procedure.”

“Fuckyourprocedure!” 

“We need more than a complaint from one person. We have even issued letters to every neighbor. No one else is complaining about the dog park.”

“You politicians don’ care about me. You tell that mayor I won’ be voting for her next election.”

He slammed the phone down on the receiver and stared out the window. 

Mr Alsop watched as a Pomeranian and Wippet drank water from the same chained bowl. His scowl loosened to contemplative if only briefly. He watched as the owners put leashes back on the dogs and led them out of the park. He even watched until it seemed that no more dogs would come back and the sun set in the horizon. 

When darkness fell across the dog park, the crotchety old man left his house with a large bottle. He shuffled across his front lawn and across the street to the gate of the park. A chuckle rose from his throat. 

***

A few of days later, Mr Alsop stepped out of his home; a big smile was across his face. He glanced over at the empty dog park and stifled a laugh. 

He was barely aware when the police pulled up in front of his house. It wasn’t until the moment that the police cuffed him that his revelry was broken. 

He stared the police down and let out an uproarious laugh. “I don’ care if you lock me up. It was all worth it!”
 
 
 

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