The building in the foreground is the old boat shed from the days ( back when I were a kid) when you could hire rowing boats. On a Sunday morning an ice cream van parks there. There are many small children in this park at weekend, including a number of toddlers on reins and little tots on their first bikes with stabilisers, particularly as you can imagine, around the ice cream van.
So anyway, there we are strolling around the pond towards the van and we go to overtake a family whose dog is running in front of them. As we are about level the dog comes bounding back and causes me to stop dead to avoid tripping over it which I only just managed. The woman who owned the dog said,
"Sorry. He likes running around and tripping people up."
Because (a) the comment seemed to invite it (b) I am professionally used to expressing an opinion and sitting in judgement and (c) because I don't know when to keep my mouth shut, I said, as I passed her,
"That's why he should be on a leash."
I did not expect that this would cause a problem. But she started yelling "Excuse me? What did you just say?" (The question being rather redundant as she then repeated it to her husband who started shouting, "He's not doing any harm.").
Because of (a) (b) and especially (c) above I turned around, and said "I am sorry but there are a lot of very small children around here and I am worried that one of them may get hurt or bitten" Husband then starts glaring at me. He is big. All I want is an ice cream and Dennis is hissing "Stop picking a fight." So I shake my head ruefully and walk away. Fairly fast.
I am glad to see that by the time they catch us up at the van the dog is leashed. I am not saying the dog ( which was a kind of spaniel type thing) should not be in the park. By all means use one of those extending leashes so he can run and bound and be stopped in his tracks when he gets somewhere problematic. But to my mind, bounding spaniel + concrete path + toddling two year old can so easily = fall, broken bones and phobic child. Even if it is a dog which has no teeth whoatsover and therefore could not possible nip a child who panics and lashes out when this thing, which is not a huge dog but equals the size of a child, runs at them.
But then, I do not own a dog. Am I being unreasonable?